The Candlekeep Annex: RPed Baldur’s Gate No and Low Reload Adventures

Borco

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Flying back home from my hiking trip to Ladakh one week ago, I was surprised to find out that the in-flight entertainment featured "D&D: Honour Among Thieves" and gave it a go. Despite having certain minor reservations regarding the picture itself, it certainly gave me the nudge to revisit my pending BG run, which I haven't touched in a couple of months. While it's going to take some time for me to start posting, especially when it comes to overcoming the daily routine and fixing the frequent game crashes on my current set-up, I'm certainly aiming to be back at the game in the course of February. My idea would be to import my current run (solo bard) from the Beamdog forums (including by carrying over the previous posts into this thread for sake of completeness) and continue the story here.

Be seeing you!

Regards,

B.
 

Selerel

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Sounds awesome.

I have been before in the absolute depths of transferring over written BG runs from the Beamdog forums to this one. Different ways to embed screenshots, different text limits, different file size requirements, getting lost re-reading, debating on best time to do it...ohhh yeah. A very narrow and unique human experience, that undertaking. But I can commisserate with you!!
 

Borco

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Sounds awesome.

I have been before in the absolute depths of transferring over written BG runs from the Beamdog forums to this one. Different ways to embed screenshots, different text limits, different file size requirements, getting lost re-reading, debating on best time to do it...ohhh yeah. A very narrow and unique human experience, that undertaking. But I can commisserate with you!!
Sounds exciting! I'm looking forward to embarking on that journey.
 

Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 12 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Introduction

Technical notes:
Game version: BGEE 2.6.6.0 (no SoD)
Difficulty: Hardcore
Mods: SCS (v34.3) with all tactical and AI components; BG Tweaks (cosmetic changes)
Modified SCS components: Giant Spiders (Tactical)

As indicated, I've been inclined to start another run and I'm pleased to enter Sorsha. She's an un-kitted human bard and she's expected to be travelling solo for the vast majority of the run.

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(Note: Portrait has been respectfully borrowed from vinegar at DeviantArt)

After playing a sorcerer, whose reliance on items is typically fairly limited, I was interested in a character who's main asset will be his/her inventory. This is facilitated mainly by the bard's ability to use wands and scrolls, flexible weapon proficiencies and, ultimately, UAI. Pickpocketing provides a useful synergy in this respect, be that in terms of improving our balance sheet for shopping purposes or obtaining certain helpful items (we're looking at you Dushai).

Sorsha's starting weapon proficiencies were staves and short bows, which is my absolutely favorite combination at least for BG1 purposes.

The intention had been to go with a neutral alignment on a purely roleplaying basis, however in the end I decided to go along with neutral good - it's still justifiable and sufficiently authentic and it means Azuredge in early SoA (at the cost of enemy Unholy Blights being one more thing to worry about).

Considering the other strengths of the class apart from the level progression (and the corresponding caster levels), there's the bard song. I admit to having a love-hate relationship with the mechanics, which either induces passivity (and therefore is not really well suited for a solo play) or "hyperactivity" (with one trying to manage various actions throughout each combat round in a way that keeps the song active at all times). With the aim of landing at what I saw as a middle ground, I decided to give Sorsha a personal item created via NearInfinity which was intended to "simulate" the bard song effect.

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Initially I'd thought that: "Ok, so these benefits are relevant, but at the same time don't seem too overwhelming to disrupt to overall game balance." But that was before I revisited background information on Luck mechanics and found out that, with the passive luck modifier, we'd be getting a free pass on Mirror Image hit/miss probability rolls. Realizing that, I was a bit hesitant to proceed with the idea, but then again I sort of liked the concept already and I've eventually decided to stick with it. So please consider this as full acknowledgement and admittance of the fact that Sorsha's getting a very meaningful advantage here, although it's still more of a by-product of the character creation rather than intentional design of things.

For the record, here's our inventory ahead of Sorsha's first spell scribing session at the High Hedge (that we could afford thanks to the Ring of Wizardy). We're now all set to start exploring the Sword Coast.

