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Author Topic: Baldur's Gate: Hardcore  (Read 17315 times)
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on: August 21, 2013, 02:14:52 AM

Time for some old school fun in an old school way.

The game is Baldur's Gate Trilogy (which is BG1+BG2 and both exps under the BG2 engine).

Mods added are the BGFixpack (yay, less bugs), the BGTweakpack, Sword Coast Stratagems (game AI is smarter, tactically more challenging, etc), BG1 NPC Project, and Unfinished Business 1 & 2.

Core difficulty. No re-loading (unless there is a significant bug). No resurrecting dead party members.

Edit: I originally started on insane difficulty. I've put that back to core in the hopes of, a) combat being more fun, and b) I get further and just don't have to replay the start of the game over and over. SCS makes the game a little tougher on its own, plus I've never played BG1 so I don't have any real metaknowledge about it to help me out either. If I do well I'll probs reply on insane and see how that goes.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 07:15:24 PM by lamaros »
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Error 404: Title not found.

Reply #1 on: August 21, 2013, 10:02:40 AM

Haha I'm betting you get killed on the road right after you leave.

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Reply #2 on: August 21, 2013, 11:09:57 AM

Haha I'm betting you get killed on the road right after you leave.

Oh yea of little faith.

[Edited in the above when changing the OP]

Game 1: Jyan the Half-Elven Blade

18 str
18 dex
16 con
18 int
7 wis
15 cha

I re-rolled a bit to get these stats... Cha not being a dump stat is annoying, but what can you do. First two points in two weapon fighting.

I run about Candlekeep. I nearly die in the stables (?) to a desperate fellow, but offensive spin helps me out. I give someone a book, I get some gold from a guard or something. I find a lot of locked chests I can't open, which is seriously annoying (Thief/Illusionist next attempt, I note) even though they likely have nothing at all in them. Now I'm sitting in the Inn trying to work out if I buy some gear and head off to my great adventure, or try and steal from everyone nearby before going shopping...

Will I die before I even leave the keep?

[Edited in the above when changing the OP]

Everyone died to the psycho human bandits north of Nash wherever. No idea what level they are, but the one shot everyone without drama. I guess I have to pay up instead. :( I bet they have good loot too.

I probably should have cleared more monsters and tried to level, but I was afraid all my people would leave as they kept saying I was taking too long. I'd already lost the useless evil bard earlier.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 11:57:29 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #3 on: August 21, 2013, 06:59:23 PM

Further to the above:

Candlekeep: I bought some equipment, bows and arrows and the like, then proceeded to try and pick-pocket a few people. This didn't work at all, and given the mage started warming up I ran very quickly to Gorion and set off for adventure. As we all know Gorian then dies and leaves me stranded. Then Imoen shows up. Fun was had kiting wolves and whatnot around with our bows, running off the map back to Candlekeep to escape from a bear who got too close, and talking to some nut who was staging a pity suicide attempt in the middle of nowhere.

Then we recruited Xzar and Monty, traveled east, recruited Eldoth and killed a few more easy targets (all at range, of course). Eldoth manages to die when I forget to deselect him and he runs into melee range (I had him barding full time). Then I head north to the FAI. Having (oops, metagaming) played up to this point when testing the mods work I knew the assassin before the inn was a bitch to kill - mages, ugh - so I got Monty to sneak up behind him and backstab him to death. More spells for Jyan to learn, having already learned Xzar's ones. Except of course Jyan fails magic missile, the most useful of the lot...

(I should point out here that I've got level 1 NPCs enabled, so I can choose where to put their proficiencies and skills, etc. Monty was given 1H style and long and bastard swords, with hide in shadows. Xzar slings and Eldoth I don't know).

I recruit Jaheira and Khalid. Jaheira has BG2 stats so I get scimitars and sword and shield style, to tank. Khalid gets two handed style and two handed swords. I don't know why I did that? The party heads south to Nashkel try and sort out the whinging of my new group. For some reason I decide not to fully explore the region south of FAI or go into Beregost but head south to the High Hedge.

I kite like crazy killing some stuff, having to run back north once or twice. I kill a few things and meet Kivan. I recruit him (long bow speced) and drop Xzar and Monty, sending them to FAI. I clear out High Hedge, visit the wizard, get a spear for Kivan (I thought spears were useless and didn't put points in them?) which I have to pay to get identified.

I head out south and I get a timer warning from Jaheira, so I go and get Xzar and Monty back and drop Kivan off instead. I kite ghouls and ghast's before running into some (orc?) bandits. I decide not to pay and then spend a very long fight kiting all over the map after blowing all my spells on the ranged ones. Jaheira nearly dies on two occasions, but in the end we succeed and all is ok. By this point all my healing potions have been used up and most of the magic missle wand - both of which I probably spent on things that didn't really require them.

I then run south again, hoping to get to Nashkel quick enough to shut up my party, aiming to come back to explore these areas better afterwards. Again, probably not what I needed to do, as there are four half-ogre's waiting for me as soon as I enter the next area. Thankfully they are slow, so I can kill them with some selective running away, even in the small area visible to me, though there is a touch and go moment where Jaheira needs to heal herself in combat and can't run far enough to do so safely.

So having survived all that I then go south, meet three bandits who ask for my money, say no, and then get squished to death in very short time. Mages eh.

Having done that once my thoughts for the next time are:

Don't go offroad to the west when heading south at the start (except maybe to get Kivan).
Fully explore every area.
Don't let xp sponges who don't do anything join the party.
Don't fail to learn magic missile.
Put more points in ranged weapons. Most aren't meleeing for a while anyhow.
Don't blow all my potions and wand on stuff that doesn't need it.
Spend all my gold and get useful stuff - hoarding won't work here.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 07:06:09 PM by lamaros »
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Error 404: Title not found.

Reply #4 on: August 22, 2013, 10:22:40 AM

Sounds like you made it a good ways in the first effort. Bandits always win at some point.  why so serious?

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Reply #5 on: August 22, 2013, 11:21:50 AM

Second attempt: Pokey the Gnome Thief/Illusionist

19 INT
15 WIS

Massive roll for this one. Skills in short bows and short swords.

Then I died to the first assassin in Candlekeep... I figured I get a redo on that...

No one is dead yet, with the Xzar, Monty, Imoen, Jaheira and Khaled crew. Though I really should just kill Xzar. He is stealing XP and pretty darn useless. Only Imoen has levelled. I would really love to get another level on the fighters at least, so I can start tanking stuff instead of kiting. Even with plate and helmets I'm still just a couple of crits away from disaster. Jaheira has gone close countless times.

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Reply #6 on: August 22, 2013, 06:17:59 PM

I start by robbing everything in the inn. Starting with 70 lockpicking means I can open everything, so I do. After doing all of the keep I have well over 1000 gold.

I leave, pick up Imoen, go back to Candlekeep for an extra 100 gold, get Monty and Xzar and the diamond and head west. I stick to the road and go north. I BS the assassin and pick up Jaheira and Khaled. Khaled gets a point in bows this time, as well as 2H style and 2H swords.

I spend most of my money getting everyone kitted out. J gets plate, which takes her to -1 AC. Sadly her health means she won't get to go toe to toe for a while. Plus she is the only healer. Monty gets to -2 AC if he wears the plate - but he has only 9HP.

We go south and clear the area, getting the +1 ring and the belts. J gets both the goodies, and no one changes gender. The bandits are a tough fight due to their bows, but luckily/unluckily Xzar doesnt get targeted so we all survive. We explore Beregost, getting jumped twice at the inns. First another assassin tries to jump us, but we survive with Monty hitting 1 HP a couple if times and blowing some health potions. Then some local thugs pick a fight with us as we enter another place, and Monty doesn't back down so we have to kill them too. This shits our reputation for some reason, which is annoying.

We clear out the spiders and loot a few houses (no great loot, just gems) before getting bored and heading south to Nashkel. Some flaming fist guys take us for bandits and I say the wrong thing and all three of them fight us. I worry we're toast as they're in plate, but a bit of magic and their inability to hit (my luck with them not rolling many 20s) means they all die much easier than some of the easier looking fights.

