Maybe you can learn something about attention to detail, and the effort involved in doing things well. Philosophy/thinking/reason is a lot harder than this game. If you aren't trying a hell of a lot harder at life than I try when merely playing Baldur's Gate 2, you're doing it wrong.
made new CN HU cleric, edited stats for bg1 93+tomes and edited dreams (2 CLW, 2 Horror, 2 Holy Might). plan to dual mage at 11, and do all the early game things to get xp for that and to see them.
goal: core rules (max hp main char only), minimal reloads, minimal resurrection (including stone to flesh), minimal rests in unreasonable places. reloads allowed for testing a few minor things, like where a companion goes if i dismiss him.
blind play through, avoiding google: played ~20%(?) of the game years ago forget tons, practiced through intro to Coronet once, read companions guide and some character build info. After playing through some quests I remembered what I did before better (not in order): Irenicus dungeon, Circus Tent, Eyeless Cult, Planar Sphere, De'Arnise, Windspear, Umar. That's about it, and I didn't really remember useful details beyond the intro dungeon. I don't even remember what companions I used before or what class I was. I played bg1ee a lot, getting a lot more help from that knowledge.
plan to swap companions and do a lot of quests, take my time and be careful. good/neutral party mainly. also for a first playthrough I don't wanna use ToB stuff until I do SoA. I did go to watcher's keep to buy a potion case, but that's it, I didn't even read the rest of what's for sale there, not going to use it until later.
Grey areas: Allow sell and rebuy items to recharge. Allow using simulacrum and project image quick slots (e.g. let's you use scrolls without consuming them). Allow erasing spells from spellbook to relearn for xp (my own invention!). Undecided: making copies of copies with simulacrum and project image. My guess is allowed, but I'm not actually sure how the mechanics on that work, I'll test when I'm high level.
NOT ALLOWED to use pickpocket to dupe items that are given as a quest reward after. NOT ALLOWED to do anything I consider a clear bug, like the Force Talk stuff, or using summons + polymorph to push through a wall.
Allowed to erase and re-scribe scrolls, allowed to remove party members while scribing or otherwise to manipulate XP.
logging reloads and resurrections/stone2flesh, outdoors rests, and major events:
1 rest in starting room to set spells for me/imoen/jaheira
Made way slowly through Irenicus dungeon. Triggered a lightning trap; lost heals. Minsc got diseased but I had a Neutral Poison memorized to remove it. Ate all 15 Goodberries. Imoen fireballed the Duregar very effectively. Ran into two traps rushing the dogs to the next room, ran out of heals. Level 8 from Genie quest. Haste spell and Seeking Sword beat Mephit summoning room. Drank most of the regular healing potions.
Slew Kalah, went to Coronet. +Aerie +Nalia +Korgan +Anomen, -Jaheira -Yoshimo. 175k xp
de'Arnise keep (2 rests): Made my way upstairs. Rested in closed room after killing Yuan-Ti mage. Dispelled the charm on Glaicus. Minsc died in the dungeon to umberhulks, got charmed. I need to be more careful with pathing and get Chaotic Commands when a cleric hits level 9. Fighting the troll boss, drank a lot of heal pots and kited and beat him, and then fire arrows didn't finish him off and he got back up at full hp and killed aerie, and then the game crashed and my last save was at start of the cellar, free reload lol. Cleared the umberhulks better and cleared outside. Stole from treasure room, did the stone golems in a choke point, iron golem stuck in the room, resists everything, too scary to melee. Rested in closed bedroom again and fought troll boss, this time sent some skeletons ahead then webbed him, then layered on slow and cloudkill, won fight without getting hitdid not take damage. 45.5k quest xp. Up to 252k xp, and 26k gold after selling.
Korgan Tomb: -Nalia, +Hexxat. Got ID glasses, +2 large shield, platemail. Cleared top of graveyard daytime. Rested at 267.5k xp and 18k gold. Entered graveyard lower tombs. Did spiders and southern Korgan area. Was very careful with disarming traps, Hexxat went in front up to 285k xp. Went up, declined Bohdi's offer, rested, Anonem's sister died.