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Regards,

B.
 
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Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 12 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 1

Previous posts: Introduction

I might have jumped ahead of the schedule a bit with that previous screenshot from High Hedge - most of you could say, and rightly so, that any proper run should start with the dead belt ogre. Here you go. He will not crush!

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Speaking of High Hedge, there's more to it than shopping and chickens. We tested our new Wand of Sleep against the "big guy with a dog's head" or the "thievin' ball-o-fur". Oh yes, Perdue's a funny bloke. He was pleased. Or not really?
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Definitely not pleased enough to help us with Karlat, from whom we had to ran away before he could chop us down to his size. Not sure if it's us, but we seem to get into trouble in almost every watering hole in Beregost we visit. With Marl, at least, Sorsha managed to de-escalate the situation with her empathy and cheerful presence.
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It's not only people getting at us, but spiders too. Giant spiders, yuck! Though I admit we had no business trespassing in that house in the first place. But still, at least "enter at your own risk" sign would help.
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Eventually, we did find a nice place to stay here. It's called the Jovial Juggler and it has tasty food, decent rooms and easygoing clientelle. That's straight 5 stars on Trip Advisor; we'll be back.

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Mirianne asked us for help and she got it.
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Zhurlong did not precisely "ask" for help, but he got his boots back nonetheless.
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So who's the thespian extraordinaire? Sorsha's pretty sure it's not this Silke, though she seemed to busy to talk to. We'll have to check on her again later.
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Completing all these chores around the town brought us to level 4 at 5k XP, unlocking our first L2 spell slot. We load it with Mirror Image in order to secure the gem back from Neera by fighting the Red Wizard.
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Strength spells gets us inside the manor where Sorsha collects the Wand of Lightning.
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Finally, we venture beyond the town limits a bit, collecting Melicamp, while Shield->MIs->equip chainmail->Wand of Sleep charge combo take care of Zargal and his crew. And yes, that armor was thrown it for style only.
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To conclude with a cliffhanger, the results of the Antichickenator will be revealed in the next episode.

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Regards,

B.
 
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Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 12 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 2

Previous posts: Introduction, 1

Bad news everyone - Melicamp didn't make it. Despite our genuine efforts we're still robbed of the 2000 exp and reputation. To compensate for that, we at least paid a visit to Shoal.
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Hitting level 5 means immunity to Sleep (spell). And that means FAI and Tarnesh, especially since we can pair the Sleep immunity with Shield and Resist Fear (via Sorsha's personal item).
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We relieve Jaheira of her PoI and check in with Landrin to confirm that her spider issue has been duly resolved.
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Sorsha then buys couple of Genius potions from the Temple of Wisdom and continues north to the ankegh lair. At the relatively high cost of 5 Wand of Sleep charges and 4 Wand of Lightning charges, we're able to carve our way towards the treasure mound and retrieve Brun's son's body via Strength spell.
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With Ghost Armor and Dire Charm finalizing our collection of readily accessible L1-L3 spell scrolls (including those from High Hedge and the Feldepost's Inn), Sorsha quaffs one Potion of Genius and successfully completes her second scribing session of the run. Afterwards, we stop over at Ulgoth's Beard to buy Aule's Staff (yay!) and the Cloak of Displacement.

Speaking of Aule's, I forgot to mention that Sorsha's third proficiency pip at level 4 went into two-handed weapon style with its speed factor boost. My other characters would typically opt for darts, if able, however Sorsha is not expected to become a dart thrower anytime soon, partly also due to concerns regarding our inventory capacity once we reach Amn (and I believe that the only available Ammo Belt in my current version of the game sits inside the Watchers' Keep). Our fourth pip will go to axes in preparation for early SoA.
 
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Borco

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Sorsha, human bard: Part 2 - continued

Over to Mutamin's gardens. Korax steals the entire show here and we owe him for that.