Now I have an excess of plate armor which I can barely carry. I head straight south on the road to Nashkel, ignoring all distraction, and reach the town. A group of soldiers grill me and I am very careful to be polite this time. I run into the inn for a break only to meet another assassin. I'm out of spells and when they start casting I think I'm hosed, but thankfully they're just a cleric. The fight is long as they are almost impossible to hit, but so am I and they quickly run out of spells. A very long attrition battle, where Imoen and Pokey run out of arrows and just stand around doing nothing for most of the time, ends with victory.

We rest up then visit the Mayor, who wants us to investigate the mines. I take this to mean 'investigate when ready but first maybe go back north and do all the quests from chapter two'. So I visit the smith (and feel poor) and then we head off to do that.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 06:51:21 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #7 on: August 22, 2013, 11:55:35 PM

So I've been playing on Insane difficulty I just realised. I think I will put it down to core. Mostly because it might mean I can do more melee gameplay and less 'run backwards firing arrows' stuff.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 12:31:17 AM by lamaros »
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Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 09:57:00 AM

If you're always just one failed saving throw away from having to start over, not playing at the highest difficulty seems reasonable.
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Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 08:03:44 PM

I decided to start over because I changed the rules. Also because I didn't enjoy thief/illusionist as much as bard, even though I should as its pretty clearly superior.

Anyhow I rerolled the Blade Jyan. Except this time I got even more of a monster roll.

16 CON
15 CHA

One point in short swords, one in long bows.

I don't have enough money to buy a long bow in Candlekeep so I just get a bunch of arrows instead. Once outside I clear the map with just Imoen. I do this by putting Jyan on his song and running around in a wide circle with the creature behind me while Imoen shoots it. This works pretty well. I go east and kill a few more things in this way, then head back to he Xzar and Monty.

I go over to the bandits and try to set up some traps to lure them into with Xzar, but it doesn't work well enough. The first dies before triggering the group after some good range and Xzar magic. After the leader spots Xzar he chases him for a bit, but gets a killing shot in before Xzar lures him back to the traps or group. I stealth Monty in to where he stands and he goes down quick to a backstab, arrows and a magic missile from the wand. The other two bandits left behind then die easy. I clear the rest of the map and go north to the FAI.

I get the ring from the hobgoblins in the north then try the backstab route again with the assassin. Monty stuffs up and doesn't kill him straight out, but thankfully a prepared wand missile does.

I pick up Jaheira and Khaled, and equip in the usual fashion. Though it makes me broke to do so. Then I rest up and head to the high hedge. I kill everything here petty easily. Kiting with Jaheira while the rest use bows. With her shield and S&S profs Jaheira can only really get hit by crits, and even the skeleton swarms can get enough damage in doing so before she can heal up. I clear the map and go sell loot to the Mage, buying a spell of friends and find familar from him.

I cast from the scroll and now Jyan is carrying around a cat. He has also levelled up twice (not sharing XP for the first map and a half helps with that) and has 34 HP. Sadly his lore is still crap so I haven't identified the belts yet.

I head east to Beregost and the inn, as Monty is whinging about how tired he is. This time I yell at him to shut the f up when he starts picking a fight. This stops the locals having to die, but makes him get a little shirty with me. When I tell him he is an angry little fellow who doesn't listen unless you yell he laughs and agrees. Maybe he's decided to become my devotee now Xzar is dead. (Despite the ability to do so he was not resurrected. His body was left in the yard of the FAI in way of burial.)

Now to Beregost and great thriving riches. Imoen was practicing her lockpicking as she levelled for just this reason.

Jyan level 3 Blade
Imoen level 2 Theif
Monty level 1/1 Fighter/Theif (Long Swords and SWS, Hide in Shadows)
Jaheira level 1/1 Fighter/Druid (Scimitars and S&S)
Khaled level 1 Fighter (2H and Long Bows, 2HS)

Xzar level 1 Nevromancer.

Note I wanted to get Kivan but I may wait and see what level I am after my quests to see if he gets bumped up to his next rank on recruitment)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 08:09:22 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 12:05:11 AM

More adventures have happened. Here is the brief summary - will add detail later.

I went about Beregost getting quests and looting lots of jewels. I then went south to Nashkel, fighting as I did so. I saved Vicona and then left her in the wild to do her thing, though Monty was keen to get her along with us. Monty dueled Sharteel and beat her with some contempt. We told her to wait for us at some random inn, but yeah nah.

Once we'd visited the mayor in Nashkel Jaheira and Monty stopped giving me such a hard time, so we had room to prepare for the mines with some errands. I ran back up to the cloakwood but I'd visited before very early on and I think I buggered up the cloak quest there by killing the bastards who had it and not looting it at the time.

Once I hit level four I picked up Kivan (sadly you don't get his +2 spear if you don't have him when you meet the dude planning the attack on the Wizard) and we traveled south for more fighting. Killing the hobgoblin group of bandits was very easy with the group, so I was emboldened to try and take down the Basselius (sp) too. This was actually a decent fight, which required a bit of finessing, but no one was really in danger of dying.

These yielded some loot so I picked up an identify spell and worked out what it all was. Nothing that really fits with my prefs, though I gave Monty the boots to hide and the short sword +2. I don't know what to do with the warhammer I got, but I'll figure something. I also have a bit of stuff for when/if I dual Imoen or get a mage in the group. And I picked up deafness for Jyan, to try handle spell casters better.

Two more assassins were taken out, neither being much trouble. I killed Silke in Beregost, though Monty went and killed all the other guys too. I got much gold from the temple for the holy symbol. I don't know what to spend it on. A few level ups also happened, so I thought it would be time to go kill the ogres the paladin in Beregost wanted me to. Which also meant killing the human bandits. Monty snuck up and hid behind the spell caster, and then everyone else came into view. We told them to get lost, and when they made to attack we hit the spell caster with everything at once and it went down fast. The other two were then easy. More spells picked up for Jyan and any future spellcaster.

Current group:

Jyan level 4
Jaheira level 2/2
Monty level 2/3
Khaled level 3
Kivan level 3
Imoen level 4



Location: Finishing quests from Beregost before going to the mines.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 08:43:38 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #11 on: August 25, 2013, 09:46:32 PM

[I have to stop playing until 2am - my mind gets a bit scattered and I can't remember the details well - do much well, tbh - the next day. I'll do my best.]

The gang ran around for a while clearing out the half-ogres and other assorted beasts, running too and for inefficiently before finally feeling ready to tackle the mines. Heading over to do so and found out about the crazy guy carving a face into the fall. Ended up saving him from a bounty hunter who'd come to collect some stolen emeralds. Nicked the bounty hunter's stuff, then took the emeralds too after the crazy guy died from exhaustion. Which means we also get to turn in the reward!

Went into the mines in very careful mode with Monty scouting, he found kobolds. He killed a few that were going solo, and then we took on the groups. It was pretty easy going and I thought maybe my group was going to power through, even with the improved SCS parts. Then we got down a level or two, about 100 kobolds down, with Monty having been done by a couple of traps (not being able to stealth while looking for traps blows) and all of a sudden we were out of healing spells and at actual risk. So we had to run out and rest for a bit. Then we got to the bottom, found the cave with the nut cleric in it, and had a very close fight on three fronts. A bit more loot here for everyone to enjoy, and we rescued Xan. But he is just a bit squishy for me and with Jyan casting and Imoen planning to (I dunno when, though) we told him to just run off and enjoy freedom. Though we kept his sword, hoping to sell it...

We rested up and Jyan got another special ability, then ran past the inn and just jumped by yet another assassin. This one was actually a badass, and Imoen nearly died. He has a lot of invisibility potions on him, and we had to wait out his stoneskin before we could actually take him out. Turns out the guy trying to kill me is the same as the guy buggering up the iron - the guy Kivan wants to kill.

[It occurs to me at this point that those who don't know BG1 wouldn't really be able to follow very well so I will try to put more story/RP bits in.

