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The Pillars of Eternity No Reload Challenge

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Were the other reports on the PotD battle? It's possible that Dominate is crowded out by higher level spells on PotD/scaled PotD.


Another possibility is that he only uses it in certain circumstances and your behavior never triggered its use.


In this video (max level upscaled PotD) Thaos do use Dominate at least three times (8:23, 11:18, 13:23). But in other videos he definitely use confusion, instill doubts, pillar of holy fire, cleansing flame etc. far more often.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: Blood Legacy


It was 4:00am. I was already showing signs of sloppiness. The sensible thing to do would have been to go to sleep. Did I do the sensible thing? Of Course not: I did the opposite. I undertook a lengthy, trap filled quest, populated with dangerous enemies: Blood Legacy. Forgive me Arcadia for I have sinned.


All things considered, this went pretty well. We did suffer a knockout, but only one- and it was a harmless one at that. Had I stopped playing after this quest -had I read the signs that were by now all too clear- all would have been fine. I didn't do that, sadly. This session still had hours to go.


The opening temple battles went smoothly. In the interest of economy, we used few spells in these fights. The Skaen Temple offers one free set of camping gear, leaving the player with 3 rests. That's enough -even for a caster laden party like ours- but care is required.


In the first fight we used out per encounter abilities only, supplemented by an item cast Arcane Dampener, intended to squelch Devotions for the Faithful. That was enough.






With Alikae's Mechanic score too low to disarm, we had to carefully manage our position in the second encounter. It wasn't a problem, in the end. No spells were needed.






On the bridge we let Pallegina summon Firebrand. Since Pallegina has neither Intense Flames nor Scion of Flame, her Firebrand criticals are less impressive this run. She can still pack a punch.






Eventually, we reached a crew worthy of some spells. Happily, our grimoires were loaded. Eder, wood beetles; Pallegina, adra beetle; Cassia, Circle of Protection; Alena, Devotions for the Faithful; Arcadia, Arcane Veil->Eldritch Aim; Alikae, Arcane Veil->Eldritch Aim.






Blindness + Fireball + Iconic Projection x 2, while the tanks hold position behind the beetles.






With our enemies' numbers thinned, we switched to low level stuff and physical weapons. Chill Fog and ranged weapons ended it.






Shortly thereafter, we took our first rest. In our next fight, blindness on the front liners and Chill Fog on the backline were all we needed. Chill Fogs are a great way to bottle up ranged ciphers 






By this point we were closing in on the free camping gear. And so we decided to let Eder and Pallegina's bars stay yellow, rather than wasting Potions of Infuse with Vital Essence.






I was almost proud of our progress when I did this: I knocked-out Alikae by opening a trapped chest -a chest that I absolutely knew was trapped- but somehow, inexplicably forgot. It was a silly way to end our knockout-free streak. But it was, sadly, just the beginning.






Ok. Onto Wymund. In all my other playthroughs, I brought Grieving Mother along for the Skaen Temple. I wasn't really sure what would happen if I didn't. As it turns out, completing this  quest without a cipher is deeply unsatisfying- unless you're playing evil (or evilish), that is. I won't spoil it, for those who haven't tried it. Just know that I wasn't pleased. Frustrated, I instructed Alikae to attack Wymund- despite the fact that our positioning was all wrong.






It's hard for me to reconstruct the battle from the screenshots. I see no discernible strategy. I was by now exhausted. My actions weren't making sense. We had a full spell book. And yet we seem to have cast very few spells, save a Withdraw for Alena.






Our positioning was awful. Our timing was worse. And yet somehow we muddled through. Hooray for us, I guess. If I only I had celebrated by going to sleep.









Edited by Alesia_BH
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Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 21


Lots of drake fighting at Searing Falls. The fear auras resulted in regular crits (my Will defence is far from my strong point) which caused Frenzy, but little effort was required as Dragon Thrashed did its thing.






I decided to use the choke point for the Cail the Silent fight. Cail helped out by frying some of its own minions with its breath.






Once in position I put my buffs up (Protection, Prayer against Fear et al).






Despite being immune to fire, Cail was already injured by the time it managed to engage me (from the slashing element of Dragon Thrashed).






Yikes: a single attack takes a third of my endurance.






That was despite Sanguine Plate and Bulwark of the Elements (38 points of DR). Very rare Jazz Wit takes damage like this, but he still has plenty more endurance and the outcome is not in doubt.