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Thanks to the XP bonanza, Sorsha's able to reach level 7 and L3 spells. Still hungry for more, she travels further east to the Durlag's Tower. First, the battle horrors - we open with a slightly pathetic Skull Trap.
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Magic Missiles.
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Wand of Lightning.
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Strength + MIs + chainmail + Aule's with 0 speed factor.
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Wand of Magic Missiles for the finish.
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We rest, enter the tower and kite the ghasts at the second floor with our bow, using the two staircases to keep our distance.
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Sorsha then uses MSD to foil the traps at the altar and in the corridor leading to the rooftop.
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She prepares with Strength + ProPetrification (spell) and tackles the lesser basilisk in melee with Aule while wearing her chainmail.
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For the greater basilisks, we had to keep our distance due to their strong melee attacks and on-hit poison. Also, I'm not confident using spells with > 1 casting speed when attacked by their gaze (including for example Blindness at casting speed 2), so Sorsha first tried her hand with couple of Chromatic Orbs. Without success.
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Time for some Wand of Fire scorchers.
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The second basilisk gets Sorsha to level 8 at 70k XP. She rests, buffs with ProPetrification (spell) and ProFire (spell) and lures the third basilisks into the proximity of the fireball trap...
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Chromatic Orb stun + bow to get the kill. We're lucky enough to get the Dispel Magic scroll as a drop (even though Remove Magic would be even more appreciated).
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The session is finished by shooting down Meilum at range for his gloves. With that, our core equipment is starting to look promising, although we still got our eyes fixed on various other goodies that we cannot yet afford (most notably Necklace of Missiles, Greenstone Amulet and the bard's special - Greagan's Harp/Captive Audience). We're off to earn some money in the south.

Regards,

B.
 
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Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 12 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 3

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2

When evaluating our current goals and priorities, Sorsha's stance was clear:
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Ok, let's see - there's this bounty that Oublek told us about back in Nashkel, so why not give it a shot. We located Prism just in time before Greywolf's arrival to the scene. And I botched it. I must have messed up the dialogue options (I vaguely recall there might be a slight change in the scripting since some of the more recent version of the game) and Greywolf did not attack at once. He remained blue-circled and we're like fine, at least we can take a look at the potions you've got in your pockets before we engage.
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That didn't work. It worked even worse for Prism. Our emergency Chromatic Orb failed to stun Greywolf as well as to turn him hostile before he chunked the poor artist in a single hit.
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We sent him running away with a stick, but that's really all we could do. After the failed Anitchickenator, this is the second real tragedy of our run.
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Sorsha needed to cheer up a bit, so we took a nice long hike into the mountains. There we've met with Vax and Zal.
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They didn't seem to like each other that much.
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Also, unlike his now-dead partner, Vax seems to have a xvart problem.
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Alas, walking in the mountains always raises one's spirits. And, more often than not, it's better to be there with friends. Right, Sendai?
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Thank you for having us.
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We'll be on our way.
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Borco

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Sorsha, human bard: Part 3 - continued

First, there had been Cain and Abel. Next, there were Caldo and Krumm.

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Krumm, having sinned with fratricide, was thrown to the wolfs. It's not precisely a story of biblical proportions, but at least there is a lesson learned - never wear Girdle of Bluntness instead of Girdle of Piercing against an enemy with piercing attacks. No-reloaders know that. Krumm did not. Krumm is dead.
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You're welcome Mrs Dryad.
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At last, we ran into opponents that at least tried to work together. Hairtooth and Gnarl also died together.
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That's it - we're finally in the money. Our shopping list included Necklace of Missiles and Shield Amulet from the Nashkel carnival, 3x Potion of Master Thievery from Durlag's Tower and acid arrows, Greenstone Amulet, Greagan's Harp and L4 scrolls from Ulgoth's Beard. It's not exactly shopping, but we also got our hands on the Ring of Free Action from Dushai, while Hurgan Stoneblade released a diamond and Potion of Fire Giant Strength.
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With that, Sorsha was more than ready for the mines.

Regards,

B.
 