TLDR version to date: orphan living in a library-keep gets told 'we gotta run' by his foster dad, Gorian, who gets killed soon after they leave. It's suggested I go to Jaheira as she's a friend of Gorian's, and on the way I meet Monty and Xzar, who are in the area looking to check out the iron shortage.

Turns out that's also what Jaheira wants to do, so the gang goes south to do so. Noticing at the same time that there are are lot more issues with bandits at the moment, both those we see and those we hear about. Also there are assassin trying to kill me. In the mines it turns out someone is killing miners and buggering up the iron. It's a crazy cleric working for Tazok - who also seems to be the dude running the bandits. Now to figure out what's the deal with that.]

So we decide to head north to Beregost to ask the experts there what they thought about the iron we took from the mine, and the strange concoction they were putting in it. There we're asked to meet with Vai, a flaming fist officer who wants to know what's what with the bandits, and also get jumped by Elminster, who cryptically tells us to head north east to get to the heart of that.

So we head north to the FAI for a little R&R. While we're there it seems Khaled decides he's got his nerve back again after our recent battles, and sneaks off when no one is looking to prove it to himself by battling monsters. Except he picks out Ankhegs to do so, and dies. The group decides to fill his role with the crazy ranger we met in Nashkel, so Kivan runs off and gets him. As soon as they get back Jaheira declares we must head north to test the new guy against the Ankheg's, as he seems unbalanced and we can't trust him yet.

So Minsc smashes up a few Ankhegs (dual wielding his longsowrd and the +2 warhammer), leveling up and shutting up Jaheira in the process. We collect up a few of the shells and take them to Beregost hoping to get them made into a suit of armor (as we'd given the guy there a shell before), but the smith there wants nothing to do with us anymore for some reason. Lame, I would like to give Minsc some decent armor, because the man is a nutcase and will likely die if not well protected, so I'll need to come up with another plan.

Jyan decided to head off to the west for the next stage of the adventure. Jaheira wasn't happy, but her voice in the group has lessened after Khaled's death, and Jyan is back running the show now. And there are bandits everywhere. And Minsc is crazy and now has our best weapons and insists on going that way to free his witch... so it's almost a moot point anyhow...

Current group:

Jyan level 5
Jaheira level 3/3
Monty level 3/4
Minsc level 4
Kivan level 4
Imoen level 5



Hopefully I haven't forgotten much there, I will try and make it more of a coherent narrative now that the group I've got looks like it's not one fight away from death just at the moment.
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Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 08:24:33 PM

Ho Hum:

So the party west west. We cleared out some Xvart village and looted a cave bear's cave. Minsc was smashing stuff for upwards of 30 damage a hit and we were cruising. Even though Jaheira's scimitar had just broken and she had no backup life was still good. Then we left the cave.

A motley group of four - Drakar, Morvin, Halacan, and Molkar - were waiting as we left. They said 'hello, we are here to kill you' and I told them they were making a bit mistake. Needless to say this didn't change their mind. They were prepared and we were cocky and tired from killing stuff already, it was not a good combination and it quickly became clear that we had misjudged them. They were pre-buffed with spells and quickly drank some potions to make them even more deadly.

They opened up on Imoen, taking her to half life in only two hits, and I got a bit scared. I threw potions on to Minsc and Kivan to try and counter them, and got Monty to start chugging the invisible potions he'd been hoarding, but I just couldn't get co-ordinate. Imoen was running for her life, Minsc was bashing uselessly on mirror images, and Jyan was caught out trying to decide if he should cast some spells or spin in with his sword. Monty was whiffing and standing around useless before he got another invis going. Kivan was useful for a moment, but only before they close into melee range. Jaheira was trying to hold the fort and protect as many people as possible, but with only cure light memorised and no weapon she was pretty much useless.

Then they got some spells going. Fatigue got Minsc, and all of a sudden everyone was dead.

[In SCS these guys chase you down and can randomly pop up in any wilderness map. They popped up at pretty much the worst time possible for me. Confined with nowhere to run, half my spells used already and circled all around us. It was not pretty.]

Back to the beginning again.

New lessons for next time:

Carry backup weapons.
Rest if the team isn't in condition to take out a hard fight at any point.
Spend that gold I was hoarding (15k) on top line potions and arrows.
Find something to do with Imoen so she isn't useless in every fight... it is handy having someone to open chests, but traps hasn't been useful so far (because you can't search for them and scout at the same time) so she isn't giving me much. I guess I could duel her early - but even then I'd want to wait until at least level 4 I'd guess. Maybe just better arrows and some potions and wands will help.
Minsc is a badass when duel wielding.
Spend more money on decent crowd control spells / get a decent mage.

Replaying with Jyan again. I like playing as a blade, though I don't think I've worked out the best way to handle the class and skills yet.

I wonder how many times I'll do this before replaying the start bits gets seriously boring. I guess I'll find out!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 08:30:40 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #13 on: August 26, 2013, 08:51:36 PM

I guess one of the mods you're using makes it possible for weapons to break?  Cause that doesn't happen in vanilla BG1.  Looking forward to the next installment - feel free to skip past the first bit and just give us a quick synopsis if writing about it again is painful. :)
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Reply #14 on: August 26, 2013, 09:16:53 PM

I guess one of the mods you're using makes it possible for weapons to break?  Cause that doesn't happen in vanilla BG1.  Looking forward to the next installment - feel free to skip past the first bit and just give us a quick synopsis if writing about it again is painful. :)

From the iron curse. I thought that was a BG1 thing?
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Reply #15 on: August 26, 2013, 09:26:26 PM

Oh you're right!  Geeze it must be time for me to replay it myself.
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Reply #16 on: August 27, 2013, 12:18:29 PM

Dungeons & Dragons Anthology: The Master Collection is on sale right now at Gamer's Gate (if someone wants to get BG 1+2 and some other games)  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly? awesome, for real
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Reply #17 on: August 27, 2013, 06:15:18 PM

J'ya was an orphan. He didn't know his parents, nor anything of them. In body he wore the traits of both humans and elves, but though that allowed for much speculation it provided few answers. Not that it mattered much in Candlekeep; there were many other children in the same boat, and J'ya was easily able to stand among them. His natural ability was profound, being the most gifted athlete in the whole castle, guards and all, and he regularly kept pace with even the most technical and difficult discussions of his tutors. This marked him out as something of a leader among the group of wards, and was something that J'ya took easily in his stride.

Candlekeep itself was less easy to handle, and as he grew the and the castle shrunk J'ya found himself looking at it more as a prison which held him back, rather than a place of safety and learning. This feeling gave rise to unwise and risky behavior, which only worsened over time. But as J'ya pushed for more freedom he found his otherwise amiable foster father, Gorian, pushing back, and it seemed the two would soon come into open conflict over the matter.

Having lived much of his life in Candlekeep J'ya knew little of the outside world. What was told to him, by teachers and the mouldy tomes of the library, often seemed in conflict. A wide and wonderful world supposedly lay out there, though at the same time dangerous and cruel. J'ya was impatient to find the truth of it, to challenge his obvious talents in new lands and experiences, but Gorian was determined to keep him on a tight leash. Even those less capable than J'ya seemed to be entrusted with greater freedom outside the castle walls, and the unfairness grated. Eventually J'ya had decided that there was no option but to run away, and secretly made plans to do so.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 08:25:56 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #18 on: August 27, 2013, 09:52:02 PM

'J... Hey! What are you doing?'
J'ya turned quickly, his hands deftly throwing his pack under a blanket and out of sight in the same movement, his body tense. When he made out the figure in the door he relaxed. It was only Imoen. He turned back to his pack and kept sorting.
'I'm minding my own business in my own room Imoen.'
'It's not your room! You share it with St...'
J'ya rolled his eyes to himself, and turned back around to face the girl. 'What I meant, Imoen, is that it is not your room. Is there something you want? Or are you just sneaking about where you shouldn't be again?'
'Gorian asked me to find you. He needs to speak with you urgently. He's waiting for you at the inner keep door.' Message delivered, she turned away and started walking off down the hall. As she reached the end she called back loudly over her shoulder. 'Oh, and you should probably bring your SECRET RUNNING AWAY PACK with you, you might need it.'