This is a wonderful weapon that is unfortunately not much use for Jazz Wit.






Part of the reason I want to do a Fighter or Barbarian playthrough soon is to make good use of this weapon.


Back to Defiance Bay to tie up loose ends; the Captain Emery fight:






The phantom gets a now rare outing:






I burn a load of cash for Dragon Meat dishes (nothing else to spend it on!)






You can see I'm still hanging on to an eclectic range of weapons for no particular reason.


More bandits on the way to the hearings.






I returned to Caed Nua after the riots and completing the 'Call to Court' quest go me to level 11 (Mechanics increased to 11 and took the Silver Knights Shields chant). Another 10k copper thrown at hiring troops too.


I now have 3 options regarding where to go next (and willing to listen to requests or suggestions): (1) Endless Paths levels 7-14; (2) White March; or (3) start Act 3 and head towards Twin Elms.

Edited by Jaheiras Witness
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The Tale of Gloomy Face: Hearth Orlan, Druid - Chapter V: Raedric’s Hold.

I’ve thought that it’s time to deal with Raedric already. And check my luck if I can get those famous Gloves of Manipulation. Before going to the Hold we’ve purchased The Dunryd Demon for myself and Hermit’s Hat went to Xoti. We also hired Glanfathan Soul Hunter, a special guest who came by at the moment, to help us protect Caed Nua. En route to the Hold we explored Woodend Plains a bit more where we dealt with a lone Pwgra but Forest Lurkers were left alone again (for now).



My goal for the Raedric’s Hold was a quiet infiltration. Not a single guard should be killed – they are just soldiers on duties after all. And as it turned out after Kolsc claimed the Hold they all stayed out there with a new ruler. That’s fine with me and people of Gilded Vale need protection – I can’t stay there forever.

We enter through the sewers once again, free Giacco, got some Berathian Priest Robes and talked our way through to Nedmar twice.


He gave us Burnished Steel Key and we sneaked through the throne room to Ygrid’s bedchamber. Removing the trap on the chest there gave us enough experience for Pallegina to advance up to level 7 (Liberating Exhortation). With a pumping heart I opened the chest and… Yay! The Gloves of Manipulation! This is the first time ever I put my hands on them. Pallegina found a Minor Bracers of Deflection in nearby room, we applied some food buffs and took an audience with Lord Raedric. He was astonished by our quiet infiltration capabilities (his guards were ashamed) and we listened his end of story, learning some new things about Kolsc et all. But he wasn't convincing enough so a fight ensued.


Eder>Wood Beetles, Pallegina>Scroll of Protection, Xoti>Scroll of Defense (it has better protections and duration than Circle of Protection spell), Aloth>Scroll of Valor, Gloomy Face>Returning Storm. Next round Xoti>Blessing followed with Painful Interdiction and Dire Blessing (just a misclick here, no need for Blessing), Aloth>Slicken, Gloomy Face>Autumn's Decay. At some moment all enemies except Archer and one Wizard were either prone or stunned, Aloth depleted his Arcane Assaults and then we just mopped them all with auto attacks:


All what is left is to casually loot the whole castle and check what Osrya is now about. Apparently, she is not quite happy with the change of the ruler but since she doesn’t attack us on sight I left her alone.


Well, for level 7 party this quest is not challenging at all, so, I think, next time I’ll try it a bit earlier. At least pre Defiance Bay.

Now, since I don’t want to go for main quest until I finish all Act I/II side quests, I think, I’ll try my skills on Endless Paths a bit.


Current state:

Gloomy Face - Druid (lvl 7); Stealth:0; Athletic:1; Lore:1; Mechanics:10; Survival:4; Talents: Veteran's Recovery>Bear's Fortitude>Superior Deflection; Equipment: The Dunryd Demon, Aru-Brekr Brigandine, Minor Cloak of Protection, Minor Ring of Deflection, Ring of Overseeing, Gloves of Manipulation, Fulvano's Boots, Fine Hunting Bow/Hearth Harvest+Fine Hatchet;