Dragomir's Tomb (1 death): Got real Hexxat. But i used Minsc berserk b/c of dire charm from dragomir, and used all my dispels on the first dire charm on Clara. then Anomen got charmed and after I won the fight Minsc attacked Anomen and I couldn't get them to stop fighting. Was out of healing spells, couldn't potion him because of charm. I used Web and Slow then two Hold Person on Minsc but he still killed Anomen who I resurrected at a temple after. Minsc in Berserk + anyone charmed = really bad news. In hindsight, forgot to get Dispel Magic scroll out of scroll case, maybe could have saved him. 297k xp
Killed Korgan's old allies. Started Anomen sister quest. Got the unseeing eye cult quest, acting troupe haer'dalis quest, hunt valygar quest, and rescue montaron quest. 305k xp, 26k gold
Sewers (1 death): -Hexxat +Jan. Got quest to infiltrate shadow thieves lieutenant, got some valygar evidence. Went sewers, walked into adventurers and Minsc got 1 shot from full hp by Finger of Death. Doh... I think I need to keep summons/buffs up more when walking around, and use invisibility to scout ahead more. Resurrected Minsc.
Haer'Dalis Rescue (2 deaths): -Korgan, +Keldorn. Found Haer'Dalis area from sewers. The mage cast Death Spell which killed Keldorn and Jan with no save. Resurrected Keldorn and Jan (rested and cast Raise Dead myself).
+Haer'Dalis, -Keldorn. Did Haer'Dalis gem summoning fight then they all disappeared. Went to Delosar's Inn, Jan died to Death Spell or something, then it crashed, last save leaving the Haer'Dalis Inn. +Keldorn
Umar Hills: Friends with Madulf, +Valygar -Minsc, did quests, cleared temple ruins initial map. Went back to town to donate at temple to 17rep and set up better spells on Aerie, bought Robe of Vecna. Rested at Umar Hills Inn, then went back to the temple ruins
Temple Ruins Dungeon: +Mazzy, -Anomen. Prayer rituals:
Morning: ??, hold tome to sun for power, reflect victory light over drak
noon: voice songs for Lord, ??, Rejoice glory of light over dark
Dusk: Recite tenets of faith, hold children high to sun > night, ??
Took some damage due to confusion about question wording, even though I figured out how each prayer works. Rested back at Umar Hills before continuing deeper. Prebuffing and Melf's Minute Meteors beat the boss easily. 450k xp, sold back to 26k gold. Mazzy fought and ogre and fought some vamps in the street. Really need to get a magic permit.
Planar Sphere: mage with spell trigger put up a ton of defenses including protection from magical weapons and protection from normal missiles. i gave everyone magic ammo and shot at the mage, but ineffective. ran but stun symbol got 4 people. thought maybe keldorn/mazzy/valygar would wipe to death spell. summoned monsters to distract, cast web, remove magic, haste, chant. then removed paralysis and run away. they wasted a lot of spells on summons, and did a high level dispel on jan. disintegrate, domination, confusion etc were cast on the summons. invis scout and lured the fighter away with a summon, got str gloves. sent in more summons and the casters got low on spells, down to acid arrow and magic missiles, finished them off safely. Looted and rested in the safe room. bg2 crashed after i lured away and killed the fighter and was about to finish the fight, fortunately i saved before luring him.
Planar Sphere (3 deaths): Did Sahaguin, adventurer group and some fire elementals safely. Then Jan got 1 shot by a trap. Rested once, raised him and cast heals. In retrospect, should have used Rod of Ressurection to avoid that heal. Not the left rune (misclicked on it, almost killed Jan again). Prebuffed a TON for Lavok, but all that really mattered were minute meteors which carried the fight. Pushed too hard clearing the outside with a hurt party without resting, Aerie died on the last demon, used Rod on her. Then rested. Didn't figure out the rune puzzle but buffed to 125 fire resist and brute forced. Order: Top, Bottom, Right, Left. For Tolgarias fight, got scared and ran downstairs, put up 20 buffs while letting his Improved Mantle expire, went back up and wasn't in vision range so i cast some summons, one of which ate a Death Symbol. Then game crashed and I had to redo the fight, but won again no problem, Minute Meteors OP. Beat the stone golems in the engine room (ugh, don't only have 2 weapons that hit them), but Jan got 1shot by a fireball vs the efreeti when finishing off the last room I'd passed by. 577k xp, 45k gp