J'ya frowned. Had he been found out? Should he just leave now? Perhaps the timing was a coincidence. Imoen's words and demeanor it make him feel like he was in trouble. Beside, what could Gorian punish him with anyway; he could just sneak out late. And it could be something interesting. He made up his mind, and was walking to the keep with his pack on his back before Imoen's echo had left the hall.

[It occurs to me now that if I kept writing at this pace I'd need an hour to account for every two mins of gameplay. So I won't, just bits here and there.]

The blood was dry now, but still Gorian had not mentioned it. J'ya was concerned. The clumsy attack he'd faced off on his way to meeting Gorian had surprised him, and the rushed exit from Candlekeep was exhilarating and exciting in its novelty, but that fact that Gorian was ignoring the obvious evidence of violence splashed across his clothes was very different. Gorian had noticed, J'ya was sure of that, yet he made no comment and simply kept them moving in a secretive and unstinting pace to the north. Something had him rattled and J'ya could feel it getting to him too. What danger could they be in that even an assassination attempt was not worth discussing?
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Reply #19 on: August 27, 2013, 11:33:48 PM

J'ya shook his head. 'Gorian is dead Imoen.'
'You don't know that for sure, you said you ran when he told you.'
'He was outnumbered four to one, Imoen. The other group was bad news. Gorian knew that, that's why he got me to run.'
'But... lets just go check, you never know J'ya.'
'If he's not dead then he will find me. But if he is dead then the bad guys will be looking for me. I am not going to make it easier by heading back in their direction.'
'Fine. Fine then, we'll go south.'
'Imoen, you're not going anywhere except home. They'll let you back in to Candlekeep, you heard what the guard there said. I'm going on my own.'
'You think you're better than me. No, don't bother talking. You think you're better than me I know. And you are, at most things, anyway. But you're not better at sneaking about and you don't even know how to shoot a bow. So you can stop trying to boss me about. You can walk off south by yourself all you want but I'm just going to follow. So stop with this nonsense. I'm coming along too.'
'Ok fine. Whatever.'
'You're not the only one who thinks Candlekeep is boring. You know.'


Imoen and J'ya head south, into the High Hedge. There they meet Kivan, who J'ya quickly asks to join them. A dangerous archer with a passionate grudge against bandits and skill in killing ogres is just the tonic for being hunted for your life. Even if he WONT SHUT UP about his dead whatsit. I guess someone who is comfortable enough to spend half the day moping while there are creatures around trying to kill you must be pretty sure of themselves, though, and Kivan does mean damage with his bow. Kivan convinces them that the way south is too dangerous for J'ya and Imoen, equipped as they are, and so the party heads back to the north east, following Gorian's original advice.

There they met Montaron and Xzar, two traveling psychos who were keen to join up. Imoen was not comfortable around them, nor was Kivan, but if they weren't going to hide out in the bushes then safety was probably in numbers, so J'ya welcomed them aboard. Kivan spotted a diamond in a tree, which was strange but useful. J'ya had half a mind to leave it where it was, thinking it might be dangerous, but Xzar quickly pointed out that it could be sold for supplies and much needed equipment for the group, which convinced him.


J'ya: 'Where's Monty gone?'
J'ya: 'Xzar?'
Xzar: 'Hmm?'
J'ya: 'Do you know where Montaron has gone? He's not with us anymore.'
Xzar: 'Oh, he'll be about. He often skulks ahead or behind.'
Kivan: 'Scouting is a wise thing to do, even in well traveled roads such as these.'
'Xzar: 'Scouting! Oh indeed. Yes, yes. Not looking for stuff to steal. Scouting.'
Kivan: 'That is less useful. I am not sure we should steal.'
Imoen: 'It's ok to steal if its from bad guys though, isn't it?'
Kivan: 'I do not... wait, something is comin-'
Monty: 'Yaaaaaahhhhhhh!'
Kivan: 'Half-Ogr-'
Imoen: 'It's huge! And it's chasing him.'
Xzar: 'Shut up Monty! Stop playing games.'
J'ya: 'Imoen, get your bow ready. Do as Kivan does. Xza-'
Xzar: 'Yes, yes, I'll kill it. Magic. Yes, yes, I've done this before you know.'
J'ya starts playing music.
Kivan kills the half-ogre.
Monty: 'Ah! Elf-boy! Time to see what the dead oaf has!'
J'ya: 'I think I'll do that Monty, you've had enough fun for one afternoon... Oh, what's this?'
Monty: '"What's this?" They're the reason I lured the oaf over here for you to kill! Magic items!'
J'ya: 'I see. You couldn't just steal them?'
Monty: 'What! And risk losin' me arm? Oh you've got a lot to learn about this caper.'


Monty also managed to 'find' a magic ring. Harmlessly left in a rock, he says. J'ya takes possession of all the items and keeps the group going north, to the inn. On the doorstep of the in they are confronted by a mage assassin, but he proves to be little trouble. And J'ya impales him on his short sword shortly after Kivan interrupts his casting. The group goes inside the in and takes a room for the night.
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Reply #20 on: August 28, 2013, 01:36:43 AM

Once Imoen is asleep J'ya gets the rest of the group together and tells them that the plan is to leave her at the inn, where it will be safe, and then meet up with Jaheira and Khaled and head south again. No one really complains, as Imoen is kind of annoying. They load up on supplies and then head from the inn, only to hear reports of hobgoblins to the north who have stolen some nice jewelery. Monty starts sneaking off in that direction without saying anything, and the rest of the group hurries to catch up. They find the goblins in question and make short work of them, but once again J'ya takes the loot before Monty can, and gets the group back on track to the south. The head west and plan to go offroad, but after a tough battle (that nets a magically cloak) they decide to go back to main road instead and chance the bandits.

They head south as fast as possible but still manage to get into several fights. One with a group of flaming fist mercenaries who are so paranoid about bandits that they start attacking the group just because money is leering at their shiny armor. Khaled and Jaheira take turns facing off while the rest of the group stands back and shoots at them (or in J'ya's case, plays some music). The mercs go down and their equipment is distributed throughout the group.

Once we hit Nashkel Jaheira makes a beeline for the mayor, who doesn't say much about anything other than the mines being haunted or whatever. Everyone is suitably let down by his ability to inform, and the urgency of the problem. After some board discussions Jaheira and Khaled decide to go back north to the inn and try and find some information there. Kivan has been getting worried about what stupid things Imoen might have been doing once she found we were gone, so he goes with them. Monty and Xzar decide to stick with J'ya, not trusting him with 'their share' of the party's spoils so far, and will poke about Nashkel for more info.

Jyan then ditches them at the first opportunity, partly out of fear they're going to kill him for the loot and make off, and partly because Nashkel is very very boring indeed. He makes north for Beregost, and decides to explore the town solo. In doing so he manages to help a few of the locals out. One woman was looking for information from her husband, and J'ya had looted a letter from him from a beastie when with the group. One was complaining about losing his magic cloak, and when J'ya spun around wearing it in return the guy freaked out, said 'keep it' and ran. Some exploring also ran J'ya into one of the dusty old wizards from Candlekeep, who must have had dementia setting in as he got J'ya to run a boring errand for him and gave him and even more boring reward. Finally exhausted J'ya went to the tavern, where some locals tried to pick a fight and it took all of his charisma and intelligence to talk him down.

This shook J'ya up a little, as he doubt the would have won the fight by himself, so the very next morning he went back north, to catch up with his more trustworthy companions. Much to his surprise they were all at the inn. Even Imoen. There was a bit of trouble with Monty and Xzar though, which couldn't really been sorted out. They didn't seem to think the ring of Wizadry and plate mail they'd received was a sufficient share. That pissed Jaheira right off, and she started yelling about how the ring was worth more then their sorry lives, that they were even more greedy and useless than usual for Zhentarium, and that they were lucky she hadn't already killed Monty half a dozen times already for all the stupid 'fun' he'd had on their trip south.