Eder - Fighter (lvl 7); Stealth:0; Athletic:3; Lore:8; Mechanics:0; Survival:7; Talents: Rapid Recovery>Vulnerable Attack>Superior Deflection; Abilities: Knock Down (auto)>Confident Aim>Disciplined Barrage>Armored Grace; Equipment: The Pilgrim's Lasting Vigil, Sanguine Plate Armor, Cloak of Eothasian Priest, Minor Ring of Deflection, Minor Ring of Protection, Boots of Stability, Blunting Belt, Whispers of Yenwood (Burning Lash)+Oidhreacht/Fine War bow;


Aloth - Wizard (lvl 7); Stealth:0; Athletic:3; Lore:9; Mechanics:2; Survival:5; Talents: Blast>Penetrating Blast>Bear's Fortitude; Equipment: Aloth's Leather Armor, Drinking Horn of Moderation, Healing Hands, Minor Ring of Protection, Engwithan Scepter/Fine Rapier+Fine Small Shield;
Grimoire: Level 1 - Fan of Flames, Slicken, Chill Fog, Minoletta's Minor Missiles; Level 2 - Curse of Blackened Sight, Infuse With Vital Essence, Combusting Wounds, Bulwark Against The Elements; Level 3 - Expose Vulnerabilities, Fireball, Llengrath's Displaced Image, Arcane Dampener; Level 4 - Essential Phantom, Minor Arcane Reflection;


Xoti - Priest of Eothas (lvl 6); Stealth:0; Athletic:2; Lore:8; Mechanics:0; Survival:5; Talents: Interdiction>Painful Interdiction>Weapon and Shield Style; Equipment: Hermit’s Hat, Plate Armor, Father’s Teeth, Fulvano's Gloves, Minor Ring of Protection, Ring of Overseeing, Gaun's Share+Fine Large Shield/Gyrd Haewanes Stenes;


Sagani - Ranger (lvl 7); Stealth:3; Athletic:1; Lore:7; Mechanics:0; Survival:6; Talents: Agile Retreat (auto)>Resilient Companion>Vicious Companion>Merciless Companion; Abilities: Wounding Shot (auto)>Predator's Sense>Stalker's Link>Driving Flight; Equipment: Footpad’s Hood, Fine Hide Armor, Cape of Deflection, Bartender's Ring, Minor Ring of Protection, Massuk Hunting Bow/Fine Dagger+Fine Hatchet;


Pallegina - Palladin (lvl 7); Stealth:0; Athletic:3; Lore:8; Mechanics:0; Survival:5; Talents: Deep Faith>Veteran's Recovery>Superior Deflection; Abilities: Faith and Conviction (auto)>Flames of Devotion (auto)>Lay on Hands>Zealous Focus>Liberating Exhortation; Equipment: Pallegina's Breastplate, Minor Cloak of Protection, Minor Bracers of Deflection, Shod-in-Faith, Gaun’s Pledge, Justice/Fine Arbalest;




to be continued...

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: The Wrath of Pallegina


Remember that curio shop? Pallegina does not approve.






If Pallegina lived in our world, she'd probably spend her evenings sipping wine, listening to opera, and ripping on people's Etsy shops. That's the impression I'm under, at least.


Needing somewhere to direct Pallegina's rage -and with the construction workers clearing undeserving of a hate storm- we descended into the Endless Paths, seeking things to kill. If your caustic aunt had 15 levels of dungeon in her basement, maybe Christmas would be more tolerable.


We started with some ogres. The first batches were killed using per encounter abilities, with bloodthirsty Pallegina in the lead. 






We took a moment to test whether we could stack two Marking weapons on one character. That was a no go, it seems. Eder's 98 here is 68 base + Inspiring Radiance + Coordinated Attacks (paladin) + Marking (Shame or Glory). St Garam's Spark, wielded by Cassia, over Eder's shoulder, isn't showing up.






We didn't start casting until we saw druids. Alena was the hero in this fight, charming an ogre druid, pre-Blizzard, pre-Calling the World's Maw and then baking the fallen with Shinning Beacon.






Go ahead, Pallegina: this one's all yours.






We had some spells left over for the second ogre druid batch. Iconic Projection continues to be useful.






Onto Zolla. We had a cunning and subtle plan worked out here, but Pallegina, in her unbridled rage, charged ahead. 






Happily, she realized her mistake soon enough to reach buffing range before getting walloped. Her adra beetle, dropped near the druid, is taking the abuse.






By the time the ogres arrived, we were buffed and ready. Our beetle wall, which had been reinforced by Eder, had fallen. Here we see Alikae sneaking in a fireball as Arcadia calls some tentacles to replace the beetles.