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Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 13 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 4

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2, 3

Uninterested in fighting the kobold hordes, Sorsha traveresd through the Nashkel mines under Invisibility until reaching Mulahey's hideout. She prepared for the battle with green ProUndead scroll, Resist Fear (via item), Shield Amulet, Strength, ProEvil, MIs and Greenstone Amulet (to eliminate any residual enchanment school risks on top of our Ring of Free Action) and introduced herself by swinging Aule's at close range.

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The fight was on. After crying out "Help, my minions! Help!" Mulahey started a necromancy incantation, indicating Unholy Blight. Sorsha quickly countered with Spook (casting time 1 and carrying a hefty -4 save penalty).
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With Mulahey on the run and the kobolds closing in, Sorsha dropped a Stinking Cloud centered at the narrow corridor.
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A streak of poor to-hit rolls meant that we're unable to clear any of the kobolds in melee, while the Spook duration of Mulahey was running out. It was time to test our harp (Greagan's).
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Good. We check Mulahey's spellbook to confirm there's nothing dangerous left. Our plan was to walk him into the Stinking Cloud hoping that he'd fail his save. And since he's not running ProUndead, he'd become an easy target for his own skeletal minions that are immue to it. But first, we had to carve our way through the kobold frontline.
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Mulahey not only he made his saves, but it also became apparent that those skeletons are simply not going to attack their master no matter what. Disappointed as I was with the outcome, I have to admire the SCS scripting here for realism. Very cool. With the Stinking Cloud gone, we decided to blast the archers with Skull Trap to make some space.
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Aule's for the remainder of the kobold entourage.
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We're at stalemate. Mulahey's skeletons, although harmless to us, clinged to him like bodyguards. His HP were full. Our MIs were gone. And then it occurred to us - after all, we're not here to kill. We're here to investigate. Let's see what we can find out.
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Some holy symbol, interesting.
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What else? A ring? Nice, but that doesn’t really take us anywhere.
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There must be something else!
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Nah, this is pointless! Whit that, Sorsha equips Girdle of Bluntness and smacks Mulahey on the head with her staff at which point he turns hostile again. To maximize our speed factor and range advantage, we start running around the cave, trying to land one hit after another every single round. With his skeletons trailing him at every step, it almost felt like some chase-scene from Scooby Doo.

Eventually, by trying hard to protect their master with their very selves at all costs, the skeletons lock him in a corner. Mulahey screams in frustration, knowing that Sorsha's extra range will have the upper hand here, but none of them moves to release him from the deadly prison. Well, that's the pitfalls of necromancy I suppose.
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That was fun! Taking advantage of our ProUndead, we also cleared the tombs at the surface and are on our way back to Nashkel.

Regards,

B.
 

Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 14 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 5

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2, 3, 4

Nimbul Appreciation Post:

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You must think it rather odd to dedicate an entire entry to the encounter with Nimbul. And I agree. At the same time, I feel like he's a little underrated and deserves slightly more credit for being a worthy opponent. After all, he's probably the first assassin hunting the Bhaalspawn of any relevance. His timing is perfect - you're just returning from the tiresome crawl through the Nashkel mines, longing for cooked food and a warm bed at the inn. Also, none of the previous assassins dared to strike openly in the streets, so the element of surprise is handled masterfuly.

He's a respectable combatant as well, especially with SCS. His Emotion: Hopelessness can strike down entire parties, his Chromatic Orb sequencers can end runs and he's running robust defenses (Shield, Stoneskin, MIs, MSD) that pair well with his Boots of Avoidance. Probably his only deficiency is the lack of Invisibility + backstab moves, as he seems to prefer to use the throwing axes instead of his short sword +1.