Khaled: 'I think t-this would be a g-good time for y-you to... g-go.'
Kivan: 'I agree J'ya. Xzar and Montaron cannot be trusted, and they are distracted at the moment.'
Imoen: 'Jaheira is doing this on purpose? Making a scene so we can escape?'
Khaled: 'O-on purpose? n-n-no... '
Kivan: 'Nonetheless, this is as good an opportunity as we will have.'
J'ya: 'You don't need to tell me twice. Imoen, you're coming too this time.'
Imoen: 'Of course I am. I don't need you permission, and there's no way you'll ever pull that trick on me again J'ya.'
J'ya: 'No, I'll use a new trick next time.'
Imoen: 'Yea-'
Jya: 'Anyway, let's go. Farewell Khaled, perhaps we will meet again.'


The group went south again, with no real plan of action. Kivan decided to head via the high hedge, as he believed the wizard there might remember him and have some good advice or knowledge. J'ya felt a bit more experienced after his solo adventures and also thought this was a good idea, as it would give him a chance to try and pick up on a bit of magic, which he had been practicing. Imoen was just happy to be out of the inn again, and was uncharacteristically quiet. The wizard wasn't a letdown, despite being a massive grump. He gave Kivan an enchanted spear, bought up our excess equipment, and had a few simple magic scrolls for sale that J'ya could learn from.

Kivan and Imoen were pretty happy with the setup they had going for combat - J'ya running around playing music and taking the focus of their enemies while they took potshots with their bows - but he was not as confident. Remembering the tall warrior they'd seen in Nashkel he thought perhaps it would be best to head back in that direction and try and engage his services. The roads were much safer this time around, so they soon got their soon, and were happy to find the warrior - who was actually a ranger named Minsc - was happy to join them on the condition that they helped him out with a personal matter. When they agreed to do so Minsc simply started walking west, shouting 'Beware Evil!' and 'Onwards!'

This was a little disconcerting, if also entertaining. It became even more entertaining when Minsc inexplicably tripped over in the middle of an empty field and landed on his face. Turns out someone had buried some armor there, which was very handy indeed. Minsc took it as a sign for his 'quest' and immediately changed into it. Then the whole group went west, all the way to the Gnoll stronghold.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 02:19:48 AM by lamaros »
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Reply #21 on: August 28, 2013, 01:57:05 AM

I like this new style of reporting  awesome, for real
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Reply #22 on: August 28, 2013, 06:38:39 PM

I like this new style of reporting  awesome, for real

I'm not sure how to take that! Anyhow:


Minsc: I will fight the big one! Leave the little one for Boo!
J'ya: Ah-
Imoen: Um-
Kivan: They are both the same size Minsc.
J'ya: And Boo is a rode... nevermind, he's off. Kivan, Imoen, take the 'little' one, whichever that turns out to be.
Minsc closes in on the half-ogres and kills the first with a massive swing of his sword.
Imoen: Oh! That was impressive!
J'ya: Gawk later Imoen! It won't seem quite so impressive if the other one manages to kill him.
Imoen: Kivan has already done that! He's a much better archer than I am. I'm pretty usele-
Kivan: That is your arrow in its side there Imoen, you shoot well.
Imoen: Oh it is! Well that makes me feel better!
J'ya: Good, now let-
Imoen: Besides, I suppose I'm not just standing around giving order and singing songs, unlike some of us, hey J'ya?
J'ya: Sorry Imoen, were you saying something? I was too busy working out what all this magic loot is? Did you want to help me with that? Oh wait, you don't know how to!
Imoen: There's a difference between making a joke and being a jerk, J'ya.
J'ya: Hmm... oh, gauntlets of dexterity. Maybe you can wear these Minsc, so you're less likely to die with those, err, brave charges of yours.
Minsc: I will be unstoppable!
Kivan: Actually Minsc...
Minsc: Yes, my fellow ranger!
Kiven: Nevermind.
Imoen: And? Anything else?
J'ya: Hmm, let me see. No, I'm afraid there isn't anything here designed specifically for juvenile tag-a-longs.
Imoen: ...
J'ya: You can close your mouth Imoen, it's just a joke.
Imoen: ...
J'ya: Anyone for a song?


After this demonstration of expertise it was no surprise that the rest of the gnoll stronghold was a breeze. Minsc's witch was rescued without much trouble, and the group set off to the north east again. In an ironic twist Dynaheir died in the second battle after her rescue. A poisoned arrow caught her, and though she quickly slowed it it left her very weak. Another stray arrow caught up with her just as the battle was ending, and she fell down in a heap. There were a lot of recriminations going around as to where the blame lay, but most of the rage was on Minsc's side, and given that it was he who was carrying all the health potions at the time of her death even he calmed down eventually. It was decided that the group would go and see if it could get Khaled and Jaheira to join the cause again, though. So they fought their way back up to the inn once more.

On the way there they managed to kill some hobgolins who had a nice pair of stealth boots. When they were given to Minsc Imoen whinged once more, but when given the opportunity to take the boots herself - on the condition that she scout alone ahead of the party - she quickly quietened down. Once thy reached the inn Minsc actually loaned the boots to Kivan, so he could sneak in and check out the situation. Jaheira and Khaled were still there, as were Monty and Xzar, but Kivan was able to get a message to Jaheira for them to meet north of the city without alerting the other two.

Jaheira was very jealous of all the new items Minsc was wearing and insisted that they look for Ankhegs to kill - which she swore she could detect in the area - so they could make her and Khaled fancy armor too. Strangely it was Minsc who warned the group how dangerous that might be. I guess death of someone important to you can sober even the most unstable mind. But the group did it anyway. Jaheira, you know.

It went swimmingly. Minsc was bashing stuff up, Kivan and Imoen were throwing out arrows as they please, and Jaheira, Khaled and J'ya had a little party while they waited. Eventually the group had killed enough Ankhegs to satisfy even the most demanding armorer, and picked up a handy piece of chainmail, a wand, and a dagger. The group also found the dead body of a young man, who turned out to be the farmer's son. That was a little upsetting.

Now the group had the shells they needed to get the armor made, which meant they needed to a couple of things to get done. First, to get rich enough to afford it. Second, to find an armorer who could do it. The rich part offers a possible soon after, as a visit to the temple near Beregost revealed there was a 5000 gold reward for killing some nut cleric to the west. A careful scouting of the area showed up a group of hobgoblin thugs, who seemed bizzarely bold given they were outnumbered 2 to 1. So it proved, with even the running of the archers and the addition of a ghast and ghoul to the fight not slowing the group down.

Emboldened by this victory, and the loot from the fight (still nothing for Imoen), the group made plans to kill the Bassilus. He had a lot of zombies with him, which was worrying, but Jaheira seemed convinced that they would die in the battle of their own accord if we could sufficiently distract the cleric. 'Distracting' seemed to mean yelling at him about being his mother and then running away into a prepared battle area. It sort of worked. All the zombies died, and the Bassilus did charge in after the group. But he was buff and nasty, and it was left to Imoen and some well timed magic from J'ya to interrupt his spells and give the group enough time to take him out. Then he was still alive, and it got so desperate that Khaled ran into melee range, along with J'ya spinning in. (Despite this the majority of the damage was still from the rangers.)

[It was a close thing, with Imoen and Kivan nearly dying, and the majority of the group's minor health potions used. Minsc used an oil of speed and J'ya running in with a spin to bash at the desperate end. I would NOT do this again with any characters who weren't level 2 at the least - Jaheira and Khaled and possibly Imoen were still level 1 here IIRC - and preferably 3 or more. If I'd gotten unlucky with who he hit or crit someone could have died. I don't know if I was just lucky in previous runs, or I had higher level NPCs with me. But: Bassilus CASTS SIXTH LEVEL SPELLS in SCS. As you will see...]