Bridge District (1 petrify trap death): -valygar, got 5k magic permit. Keldorn's wife cheating. Rescued Viconia with curi/Mazzy/Aerie/Jan, told her maybe she could join later, rep still 18. Got Keldorn back. Fought Captain Dennis at Delosar's Inn. Tough fight, ran outside, sent summons at them, really could have used a Breach spell. A globe of invulnerability was blocking my minute meteors. Then Mazzy got petrified opening a door. I turned her back to flesh but she was bugged and wouldn't rejoin party even if i travelled to slums and back, so I reloaded to deal with the bug (she wasn't mad at me, it just wouldn't bring up a chat). Searching bridge district houses, found a little loot and an Ankheg Shell. Helped the fallen paladins fight some smugglers. bought str belt, air control ring, ac3 bracers, simulacrum helm. 13k gold left
Total Status: 0 reload, 8 deaths (1 finger of death, 2 death spell, 2 trap, 2 combat, 1 charm)
Windspear Hills (1 rest, 1 trap death): Pretty easy outside and first dungeon level. The big undead fight drained Keldorn to level 1. Used a scroll to restore him. Anomen got drained 2 levels a little later. Charmed the air elemental from the well but it wouldn't fit through doors to go tank something for me, ended up fighting it. Wasn't fooled by the werewolf dialog. Adamantite Golem (25k xp) was very scary but couldn't fit through the door. Only my +3 flail of ages and +1 warhammer (+4 vs giant humanoids) seem to hit it. Mace +1, magic and ranged weapons don't work. I made a Simulacrum with the helm, used a lesser restoration scroll, a rod of ressurection charge to heal someone, 3 minute meteor scrolls, and around 8 charges from my staff of fire to summon fire elementals before it ran out of duration. this got the adamantite golem to injured status. wasn't the most efficient use of send fire elementals a few at a time. i should have made an army of them and then fought all at once. after that i really wanted to kill it. so i summoned stuff, chanted, went for it. had like no heals left though. when keldorn got hurt i ran him out of the room and gave the warhammer to anomen, who got hurt and gave it to mazzy. the golem did a 72 damage crit to the first fire elemental i summoned so i knew at full hp with helmets my people were basically safe to take one hit and run. barely finished it off. used a few heal pots too. learned Breach on Jan because he never was using his level 5 spells, so now at least Aerie can memorize useful summons on level 5 and Jan will just sit on 2 Breaches. keep trying to optimize my spells. i feel like i could go back and safely kill the de'arnise iron golem now. i have refused to google info on what else can kill them. oh melf's minute meteors hits them for the missile damage but not the fire damage i think, it does work a little bit. tried to push on but Jan triggered the cloudkill trap, oops my bad. I tend to have him way in front so it was fine, but with most of my party hurt and no heal spells, Iclosed the door in werewolf rooms and rested, with most of dungeon level 2 clear (all but tomb and Tazok room). 648k xp, plan was hopefully to finish this area right after leveling so i can go home and dual class to mage at 675k xp (level 11 cleric).
Found Minor Sequencer in Tazok room. Used Web to make the room easy. Have been using a lot of web. At Firkraag, I saved and tried attacking him once for fun. I set made an army of 10 fire elementals with Simulacrum + Staff of Fire. And I used 2 Protection from Magic scrolls with the Simulacrum. Didn't matter, did like nothing to him, lol. Slew a beholder!! Jan died in one hit to a false door trap, even though I expected it'd be a false one ... apparently I need to wait longer to detect traps. Used Rod of Ressurections on Jan. I need a high charge Rod for Simulacrum, but there is one at the adventurer mart, or I can sell and rebuy it when it's low.
After doing the Tomb, the adventurers ambushed me in a way too narrow room and I lost my simulacrum (don't know how, never managed to click on it, maybe the enemy mage had true sight up?) and got a bad start before managing to organize. I lost control of Aerie and Mazzy and went a long time without killing any enemies and drank a bunch of heal pots. Fortunately still had a couple Mass Heal left, even though basically out of single target heals, minute meteors, and most good things. Aerie and Jan both ran out of Stoneskin and took significant damage. I leveled mid fight to 11 cleric which gave me a new use of True Sight per day, which I was out of and really needed against their mage. One of the big things I did was get out of the room but leave some summons behind to distract their casters. They didn't have any spells that really screwed me too badly, besides the confusion/hold type stuff but I used Keldorns Dispel Magic ability a bunch on everyone and then recast chant after and that helped. My Earth Elemental went hostile so that didn't help. I used pause at end of round for a lot of the fight (which pauses on the round of every character and summon, so it happens a ton). Scary/fun chaotic fight.