Taking advantage of meta-gaming knowledge (or shall we call it Bhaalspawn intuition?), Sorsha prepared with care - she buffed with Strength, Resist Fear (via item), Shield, MSD, MI and Greenstone Amulet and also called in a group of summons via Wand of Monster Summoning. Not fair, I know.
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When the battle started, Nimbul fired off his buffs and Sorsha opened with an unsuccessful Glitterdust.
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As expected, Nimbul countered with Emotion: Hopelessnes that removed the majority of our summons from the fray.
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With not much to do in between melee attacks, Sorsha started working on his MSD with L1 spell scrolls.
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Once both his Stoneskin and MSD were down, Nimbul pulled off the best trick I've ever seen from him. The crowds went totally crazy at that point!
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Ok, I can now admit that the main reason for this Nimbul appreciation post was to show you how he'd cooked Rasaad. That monk's got a special place on our list of despised characters, if only because of those annoying unskipable conversations in Trademeet in SoA. I mean, how many times do I have to say that I don't want to hear about Selûne?! Oh wait, there's no such dialogue option there! Gosh, we can have a better conversation with Neeber!

Thank you, Nimbul, for being such a cool villain. Until next time!
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Regards,

B.
 

Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 16 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 6

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

After Nimbul, Neira was another person to have a bad day at the office, as she was taken down under our residual buffs from the previous fight (while Sorsha's RoFA eliminated the Hold Person threat). Interestingly, I had noted this behaviour alredy in the past, when one's summons sometimes transit between the areas, you can no longer control them, but they will still follow and assist.
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Here's Sorsha inventory at the time for the record.

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There was one important item missing from our collection ahead of the Bandit Camp - the Claw. We had the funds, but we first needed the CON tome from Black Alaric's Cave to mitigate the Claw's impact on our HP. Sorsha approached the cave under Invisibility, used MSD to foil the traps and shot down the golems with +1 arrows.
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Back in Beregost, Tarnesh got eliminated with the help of our brand new Wand of Paralyzation. Despite mages' strong saves vs. wands, the wand's -4 penalty still make them viable targets. (Note the lack of Resist Fear on Sorsha - that's clearly a mistake on my end. Sorry for that, girl.).
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Silke was pummeled down with Aule's while Sorsha was sitting safely behind her buffs, including the Greenstone Amulet.
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Who's the thespian extraordinaire now? With their assailant gone, we concluded that Faltis and the crew will no longer be needing those Potions of Defense they're each carrying.
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We're off to the camp with Raiken - I'll cover the battle in the next post shortly.
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Regards,

B.
 

Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 17 April 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 7

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

For the Bandit Camp we prepared with Potion of Master Thievery, Potion of Mind Focusing, Potion of Defense, Shield Amulet, Resist Fear (via item), Strength and Oil of Speed. The initial part of the plan involved pickpocketing Taurgosz for his potions...

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He yields Potion of Firebreath and Potion of Fortitude, although no Oil of Speed (which was the main threat we're looking to eliminate). Sorsha then goes invisible (via Invisibility scroll) and enters the main tent. Once in position, she completes her buffs with ProEvil (scroll), MI and Greenstone Amulet and checks that she's wearing the right equipement - with the Claw, Cloak of Displacement, Boots of Avoidance and Girdle of Piercing, Sorsha was now only exposed to critical hits.

To utilize the Potion of Master Thievery, we also relieve Britik of his Potion of Stone Giant Strength (along with MAA scroll) ahead of the battle.
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Sorsha then opens with Skull Trap.
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Unfortunately, the impact is not significant and Venkt manages to manouver away from the spell's radius. Aule time!
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Britik is dominated via the Captive Audience to create a distraction - he plays his role well and we might give him a call in the future in case we end up doing auditions at the Five Flagons theather.
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At that point, we're a bit concerned about the number of critical hits seen in the log and the diminishing number of our MIs. As noted in Sorsha's introduction, the +1 luck modifier granted by her personal item guarantees that she doesn't get hit as long as any images remain. Even without MIs, we could still rely on Sorsha's low effective AC, though it wouldn't be without risks.