Kivan: That was... difficult.
Jaheira: It is wrong that such evil men can amass such power.
Khaleid: Y-yes my dear. T-hankfully you have s-slain him.
Imoen: We all did so well! We make such a good team!
J'ya: Hmm, warhammer. Minsc, you have any use for this?
Minsc: Fear me Evil! Now I shall smite you from both hands!
J'ya: Nothing else. I'm going to see if there's anything stashed with the dead zombies.
Imoen: I'm not sure you should-
J'ya wanders off.
Imoen: -be exploring alone.
Kivan: Do not worry about him Imoen, he is stronger than you think.
Jaheira: One can be strong and still foolish.
Khaled: You are w-wise, m-my wif-
Imoen: Wha-
J'ya: ARGH!
J'ya runs in to view, something is following him.

Kivan: That is-
Jaheira: An Aerial servan-
J'ya: Run!
Kivan: Sound advice.
Minsc: Never! I will smite Evi-
J'ya steals Boo as he runs past.
Minsc: Why you-
J'ya: Time to run, Minsc!

[Aerial servant came out of nowhere after the fight and hit J'ya for 24 damage in one hit. I didn't want to risk anything so everyone bolted.]
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 12:44:58 AM by lamaros »
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Reply #23 on: August 29, 2013, 01:06:32 AM

After the close call with the Bassilus the party was much more conservative. It went to get its reward and queued up the armor, then explored south to the woods, killing some wolves and misguided adventurers. Some loot was gained and shared pretty liberally around, until only Khaled was left with standard gear. Silke did a lifelike impression of a corpse. Teyngan and his gang also died. Vax and Zal played knife games with the wrong crowd, while Sendai of Amn's joke about hunting humans only resulted in Minsc removing her head. Krumm and Caldo donated a girdle of bluntness, after stupidly valuing their own lives ahead of a tree.

Finally the group went to the mines, only to get distracted by some business about a face being carved into a rock. Some bounty hunter turned up trying to stop the party, but J'ya was a strong patron of the arts (a blade is still a bard, after all) and Greywolf (a self-chosen name if ever there was one) quickly met his match. He had some nice gear, but no one wanted it - even Imoen, which was a massive surprise - so J'ya just stored it away.

At this point Jaheira mentioned going into the mines, as it was her 'duty'. No one else really wanted to go down in the dark and do even more fighting just then though, even Khaled (though he didn't say a word), so when J'ya suggested popping back to Beregost to see if the armor was made instead everyone quickly agreed that it was the safest and most sensible thing to do. So that is what they did.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 06:55:21 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #24 on: August 29, 2013, 01:03:56 PM

I like this new style of reporting  awesome, for real

I'm not sure how to take that! Anyhow:

It's been enough to make me download the Dungeons&Dragons Anthology once again (now I just have to actually start to play it...)   why so serious?
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Reply #25 on: August 29, 2013, 07:42:39 PM

I like this new style of reporting  awesome, for real

I'm not sure how to take that! Anyhow:

It's been enough to make me download the Dungeons&Dragons Anthology once again (now I just have to actually start to play it...)   why so serious?

TBH it's still incredibly playable. Much more so that PS:T in my view. Especially with the quality mods. Hell, maybe even ToB will be playable without wanting to gouge my eyes out now...

Not having an internet connection at home yet makes it difficult to give this account more colour and accuracy, but I will press on.


The group went north via the inn, where they had to deal with yet another assassination attempt. They sorted out pretty much everything south of the Lighthouse and west of Nashkel (rescuing the cursed captain Brage, and not stealing the idol from the dig site), then went and cleared out the High Hedge for good measure. A visit to the wizard yielded a lot of potions and quite a few spells for J'ya to learn, the rest of the party being surprised to learn how skilled he had become on the sly. They picked up their armor in Beregost, got a nice shield from a paladin at an inn when they recounted the killing of the half-ogres, and gave an ungrateful sod at another inn back his sword as well. After foiling yet another assassination attempt. They then visited the carnival and bought some more potions and killed an insane mage.

Finally they went north, back to the Ankheg farms, where they got caught up in a dispute between some fishermen and a priestess of the sea. Turns out the fishermen tried to use the group, which didn't amuse J'ya at all, so he killed them all. The priestess gave them scant reward for the act but promised something in the future. Khalid said that he supposed that was a reason to go on living, which shocked them all as they had not realised his nerves were that shot. After a small discussion Jaheira declared that he was fine to keep adventuring, but Imoen and J'ya were not sure. J'ya decided to prepare for a future without the couple, wondering if Monty and Xzar might have calmed down yet...

The group went about killing some more ankhegs in the area, at the behest of some local nut. When there were none left and the group made to leave said nut started yelling something about 'giving up the fight'. If only Monty was around to sort that out... Next stop for the group is a lighthouse along the west coast that they saw in the distance when killing gibberlings a few days back. Apart from Jaheira no one really wants to go to the mines at all. Besides, maybe the 'sea air' will do Khalid some good.


« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 07:46:34 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #26 on: August 29, 2013, 08:00:48 PM

Metagaming planning:

At this point things are going pretty well. The group is the most powerful I've had yet, and I expect I can get a few more levels without too much trouble. The real problems now are:

1: Am I strong enough to take the assassins that will hunt me after I clear the mines.
2: I've played up to my meta-knowledge, and the unknown from here could be very risky. (This is why I didn't touch the idol - I have no idea what that does).
3: Other special groups of enemies I don't know about.

The plan is to clear the lighthouse and the area north of that, and hopefully get some equipment of note and a couple more levels. Once Imoen hits level 6 I think I'll be dual classing her to mage (undecided on this - the other option is to do so at level 9, then just drop her from the group until BG2). If I do dual her I'll probably change the party, and take Mage Imoen and Minsc, and try and kill winter wolves and ankhegs to level her up. Or bring Monty along and do him also.

Now that I'm entering the unknown again it would be very nice to have someone who can stealth and backstab with some effectiveness, so Monty would be good. I have a +2 longsword waiting for him, and he could take Khalid's ankheg plate. Though that would mean taking Xzar. I'm not a big fan of deliberately killing off NPCs (Dynaheir actually died, I didn't do it on purpose - well, apart from not wasting a potion on her), and he is quite weak though. Also I'm at 20 rep, so maybe they won't even join up again.

I guess I will just roll on though. The assassin's might not be so bad if I'm prepared for it this time, and there's always a heap or other NPCs to join if a few do die (and join at higher level now that J'ya is up there).

Also: I'm wondering if I should take this as a save point - and play from here when I do die next. I know it's not what I'd planned to do, but I feel that I could probably play to here again without deaths pretty easily now (Bassilus being done later, though). Then again, playing from the start gives me the chance to take different group members and play it a different way.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 09:14:42 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #27 on: August 31, 2013, 06:47:33 PM

[Totally phoning this in.]

Imoen: I think I see the lighthouse! We must be close now.
Jaheira: You are right, child. J'ya, I must warn you that there are often sirines in this are. With their ability to charm humans they can be very dangerous. If we do not have a way to deal with their magic it could be the end of us.
J'ya: We made a plan to travel here two days ago and you decide to tell us this now? Really? What the fuck?


So yeah. Minsc and Jaheira warn me about these charming whatevers. The group runs back to high hedge and finds nothing to deal with it. J'ya has some potions of freedom, but the description doesn't make it clear if it does anything. So a new plan is hatched: Minsc goes nuts solo with berserk on.

It works incredibly well. In fact at this point Minsc is powerful enough to solo nearly everything should he need to, and he explodes this map. All the sirines die, and he takes out the flesh golems too. The loot isn't much, but the experience is good. J'ya gets another stat boosting book, everyone else misses out.

Then the group goes back to the inn, again. Jaheira and Khalid are ditched. Monty and Xzar are picked up. J'ya decides that Xzar and Monty need a little training, so they head out north with him and Minsc, leaving Imoen and Kivan behind for the moment. Minsc then solos about 15 Ankhegs with Xzar throwing stones just for fun, while J'ya and Monty watch from a very safe distance. Xzar gets unlucky and dies (oh dear), while Monty levels up to 3/3.

Imoen and Kivan rejoin the group, and they head west of High Hedge.