Dual classed at only 3k xp past level up, before quest rewards, perfect timing. 45k quest reward gave me +5 mage levels. Wanted to dump entire party and read scrolls (and erase spells and read more scrolls until I ran out of money), but Mazzy was getting mad about her poisoned sister, so i just learned magic missile, agannazar's scorcher (was available at coronet, acid arrow wasn't), minute meteors and stoneskin and went to do that quest. sold items up to 30k gold. starting mazzy quest at 48k mage xp. first time going to trademeet. And when i got to trademeet, Jan complained I wasn't doing his quest in slums :( Hope I can help Mazzy's sister without running into Cernd or Rasaad or getting pushed into starting the trademeet animals/druids quest.
Barl died fast to 3 people with minute meteors. Easy quest. I got teleported back to Mazzy's house before I could loot Barl which is kinda funny. Rested 3 times to get Mazzy back, then went to do Jan's quest.
Jan Sick Girl Quest (1 petrify trap death): When searching the coronet i stumbled into a fight with the coronet guards but then the game crashed. went the other way after reloading and killed the myconid king for no loot. Using Yoshimo because Jan stayed with the sick girl. Keldorn got petrified by a trap, this time rejoining my party worked fine. Found the Hidden, did not fully search the area at all. Killed the guys he wanted (easy), lots of walking around, quest complete. Also figured I should buy all the containers I see and put extras at a copper coronet table.
Dumped party at 69k xp with 30k gp. Mazzy went to Trademeet, the are at Coronet. Bought out all the bad spells and learned them repeatedly using erase. Made a mistake and learned Spell Trap level 9, meant to save that scroll. Used genius and mind focusing potions for 25 int so I never failed scribing. Finished scrolls at: 773k xp, 86 gp. Total scribing xp: 704k
Spells erased by level: 1x77, 2x28, 3x30, 4x7, 5x6 (281k xp from erasing, 40%)
Sum of spell levels bought for my 30k gold: rough estimate 210, 30% of the xp. (It's just under 100 gold per spell level for level 1-3 spells with my 24cha, 18rep, but I also spent extra buying some spells I didn't have.)
Instant dual class to 12/11 mage/cleric, I made it!! The target xp was 750k. I didn't even check until after. If I'd started at 0xp I would have been 46k short but I do have some higher level scrolls leftover that I saved, so I could have made it (plus I could sell a few items for more gold). Note that I was saving most of my scrolls all game for this and had more than a scroll case full. Wouldn't have finished my dual without the erasing spells strategy. It's kinda tedious to buy a bunch of trash spells, erase them, learn them, erase them, learn them, etc, but it's worth it, it increases your character's power level a lot faster than regular playtime.
Got a familiar in my pack for the hp. Set up Minor Sequencer with Mirror Image + Blur. Set up Contingency with Outiluke's Resilient Sphere at 25% hp. I should remember I can put cleric spells in these, I don't know what's best yet. Chant + Bless is a decent minor sequencer.
Some notes on my stratgies so far: I've been using Death Ward on my PC a lot when prebuffing, ever since having three to death spells. I use Chant a ton. When there is a big fight I often leave the room, prebuff and go back in (people usually don't follow if you leave immediately). Prebuffing includes Protection from Evil 10' Radius, haste, Invisibility 10' Radius, MMM, Stoneskin (except I just run around with that all the time, so it's already on), true sight, draw upon holy might, remove fear, bless, protection from fire/cold (level 2 priest version), aid. I'll precast summons for fights which aren't through a door/stairs, but I can't always do it. Jan was using Shield amulet before I gave him AC3 bracers.
Another major tactic I use is scouting with an invisible thief, then often i'll start with Web once I know the positioning. Another big tactic is cast MMM and kill most stuff pretty easily lol.
Got new party setup: me, mazzy, minsc, yoshimo, aerie, cernd. I met Rasaad and removed him. Went to the Druid Grove and rested right after travelling to set Cernd's spells. Did Trademeet (killed Faldorn and the rakshasa), was easy, no resting needed. I bought a Robe of the Good Archmagi and few level 6 spells I didn't have with the reward money, and 2 Minor Sequencer. I went back and found the boys in Imnesvale that I'd bought ale for, and went back and killed the Iron Golem at De'Arnise. I also did the Limited Wish one-time XP wish with my Simulacrum. Some trolls had respawned at De'Arnise which I found strange. 852k xp, 62 gp
(1 reputation reload) Did the questline with Cernd's son. Then he left (with a few pieces of gear!), so I went to Neera. Doing the Daxus rescue, he died and my rep went to 9 somehow with commoners hostile after the fight. I think an aoe hit someone i didn't have vision of. I didn't want to mess up the Neera plotline or deal with hostile commoners and low rep, so I reloaded. My main goal is avoiding reloads from combat. I know I didn't actually lose much here, just a bit of story and some gold, but it didn't seem fun to play on with that result. Pretty minor for a first reload, but I really don't expect to get through the game with no reloads anyway.