Anyway, the priority was to remove Venkt from the picture. With his aura clouded, Sorsha moves in with Wand of Paralyzation. Success.
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More clean-up work with Aule.
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You may note that Britik's turned hostile once again, which allowed Hakt to turn his attention back to Sorsha. Just as we're about to start working on Venkt, Sorsha gets crit-hit by Raemon, suffering 19 points of damage. She immediately counters with Potion of Regerenation.
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Unfortunately, both Hakt and the last surviving Blacktalon land back-to-back critical hits as well, dealing additional 34 damage in a quick succession.
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This was not good. Not good at all. With Sorsha's aura still clouded from the potion quaff and poisoned (note: for some reason the "poisoned" portratit icon is not showing in my current install, not sure why), two more crits could mean death. Our only option was to quaff an emergency PoI as soon as possible, although we knew that some of the archers will still manage to fire during those long 3-4 seconds before our aura clears. We could close in on Hakt in melee, though I was too concerned about Britik there, despite his slow weapon.

Luckily, Hakt fails to strike another crit and Sorsha makes it to her PoI on time.
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What now? We had to heal up and cleanse the poison before re-engaging, but we're also conscious of Venkt's stun duration, meaning that we could not linger for too long. Considering the options, Sorsha opted for Potion of Health -> MIs, leaving the rest of the healing to the active Potion of Regeneration.
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These guys are on the roll indeed! Luckily, our refreshed MIs will take care of the threat for now.
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Sorsha manages to finish Venkt before the Wand of Paralyzation effect expires.
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Next!
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That's for all the trouble, Raemon!
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Same for you, Hakt!
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For sake of the fun factor, Britik is finished by equipping Boots of AvoidanceGrounding, quaffing Potion of Insulation and triggering the lightning trap at the chest.
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Borco

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Sorsha, human bard: Part 7 - continued

Fully buffed and angry, we're not ready to let the bandits get away with taking us this close to dying. We knew that there'd be more archers waiting for us outside the tent. And what is the best armor against archers? Full plate, of course. We cannot wear one, but we know someone who can do it for us…

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With Taurgosz joining team Sorsha, the odds were now even. Shortly after the game kicked off, the score became 2:0 in our favour.
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Nevertheless, the opposing team pushes hard and scores as well. 2:1.
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Sorsha strikes six points via Necklace of Missiles. 8:1.
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Many have arrived. Good.
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Wand of Fire scorcher + Oil of Speed combo is a classic.
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We've lost count by the time our last mirror image disappeared. Sorsha hunts down the remaining cannon fodder and our job here is done.
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We're now at level 9 and ready to hit Cloakwood.

Regards,

B.
 

Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 25 May 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 8

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

With apologies for the longer hiatus, but otherwise without further ado, I'd like to continue Sorsha's story where we left it the last time - in Cloakwood.

We collected the Cloak of Non-Detection and used Invisibility and Ring of Free Action to secure safe passage through the Spider Forest. Lamalha's ambush came next.
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Sorsha first buffed with Strength, Shield, MIs and MSD and broke her invisibility with a Skull Trap.
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Unable to interrupt Zeela's Unholy Blight, we suffered minor damage early on, but otherwise things were looking good. The rogues were of little concern at range (with Sorsha wearing the Claw, Cloak of Displacement, Boots of Avoidance and Girdle of Piercing) and we had MSD to counter Rigid Thinking / Command and Ring of Free Action at hand to eliminate Hold Person threat from the clerics.
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One down.
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Interestingly, you can see Zeela casting a conjuration spell - that's Chant and she started the incantation while dominated via Captive Audience. Despite the fact that the effect has rather randomly worn off in the middle of the casting (as it sometimes happens with charm-type spells), we still got the full upside of the spell once it was finished.

Zeela-> Hold Person. Sorsha-> equip RoFA.
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More damage coming our way.
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Time to hit back. Two down.
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With our MIs gone, we decided to finish the battle with Wand of Fire for efficiency purposes.
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Not much has happened until we reached the mines and Drasus' crew. We had a plan for him - buff heavily (Shield, Resist Fear via personal item, Potion of Absorption, Strength, MSD, Potion of Power, MIs, Greenstone Amulet), equip Girdle of Bluntness, summon cannon fodder via Wand of Monster Summoning, approach invisible, pickpocket his Potion of Magic Shielding, retreat behind our summons and bring him down as fast as possible with our offensive spells/wands and Aule's.
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It was a bad plan, as we found out very shortly after trying to execute it.