Then the games decides to be complete BS and I get game over from talking to some nereid. I know it's against my rules here but fuck that. Put something in there that just flat out kills me with no way to escape? Get lost. I have since discovered that the idea is you get a party member killed, who then gets risen to life again, and then you kill something else for decent loot. It is a crappy design mechanic I think and it ruins my playthrough altogether so I'm just pretending it didn't happen. Sue me. I'm not sitting through the first part of the game again just because of this. So instead...


The group encounters a nereid which they for some reason bug out about and kill from a distance. [No helm of defence for me, stupid game.]

Blah blah blah. Minsc kills everything in the area. The group helps out with some strange sea elf dispute and gets some loot as a result. Most importantly a boomerang dagger, that Monty just loves.

The group then heads to Beregost. Monty is not happy about how well regarded the group is, so J'ya decides to go theiving with him to calm him down. J'ya steals a cloak from a fat dude in the inn (with Monty waiting in the shadows with his sword drawn should it go wrong). It doesn't go wrong, so this isn't enough for Monty. Monty returns the stealth boots he's taken from Minsc to their owner in another inn, then kills him to get them back. Everyone is pretty dismayed about this apart from J'ya.

They head south to the carnival where some idiot tries to sell them a scroll to make a statue come alive for 500 gold. J'ya pleads poor and then steals it from him. Monty is a bad influence it seems. When you're not good people don't give you discounts and you need to find other ways to save money. The stone woman becomes a real woman who they get to join up with them. Branwen is her name.

Monty starts pushing to go to Nashkel and work out the mine situation. I guess he thinks he'll get all the credit for it seeing how Xzar is dead and Jaheira and Khalid aren't around. With nothing else to do on the west coast J'ya agrees.


« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 06:52:08 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #28 on: September 01, 2013, 09:36:51 PM

Well, justice prevailed in the end. Curiosity killed the cat, etc.

The mines were a doddle, the next map was a doddle. Then the group visited the firewine bridge area. Killed some sword yahoo for some nice gauntlets. Then ran into a crazy lady with a jar. She wouldn't give them the jar and died by calling for the nut that was torturing her.

Karhk the Greatest Ogre Mage appeared. I don't know what level he is, but it's toooooo high (pre-casts about 15 spells). I should have run away, but I didn't. Everyone died.


So I'm just going to continue playing minimum reload from here. With SCS it is just too hard without metaknowledge.
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Reply #29 on: September 01, 2013, 10:04:34 PM

So I'm just going to continue playing minimum reload from here. With SCS it is just too hard without metaknowledge.
Really I would just uninstall SCS. It sounds fun on paper, but mages just ruin everything. It really is for people super into BG and would make a no reload run (as we've seen) a trail of tears. This has been a fun read, keep at it!
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Reply #30 on: September 02, 2013, 02:31:07 AM

It's mostly just the mages. I enjoy the improved AI a fair amount, and it makes the game a little more challenging in a fun way (unlike putting it to insane - which just makes you play very conservatively), but it doesn't seem to offer much hope when fighting mages.

I have a cleric and a blade in my party, so I'm not magic heavy, and it seems the options to deal with mages aren't something I've worked out yet. Maybe I need to be packing different spells (no remove invis to now is probably really dumb), or spending a lot more on magic potions (immune to level 5 spells down). Or maybe I just need a full on mage in the group. I dunno. As it is I've not got my head around it enough to make it seem less like any magic user is a huge wall.

I will continue on though, if only because I want to actually finish BG1 (which I'd not played before this) before I go back and start replaying the same early game stuff over again.
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The World's Worst Game: Curry or Covid

Reply #31 on: September 02, 2013, 05:52:48 AM

For whatever reason, I end up going magic-heavy - not because I like magic, so much as I want lots of options available.

BG1 party:

Main Character Paladin
Imoen (pure thief)

I'm still not even sure how this party made it through with only a single mage - doesn't make for many fireballs.


Main Character Cavalier
Imoen (as a thief/mage)
Nalia (mage)
Aerie (Cleric/Mage)

Yes, that's essentially 3 mages. Their job was to always have haste on-hand, and plenty of stupid anti-mage spells such as Breach. Though one interesting thing I found is that with the +5 Carsomyr and haste (and whatever weapons Jahiera/Minsk had), I could sometimes glitch through magic defenses with all sorts of silly dispel-on-hit effects.

And for reference, IWD:


That makes for 2.5 mages (depending on how you count bards), 2 decent front-line fighters (though even the cleric can wade in when her armor and attack buffs), 2 clerics, a thief to handle thief shit, and a bard for picking pockets and handling conversations. I know some people like to go with smaller parties, but then you don't get to use as many different abilities and such.

Fear the Backstab!
"Plato said the virtuous man is at all times ready for a grammar snake attack." - we are lesion
"Hell is other people." -Sartre
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Reply #32 on: September 02, 2013, 06:11:52 PM

Divine casters help too, you have two. I have Branwen (whose romance added in the npc project is horribly written, btw) and J'ya, who can cast a single level 3 spell.

Karhk goes with two fireshields, protection from magic weapons, stoneskin, mirror image, and improved invis, just to start. Dispel just doesn't get him due to the level difference and the AI is smart enough to hit any caster that tries to cast dispel invis when they get close enough to do so. (I went back and tried him a few times for curiosity.)


On with the real journey. The group clears half the firewine ruins, up to the skeleton with the ancient armor, then gets pissed off about all the kobolds and turns back for home. They head over to ulcaster, where they get jumped after resting near the ruins by a group of assassins. With forethought the fight goes much better this time, Branwen hold one of the enemies off, J'ya charms another, and the group mops up without much trouble.

An undead creature jumps the group as soon as they start exploring again and just as they're about to kill it it calls on its god for help and regenerates. It starts spewing lighting down from the sky, which is assumed to be the godly influence, and the group has to run about and drink potions a bit in order to not die. They succeed.

Then the group goes into the ulcaster ruins themselves. They keep an eye out for a book that a roaming ghost wants, and finds it in a trash pile near a vampire wolf. Minsc and Imoen mostly clear the ruins themselves, one fighting and one looking for traps, but the rest of the team comes in to help for the wolf.

Then the group travels to gullykin where they find a halfling village. Monty nearly gets in a fight with the boss of the winery/temple, but calms down when he thinks he's risking his chances of a drink. This is good, as there is an entrance to the firewine ruins in there and the group decides to have another shot at it.

This is easy for the most part, until Monty discovers two mages (one ogre mage) wandering about. The party tries to kill one when it comes in to range, but it wanders off before the can do any damage. Monty sits about watching them, looking for an edge, while J'ya gets the bright idea to use his wand of monster summoning. This nets a few ogres, who are sent in. They do better than expected in the fight, killing a few of the weaker supporting monsters in the area and drawing fire from the mages, so the strategy is repeated. Monty watches on silently and guides them, while everyone else stays back in a defensive position. Eventually this wears away at the ogre-mage who dies to an ogre with a curse on his lips, never having been ale to detecting with his spells (assuredly due to the cloak of non-detection).

The other mage is more difficult, having wandered off to another position in the ruins, but eventually a similar fate is dealt to him also. This done the group gathers up all the loot and leaves through an exit discovered in the area. This leads to one of the halfling houses, where the group is confronted by the angry - and suicidal - owner. Obviously stupid enough to conspire with kobolds, this little fellow can't recognise death looking him in the eye and attacks the group. He is easily handled.

Keen for more fun the group heads north, to what proves to be basilisk country. Monty and Minsc have a field day here, scouting and killing in turn with the aid of mirrored potions and protection from petrifaction (via J'ya) keeping Minsc fighting fit. On the west of the area the group comes across a friendly ghoul who promises to help them, only to turn on the party having barely taken a step. Stupid ghoul. Having cleared out the bottom of the map the group heads to the middle, where they come across a group of adventurers. Who try to pick a fight.

Umm, what? Don't pick fights with people bigger than you guys - did you mothers never tell you this?