(1 reputation reload) Doing the Red Wizard Enclave fight for Neera, my game crashed. The fight was going pretty badly because I sent Minsc in and Berserked him. Really bad idea. I should just never ever use that ability. I needed to just keep everyone out of the room. I ended up using 2 Rod of Ressurection charges to keep Minsc up, and Neera died because she ran in the room with the enemies from her stupid AI, while having a ranged weapon equipped and then she got webbed and couldn't retreat. I got improved invis off on Minsc which was helping, but not on Neera. I really hope when I get patch 1.3 it stops crashing so much. I did another reload because of killing an innocent, they stuck a bartender in the middle of a huge fight, he died right at the start so I just tried again and aimed further away from him. Seems like bad design to put a large fight and make aoe realy unsafe. Could have kept going but meh. You do get to free the bartender afterwards for 5k xp, it sort of makes sense but it's really harsh game design to put neutral people next to enemies as a kind of trap. Game crashed again while looting after the fight to save Gramm from Laneth. I was pretty confused in the fight, I tried to attack Laneth several times, but it wasn't work, I wasn't sure why, then I ignored her and killed everyone else and she wasn't attacking me. The area is really confusing btw cuz you can talk your way in but there are still hostile red wizards right there, and you're killing them while thayan guards ignore it. Apparently Lanneth was standing in the front room when I tried to leave to memorize Knock (Yoshimo couldn't open one of the doors.) Didn't have much trouble with her at that point.
Release subjects 55, 13, 11, 42 in that order. Seems dumb I never got to do the hairband quest or crafting the teleport medallion thing. it gave me those quests and the daxus quest at the same time, i went bridge district and got the hairband and got daxus, then i go back and it's too late to turn in the hairband, then after i rescue people i still can't do it. bad design.
New party: Keldorn, Anomen, Mazzy, me, Aerie, Nalia. Bought stacks of lesser restoration, friends, identify, knock and dispel magic scrolls. Bought Sensate Amulet. 1500 gold now. 916k xp. Got Nalia funeral quest. Then checked the door I hadn't gone through under the graveyard but it wasn't a lock you can pick, so actually I had fully cleared that area for now. Then I freed the slaves at the Copper Coronet, would have been nice to do that earlier and get some cheaper scrolls and some good weapons. Bought the sling with unlimited magic bullets and a Simulacrum scroll which I want to have my Simulacrum from the helm use to get 2 (see if that works or not). Then Nalia got taken by Isaea. It dumped all her gear into my inventory apparently. Getting Yoshimo and going to free her ASAP. Gave back Wellyn's bear, now going to Isaea's house.
Got Nalia back no problem. Went coronet sewers, the blade riddle thing is confusing. Freed the kids at the slaver stockade and got +1 rep for giving them 100 gold. 20 rep now. Finished off the slaver building. Then did the derelict house nextdoor, not sure what the scroll means. Then Borinall's house which had nothing much, though Nalia had to use knock there and in the stockade, her lock picking sucks (but she has 105 traps with the danger ring). Got another +1 rep for talking to Hendak after saving the slaves. Anomen got his knighthood and up to 16 wisdom.
Cult of the Eyeless: Entered old tunnels from sewers at 990k xp. Agreed to help the cult to get access. Aerie got hit with a level drain trap. Killed the shade lich without taking much damage using True Sight, Breach, MMM, attacking. Bridge answers: life (7), time (9), current step (4?). got 2 wrong answers. Got the part from the temple. Made a simulacrum with my helm, then had it use a scroll of simulacrum (also had it heal my party and lesser restoration aerie). the copy of the copy only had level 1 mage spells (seems wrong, levels should go 12 -> 7 -> 4 with rounding down) and no quickslots, so it wasn't OP, and it visually looked like it had no gear, and it couldn't attack or use items from backpack or quickslots, it just had innate abilities and mage spells. and none of the copies get priest spells, they seem to only copy my primary class for a dual class character. Also the copy of a copy had minor sequencer but it didn't do anything. I looted the cult rooms then went in the pit and did the huge undead fight. got the burning earth sword which is nice. would have been better if i'd bought azuredge before coming. got the 18dex gloves :D :D :D That got Keldorn -8 AC. The beholder boss was no problem using the rod. The fight with 2 big and 2 small beholder near the bottom was harder, took a good amount of damage, but won safely enough. The fight with the priests in the middle I used greater malision, web and cloudkill. followed by silence and hold person and archery. that worked no problem. went and returned the rift device to the temple. Went back to the cult and fought a few guys, got girdle of fortitude (8 hour duration, once per day, not permanent) and a nice xbow. Note there is a secret door at the top of the sewers, a little right of center, which i can't open. Did all this without resting :) Got accepted in the Helm church. I can now rest in the Helm building and I got a quest to get an artist to work for my church. Finished up at 1118k xp, 25k gp
Fuck, fuck, fuck. I had the difficulty lowered from leveling up. I think since I got level 12 on mage. :( I remember lowering for that big level up because I wasn't positive what would happen with clerics have 9 hitdice and mages have 10 (answer: I only get 9 hitdice, only get my con bonus for 9 levels). The Neera red wizard thing would have been a lot harder I guess. Cult of the Eyeless, Slavers and Trademeet I didn't really have any close calls. I had actually noticed the game feeling a bit easier, but I thought it was from gear/levels (which is still true too).