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For starters, we pickpocketed Drasus' Potion of Frost Giant Strength instead of Magic Shielding. But that's not the worst thing which could happen - that would be a quick Remove Magic/Chaos opening combo from the mages. And yes, that's precisely what Kysus and Rezdan had in store for us.
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Keeping her Potion of Magic Blocking at the ready, Sorsha first swallowed the dispel projectile. Maybe it was because moving out of Rezdan's range, but his Chaos projectile never came out.
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With our buffs and all possible advantage gone, we had no options left but to equip Cloak of Non-Detection and quaff a PoI while watching our summons get massacred. There was a bitter taste in her mouth, but Sorsha knew the value of living to fight another day.
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Borco

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Sorsha, human bard: Part 8 - continued

She waited out the telefield, rested under Invisibility and proceeded to the mines. After securing Ril's help, she almost got into trouble when some of the guards started to investigate the noises and one of them blocked the door.
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Staying invisible (and wearing Cloak of Non-Detection), Sorsha had to retrace her steps through the secret corridor back to the main lobby, where she equipped her Boots of Grounding and quaffed a Potion of Insulation to counter the lightning trap, and carefully navigated her way through the numerous guards to finally reach the third floor and, eventually, Davaeorn's quarters.

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She took out the bodyguard with Skull Trap + Aule and prepared for the battle with green ProMagic scroll, Potion of Strength, Potion of Defense, Potion of Mind Focusing and Oil of Speed.
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Here's the equipment used for the battle (with the Greenstone Amulet being further replaced with Necklace of Missiles).
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When Davaeorn resisted our initial Wand of Paralyzation attempt thanks to his robe's MR, we knew we're in for a long fight.
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We focused on the mage with our acid arrows to penetrate his Stoneskins, blasting Necklace of Missiles/Wand of Fire fireballs whenever possible. Sorsha also quaffed a Potion of Regeneration after suffering some initial damage from the fast striking Battle Horrors.
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Davaeorn helped us to get rid of them in his signature Sunfire style.
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Once the guards started to pour in, Sorsha used Captive Audience to get some more breathing space.
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With Davaeorn's Stoneskin down, the day was won.
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Borco

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Sorsha, human bard: Part 8 - continued

We collected the valuables and rushed to the surface to take advantage of our current buffs - it was payback time for Drasus and his friends. But first, Sorsha quaffed her second Potion of Absorption of the session and re-equipped her Girdle of Bluntness.
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Since the mages posed little threat, we focused on the two fighter types first. Sorsha quickly decided it's best if Genthore joined our ranks.

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Now it was mainly down to Drasus only.
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Despite his movement speed, we tried to use our own haste and fast long-range weapon to avoid as much incoming APR as possible. It was hit and run all the way.
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Finally, once his Enrage worn off, he fell unconscious and became an easy victim.
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The rest was mainly clean up, although the way how SCS mages still manage to put up a reasonable fight against ProMagic with the use of summons (including earth and fire elementals in this particular instance), telefields, MMMs and invisibility is definitely admirable.
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I'll conclude the post with what I believe is probably the most dangerous ambush in SCS BG1. I always keep at least one Potion of Freedom exclusively for this situation, although this time around Sorsha had the benefit of RoFA.
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We're off to Baldur's Gate.

Regards,

B.
 
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Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 26 May 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 9

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

An arcane spellcaster walks into a bar in Baldur's Gate for the first time...

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At this point in time we had memorized the majority of relevant L1-L4 spells with the notable exceptions of Remove Magic, Minor Spell Trigger Sequencer and Stoneskin (Sorsha was still approx. 25k XP short of level 10 and access to L4 spellcasting).