Monty has a longsword and is hiding in the shadows behind you. Kivan has arrows of biting (which he saves for the especially dangerous) and rarely misses. Minsc is a nutcase with a warhammer in his offhand that does more damage than any of your weapons. J'ya also has two swords, blade spins, magic, and Algernon's cloak of OH THIS IS EASY! (Really, maybe I shouldn't use this). Branwen has a bevy of spells she never never casts as they're not needed, and Imoen... is kind useless (though she does have a wand of magic missiles!). Why would you pick a fight with this group? How were they even smart enough to make it this far in basilisk territory?

The silly adventurers all die. Then Kivan gets upset with everyone else for not sucking up their insults and avoiding the fight. Everyone gives him the blank stare, apart from Monty who starts calling him names non-stop until Kivan gets angry and concedes the point.

Monty keeps exploring and finds a dodgy looking mage wandering around with some basilisks in tow. He gets Minsc to come up into a ready position and then drives his sword into the mage's back. It's fatal, and Monty laughs with glee as he runs past Minsc with the basilisks on his tale. Minsc deals with the Basilisks while Monty gives Kivan more crap, asking his if it was ok that he killed the mage who was wandering around with basilisks in a statue garden of humanoid creatures, or if he should have walked up to him calmly and asked to be donated to the gallery. J'ya has to step in and tell Monty to stop being... himself. Monty has all the invisibility potions, and it's unlikely that Kivan would win any fight between the two. And Kivan is useful.


« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 06:43:07 PM by lamaros »
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Reply #33 on: September 03, 2013, 09:58:06 PM

The group went north into a land of ettercaps and spiders. This involved a careful survey on the part of the group, and again Monty was useful sneaking up ahead. Once he had discovered an enemy he would call in Kivan, who would fire off a shot and then retreat past Minsc to the group. Monty would fall in behind and backstab any stragglers. This generally worked well, apart from one large fight where a whole bunch of spiders descended at once. J'ya was forced to break out the monster summoning wand again, taking it very low on charges. Branwen actually had to run about and cure poison and heal but everyone made it through.

Then Monty found a group of mages in the middle of the map. Four of them, in fact. Even he wasn't stupid enough to try all of them, so the group had to come up with a strategy. In the end the best plan was decided as Monty getting in to position for stabbin', Kivan leading with some arrows of biting, Branwen dispelling, Imoen using her wand of magic missle and arrowing, and Minsc just going all out on the weaklings. J'ya got ready to cast magic instead of fight and aimed a magic missile.

It sort of worked. Kivan didn't get a shot away before the enemy mages saw him and raised their defence, Monty didn't manage to get in a stab that did much as a result, and hardly anything was dispelled by Branwen apart from Minsc's buffs. However all was not lost, as Kivan did manage to get a biting in on one mage (I think, it was very hard to follow everything) and Minsc and Imoen hammered her so she was soon dead. Monty went invis again after his failed BS and then chased around another one with Kivan, while J'ya threw down the last of his summoned monsters to keep another mage busy. Minsc chased the other one down, while Monty failed a BS and then came in with his throwing dagger. J'ya pitched in with more magic missiles and probably even tried a dispel magic at one point. Branwen went about healing and so forth, and ferrying potions about.

The enemy mages fought hard, summoning mosters, using potions, and casting spells, but they were gradually outworked. In the end it came down to Minsc chasing the last mage down while Kivan shot from a distance. J'ya supervised in case things got hairy, while Imoen and Monty hid at the back, half dead. Finally the mage went down, and the group looted at will. They then had a trip to Beregost to sell their goods and rest up.


It was a fun fight. I'm glad I cleared the map of ettercaps and spiders beforehand as there was a lot of running around and running away, on both sides. I still don't know the spells well enough to know exactly what was happening at every point, but as I couldn't do much about it it didn't really matter. I just used what I had. Unfortunately that meant that I depleted the wand of monster summoning, which was very useful, and I will need to find a new one somehow.

Next up is the bandit areas, AKA: actually following the storyline.
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Reply #34 on: September 04, 2013, 01:55:07 AM

There wasn't much left alive in Larswood after the party had blown through. Druids in the north lay dead surrounded by the corpses of their bears. Even Kivan had bloodthirsty when the shadow druid treachery was shown up. No mercy was granted the groups of bandits found there, whom were attacked before they had a chance to cry out.

Peldvale was an oasis in comparison, the group walking silently through the trees until Monty discovered yet another bandit group ahead. This time J'ya decided to gather information, and went to talk. There was no knowing how many more there may be, and it never hurt to know what you were up against. The bandit's group leader was easy to convince, and under the guise of being recruited the group was led north into the bandit camp proper...


J'ya: Kivan.
Kivan: Yes J'ya?
J'ya: What the fuck was that.
Kivan: I aven-
J'ya: Not a question Kivan.
Kivan: I-
J'ya: Are you in charge of this group Kivan?
Kivan: ...
J'ya: Monty, is Kivan in charge of this group?
Monty: Ha!
J'ya: Indeed. Now Kivan, do you remember when we discussed infiltrating the bandit operation?
Kivan: I-
J'ya: And do you remember that we decided that was what we would do?
Kivan: I-
J'ya: At any point in those discussions was it decided that we would leave it to you to decide when we would break our cover?
Kivan: I-
J'ya: And at any point was it decided that your revenge would take precedence over the safety of the entire group?
Kivan: I-
J'ya: I beleive the word you are looking for is 'no', Kivan. Can you say that?
Kivan: No-
J'ya: Ah, indeed. Why then, can you tell me, did you decide to break our cover and challenge the bandit leader at the very point it happened they were most alert, most suspicious, and most strongly gathered!
Kivan: I-
J'ya: This group has not gathered together solely for your petty revenge! What the fuck is wrong with you?!
Kivan: I-
J'ya: If you ever pull any shit like this again you will be out of the group, and I do not mean you will be asked to leave. Do you understand?
Kivan: I-
J'ya: I don't care, Kivan. You will be judged on your actions from here, not your words.
Kivan: I... what would you have me do, J'ya.
J'ya: Well, it happens that there is a camp of bandits north of us that wants us dead. That camp happens to hold information that I would strongly desire to have. I would suggest you get yourself ready to follow orders and kill a lot of bandits.

J'ya: That goes for the rest of you also. Get yourselves ready. Tazok may be dead but we have not yet gotten what we came for...


So yeah. Kivan. What the heck? The group infiltrates, they get challenged by Tazok. J'ya talks him into letting them join the group. Tazok makes a big huff and is about to wander off and let them have the run of the place when Kivan starts shouting his pathetic 'revenge' and gives away the secret. Which makes every bandit in sight go hostile, Tazok included, and makes them start calling in the rest of the bandits in the camp off screen. This is not good, and despite the group taking out Tazok and the first couple of guys the group has to run for it pretty smart.


The group healed up, prepared, and went back to finish the job. As soon as they entered the camp again a bandit was on hand to call the alarm. They died but it was too late. Monty went scouting and watched as the first few responded to the alarm. They went down quickly but were swiftly followed by the main camp. The fight got nasty, with J'ya doing nothing but throwing fireballs with his wand, while Kivan used his arrows of biting on any named enemy and Imoen and Monty picked off the half dead who came into range from a distance. Branwen was casting hold and slow poison and heal and dispel, while Minsc tanked those bandits that broke through and bashed as best he could. J'ya was forced to run in and heal Minsc on occasion, he ran out of fireballs with the wand, everyone got thrown potions and had moments where they had to run and heal.

Fleeing again was probably the smart choice, but the group was not prepared to lose out on all the loot from the corpses, and so fought down to the very end, where they were successful. Exhausted, depleted in health, but victorious. A well deserved break was had, before the group moved towards to the campsite buildings and see what was left for them to find.


It was an epic fight, easily the greatest I've ever had in a RPG. It would have been impossible without the wand of fireballs, for sure, and even then it was a near thing. Luckily the precision attacks against the named enemies worked well enough to stop the damage they could put out, and the wand and ranged fire was enough to take out the very many bandit archers and lackeys. Looting was a nightmare, and I had to check every corpse three times before I was convinced I hadn't missed any.
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