Plan now is to buy Azuredge and Spell Sequencer from Coronet, then do the temple art quest, then pay the 15k for Imoen rescue, then swap Jaheira and maybe someone else into my party.
Cernd is in the Derril house, I thought I'd have to go get him from his grove later. I moved him to the Coronet. Got the Ore (didn't give fake ore) and finished the art quest. Leveled to 13 mage and got a ring for memorizing 4 extra priest spells! 1171k xp, 5k gp after paying for help with Imoen. Party is anomen/keldorn/mazzy/me/aerie/nalia. Also I put scripts: mazzy for wizard killer, keldorn/anomen aggressive, me/aerie ranged, nalia on scout thief. Ugh that makes nalia stop detecting traps to try to stealth. The amulet of power is really good. switching my minor sequencer to mirror image + sanctuary now instead of vocalize. Also noticed I didn't have a contingency up, not sure what happened to it, so i remade that. I found Mr Ployer at the Sea's Bounty tavern, from the note he sounds like a bad guy, but no interesting dialog is currently available.
Got into the harper base, found one of their amulets but didn't go up to the second floor yet. got another helm of charm protection from one of their rooms, but it doesn't work on confusion so it's not that great. I fought a vampire at the docks, next i'm posing as a new recruit. Killed them, off to the graveyard.
Tanova Stunned Anomen, me and Nalia, Mazed Keldorn, and disrupted Aerie's spell casting on the remove paralysis. But Mazzy's archer came through for me. The spike/blood room was interesting. I took some damage, drank some pots, searching for traps didn't seem to work. Left. Still unclear on what wooden stakes do. In the blood room behind the secret door, I could enter it, but I was too scared to.
On the bottom floor, pretty unfortunately I didn't check the map size and used simulacrum after the main fight. made a fire elemental army (+ use 2 restoration scroll, 2 anti-magic scroll, and 4 rod of ressurections), then walk in on laskell and he says fight on top floor and summons can't travel up there. Lashkell died easily, not sure if due to my summons or from Azuredge. wasn't sure how to finish them off. braved the blood with nalia, got a great anti-UD mace. Oh I figured it out, you get a sword icon in the coffin room, staked 3 vamps. Bohdi fight was pretty scary, she spawned on Aerie and hit her for 2/3 of her hp and level drain. I ran Aerie away and Bohdi chased for several rounds, but then eventually stopped and it was easy from there.
At Brynnlaw Island I finally got a small amount of value from Clairvoyance. I got 2000 gold from a limited wish. saved the poor kids. fought my way to claire. killed the cowled wizard guy for his wardstone. he had spelltrap and mislead, but i had attacking and truesight. got the book of infinite spells which is pretty cool. can't tell how many more pages it has. leaving it on fireball for now since that's pretty good. off to spellhold. 1334k xp
Spellhold: It was pretty obvious that was Irenicus, but you can't do anything. Lost a con. Bhaal was easy with a simulacrum from my helm. I'm taking Imoen and leaving Nalia behind after stripping her items. Imoen gained 3 mage levels to 11, still a lot less than me. Read well over 500k xp of scrolls, but the xp was split up some. Set up vocalize+sanctuary minor sequencer on aerie, mirror image + detect invis for imoen.