The sole aim of our short stay in the city was Ramazith's tower. Sorsha secured the release of the nymph from Ragefast and, even though she did except Ramazith to be somewhat grumpy about the outcome of the matter, she did not expect him to be so mad as to multiply.
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Come on Rama - we all know you're a necromancer and you cannot conjure illusions and simulacrums, so what on earth is going on here?! Shall we pickpocket all three of you, since none of you seem to be interested in either talking to us nor teleporting upstairs as per your script?

We got the RoP and the Metaspell Influence, but we could not possibly leave these abominations walk the Faerun. Return whence you came!
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And you too!
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With only one Ramazith left, apparently docile and harmless, we decided to just fetch the INT tome and let him live.
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Following a brief investigation of the Iron Throne HQ, we embarked on the journey to Candlekeep. Potion of Magic Blocking for the ogre mage ambush, as is customary.
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Knock scrolls and elemental/spell protections for the locked and trapped tombs.
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Invisibility for everything else until we're back at the Gate. Here's Sorsha's inventory after the final shopping spree at Sorcerous Sundries, with most of our funds spent on arrows, potions and scrolls.
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Having enjoyed a relaxing stay at the Blade and the Stars, Sorsha now had access to all the Bhaalspawn powers (2x CMW, 2x Slow Poison, 2x DuHM) and was ready for the finals - I'll cover that in the next post.
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Regards,

B.
 

Borco

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[Repost of the original post of 3 June 2023]

Sorsha, human bard: Part 10

Previous posts: Introduction, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Here we are at the grand finale of BG1, starting with Slythe and Krystin.

Sorsha had two alternative battle plans - either go all-in on buffs with green ProMagic scroll, Violet Potion, Potion of Agility, Potion of Fortitude, Potion of Mind Focusing, Potion of Defense and Oil of Speed, or use the jelly form via Polymorph: Self (for 100% piercing and magic resistances). Confident with the more straightforward approach, she opted for the first option.

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At the cost of one Potion of Firebreath, Slythe fell without landing a single hit.
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Sorsha collected the documents and headed straight to the palace. She quaffed Potion of Power, equipped Arrows of Dispelling and engaged with the dukes.
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Our aim was to dispel as many doppelgangers as possible early on and then quickly overwhelm them with Aule's. We had a good start, although one of the assassin managed to land a backstab on Sorsha, forcing her to quaff a Potion of Regeneration.
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Then came the much feared Chaos move by the doppelganger mage. Fortunately, none of the confused Flaming Fists went after Sarevok.
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Sorsha had enough space to start clearing up the field, assisted by her Wand of Monster Summoning.
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The good news was that we reached the XP cap and level 10, the bad news was that we lost Belt.
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Liia did a good job staying out of danger and Sorsha was able to take out the mage with dispel and acid arrows.
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By using one additional charge of Wand of Monster Summoning and tanking Sarevok ourselves, we were able to keep Liia safe until Sarevok's departure.
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Borco

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Sorsha, human bard: Part 10 - continued

With our buffs intact, Sorsha quaffed a PoI and rushed through the maze and the Undercity and finally confronted Sarevok in the temple.

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We opened with a dispel on Sarevok.
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Afterwards, we employed some rather cheap tactics with our Arrows of Detonation.
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Potion of Firebreath on Diarmid. Two down.
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Back to Arrows of Detonation. Three down.
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And a goodbye kiss for Tazok by Aule's. Four down.
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Once on his own, Sarevok failed his save against Wand of Paralyzation (note his position - for once, we wanted to have him right in the middle of the circle to coincide with the final animation).
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Final offensive push with Aule's and summons.
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Retrospectively, I wish we'd employed more interesting tactics during the final fight (I'm looking at you Malison + Captive Audience), but the important thing is that we prevailed, despite the dangerous moments during the Ducal Palace fight.

I'm looking forward to start posting on Sorsha's progress in SoA soon.

Regards,

B.
 
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