First thing in the maze is umberhulks. I took a lot of damage there, keldorn got confused but i used improved invis to protect him. I should have had at least one long duration summon up before that fight started. Then invisible imoen goes scouting and walks into a lich, who sees me even though i have a cloak of non detection. It's got protection from magical weapons and spell trap to start, and then when i run away a bit it casts time stop but doesn't actually do anything visible to me for the whole timestop. I sent in some skeletons and some greater mummies split up from the lich and came out to fight me. then i fought the lich. symbol death appeared to make imoen roll a save despite being over 60 hp, i don't understand that. aerie saved too. i didn't understand the fight very well. i tried to use true seeing, breach, MMM and attack. i got a ton of weapon has no effect but won anyway, i'm not really sure what was and wasn't working. Then I staked Dace and got his hand. Did the magic tome that summons monsters, no problem, and the kobolds around the crystal.
The character scripts are really annoying. It kept making my main character run back, thief not attack, and mazzy do melee.
(1 trap death) After doing the right side, I found a bag of holding on the top. Went bottom and 2 yuan-ti mages cast chaos at the same time and it affected 5 of my party. aerie cast dispel magic but it didn't dispel it for anyone. mazzy almost killed imoen and everyone got hurt a lot before it ended right as i was webbing the whole group to stop them from fighting. Hit level 14 mage and found a Project Image scroll at the same time :D I opened the crystal thing to the exit, but went exploring the rest of the area anyway.
Imoen died to the crusher trap. Did 12/12 riddles with 0 errors, got the regen ring. Did two fights at the blue portal thing, need to find the other gem. Tried the statues riddle but didn't get it right away, trying again now. OK figured it out and got the last gem. I prebuffed a bunch including Tensor's Transformation (the previous demon guy hurt me a lot, so I was worried it'd be harder) and then it was a genie giving me armor, not a fight, lol. And the armor isn't even good lol. It's just +3 plate, which is slightly worse than +1 full plate, which is worse than fullplate combined with a +1 ring/neck/cloak (which gives the AC and also saving throw.)
(1 combat death) Keldorn died to the Ulithard doing Devour Brain. Got the minotaur door open, but going back to figure out the other 3 doors near the start of this level, I only did the mind flayer painting one so far. Well it took a while but I found the paintings. Also I got my party fatigued in the haste/slow room that I don't really understand. Wanted to finish the area without resting, used 9 charges from staff of curing among other things. got both kinds of boots with 6 extra tokens, got the paintings done. Figured out how the healing room works on the way out lol. the two in the middle are the good ones, middle left heals the person in the middle of the room, middle right hastes party (which can be bad, leads to fatigue). Doing more sanity tests now. I got 3 right, then might have got one wrong, the answer was ambiguous, not sure. Found the cloak of reflection. I didn't get to loot the stones at the big circlular ring place with kobold/goblin archers before being teleported, I hope I go back there or didn't miss something good. She said I passed all the tests. Three people leveled from the quest xp! Well I didn't get back to those stones to loot, and I might have missed somethign after the quest too, I found one thing then went up the stairs and couldn't go back down.
Lonk the Sane killed Keldorn with Finger of Death, but the game crashed while I was picking his gear back up midcombat. Beat him quickly the second time. Going into the Irenicus fight with very little resources and all my guys fatigued a bunch, lol, we'll see how this goes. Yeah it was fine with the inmates fighting with me and clicking on Irenicus and ignoring the clones. I chose taking the ship over the portal, sounded a bit safer. I hope Nalia ends up back at the Copper Coronet somehow. I wanted to go fight the pirate lord but I can't open the door guard guy is gone. Stole the horn, sailed off, got shipwrecked in Sahaguin city. Rested and set up spells. Agreed to help the exile prince do a coup. 1744k xp Got cloak of mirroring, wtf, block all spell dmg !?
(1 petrify trap death) Clear out sahaguin area, found the door requiring the tooth and the big undead fight. then found the imp game and agreed to play. not sure where the rebel prince is, everyone just attacked me even though i have the orb. Keldorn tried to play the game and got petrified, doh, wasn't expecting traps in the game area. Aerie had Heal for efficiently refilling his hp after the petrify :) And used stone to flesh scroll cuz keldorn is the one with the earth control ring that could do it. Placed all the items correctly first try. lol beholder. Oh I read my journal more carefully, so the rebel prince is outside the door (not sure how they threw him out, i guess you can swim between places just not walk?) Got the fake heart. Won the fight easily. Crashed yet again after. rested and went in underdark!
(1 combat death) I don't understand the air elemental portal thing. i killed like 10. easy xp. 1882k now, dinged level 15 mage. Spent down to 1k gold on scrolls, drank int pots, and then read 200k xp of scrolls (divided 6 ways). Fought like 10 earth eles too, aerie and keldorn leveled. Drow fight was fun. Did triple skull trap spell sequencer on them, did nothing. Their offense wasn't so great though, they made some summons and didn't do a ton to me. Tangle with some mindflayers accross a ravine, they stunned a bunch of people. Lesson: don't do the dispel magic contingency thing. I got stunned, lost all my contingencies, and dispelled some of my own stuff including a project image i'd just cast (my first one!). Imoen got charmed and I spammed dispel magic and couldn't end it. And I used a simulacrum to rod of ressurection her to keep her alive – my summons kept trying to attack her. Gonna need some chaotic commands next rest maybe. After doing the fire elementals I fought some kua-toa and i lost control of anomen and he died. Rested twice to set up new contingencies, res him, set his spells, etc. I now set it up with charm protection helms on mazzy/anomen, and shield of harmony for keldorn, and went much more MMM heavy on spells, with a good amount of summons and some alternative aoes: ice storm, chain lightning, cloudkill, confusion, chaos, cone of cold, holy smite, and of course web. I also no longer trust invisibility to work very reliably, so I switched some slots over to mirror image.
(1 combat death) Fought the Balor at the Svirfneblin village. Long fight. Made a bunch of summons. Made a project image that made a simulacrum. the project image had all my priest spells, but the simulacrum had mage spells only and no gear/quickslots, but it was still useful for doing several MMM. Most of my damage was from MMM. The Project Image was great because I could use rod of ressurection to heal people without worrying about running out of charges lol, i also used a simulacrum scroll and 2 anti-mage scrolls on it. It had magic resist and +2 arrows didn't hurt it. It hit really hard and I had some morale failures. It didn't do many spells apart from 2 holds. When I ran out of tanks it came and hit Aerie. I paused and then had her cast stoneskin which has a casting time of only 1, but she got hit again and died before it went off. Lower Resist would have been nice I guess, but it'd take two casting for like half my spells to work. 26,000 xp for the balor, i think that might be my biggest single enemy so far. Got the illusion so I look drow, neat.
(1 combat reload, 3 combat deaths, 1 silly reload) Drow city, got quest and went and fought the illithids to save the girl. then went east and got captured by illithids and fought in their arena. On the way out, party got split up walking around, anomen ran in front and got held by an illithid then attacked and died to devour brain right before mazzy killed it. rezzed. Got the mind flayer control circlets then tried to capture one but mazzy shot it down right as i controlled it. then it wouldn't respawn. i googled and it's supposed to respawn so my game is bugged, but people said to use slayer form to get through the door instead. RIP 2 rep. Then I died to slayer form, having never used it before, didn't expect it to just kill me so quickly. Then I died to the next room: hard fight, i tried to retreat immediately but people got stunned in the narrow corridor and i couldn't get them unstunned and organize a retreat fast enough to somewhere reasonable to fight, and i hadn't prebuffed (i'd actually lost all buffs from resting trying to get a mind flayer to spawn to use the control circlet on), and i cast 2 webs and it didn't work on the mind flayers at all. Tried again with lots of prebuffs, especially a chaotic commands. Game was kinda buggy. I sent my main character with chaotic commands and 5 skeletons ahead, and they didn't spawn in the same room as before. I pushed on to another room and found and beat a similar group but then the original group did spawn when i brought everyone, which took me by surprise. i recovered pretty well, used a remove paralysis, did ok. mazzy died. anomen almost died but teleport field saved him! In the next room, keldorn died, these guys are hard with their killing you even at high hp. and dispel magic doesn't seem to work when mindflayers charm my guys, tried a lot. I'm taking a break then being more careful after.
(3 combat deaths) I thought that anti-magic scroll would protect me from illithid stuff. it does not. anomen then died with all the brine potions and the illithids walked out of the room to my party which wasn't really prepared, mazzy and aerie died too. used one of the control cirlets, managed to prevent a wipe. ugh. Finished off the illithids without any more problems at least.
Total Status: 1 major reload, 3 minor reloads, 22 deaths (12 combat, 7 traps, 3 death spells)
(1 combat death) Western caverns Aerie died, was being too careless with pathing and she went in front and got stunned and targetted. Did some Ust Natha quests, no problem. still got stealing the dragon eggs and the magic rope thing for the lich building. and i haven't done the beholder area to the south.
End of part 1. I don't know if I'll write notes like this for the rest of the game, even assuming I come back and finish it. If I do, I'll make another blog post and also link them here.