With a Pull of Eora in place to relieve pressure on the tentacles, the ogres are by now completely helpless. Bombs away.






Dropping a Moonwell in our Pull was a smart move by the ogre clan, but it was too little too late.






We insist, Pallegina. We're doing this for you.






After clearing level 4, we were ready to move on to Twin Elms. It was 7:00am. I was still awake. And instead of going to sleep, I had breakfast. We didn't make it to Twin Elms until 8:30am. It will show.





Edited by Alesia_BH
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Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 22


Sole vote was for Endless Paths and since we are at Caed Nua anyway, it makes logical sense to do that next.


Level 7 includes Adragan fights. One slight concern: I have no rest or Salty Mast bonuses.






The Thaos sequence at the end of Act 2 acts as a rest, refreshing your per rest items and abilities (as well as health) but it wipes out your previous rest bonuses and boons. That's annoying. I don't need to rest (fresh as a daisy), I don't like resting for the sake of it, and I can't get any Salty Mast bonuses until I have been to Twin Elms. So just have to press on.


First Adragan fight.






It's just one adragan but I am not taking chances; I have food buffs, scrolls of protection and defence, and the adra beetle comes out to play.






I threw out fear and re-charmed the dominated adra beetle.






Not too difficult. Other rooms are fairly trivial.






Erm, what's going on here?






I have killed them all but combat is not ending and my chant counter continues to rise. Is it a bug?






No, it turns out I have managed to aggro the adjoining room through solid walls! (Dragon Thrashed radius most likely cause)


Ogres summoned for the first time (since chant counter was already at max - normally fights don't last long enough to chant 5 phrases!).






Water room is last to be cleared.






Now for the main adragan battle...

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Jazz Wit, Solo Chanter (Hard), Part 23


No chances to be taken: we even choke down some dragon meat!






I know what my sequence will be here: protection, defence, beetles, bulwark, paralyse (invocation). Scroll of Protection first.






O. M. G.






12.8 seconds of Petrify! It was a hit for 20.4 seconds, shortened to 12.8 due to the scroll. Looking at the combat log, a hit was only 19% chance. If I had got the Scroll of Defence off, there would have been no chance of hit, it would have been a graze for a few seconds only. But I was too slow :o


I am in deep trouble. In just a second or so after being petrified I have already taken over 150 damage. Frenzy has also triggered, which will increase my endurance, but I now cannot see my hit points.


It's all over. There's more and more stuff whacking me for horrendous damage. I then get dominated as well just to rub it in.






Hang on. That's a...good thing?! I'm on their side now, they're going to stop attacking me!






They walked away :D






I survived petrification!  :dancing:


I can't believe it. But no time to rest on laurels, there's still a fight to be won. I'm still frenzied so don't know my health situation, but it can't be good. But what do I do? Endurance potion? Beetles for distraction? Scroll to boost defences?


I decide on Vital Essence. That's probably somewhere near 100 points of healing after various modifiers such as MIG and it deals with health as well as endurance.






We'll go for Scroll of Defence next (and then renew Protection).












It was all going too well and becoming too easy. I am too sad and annoyed right now, will write closing thoughts later.

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No! I totally wasn't expecting that.


(I feel terrible for suggesting Od Nua now. I had no idea it would be dangerous for Jaz Wit  :(. I've never been past level 5.)


Please tell us you'll be running another character. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been enjoying your posts.





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Sorry for thy loss, Jaheiras Witness...

I guess, one of the many other reasons (unlucky events, RL distractions etc.) of premature end of no-reload run is when it begin to seem too easy... Sure thing, it's just a game, no need to take it as a hard work - there is no fun at all in that case. But I think, a certain degree of concentration doesn't hurt in any case. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that Dragon Thrashed became both a boon and a bane for you... It was a great run nonetheless and I hope to see another one from you.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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@Jaheiras Witness: Sad to see Jazz Wit fall. He was doing so well, and you were playing so well. I'm impressed by how far you've gotten as a solo character in a no-reload run. Surviving all the way through Defiance Bay is an achievement to say the least.


Soloing PoE poses some unique challenges that you don't see in BG. While there aren't many instant-death effects and disablers tend to offer multiple chances to avoid smaller effects, which minimizes the impact of bad luck, the reality is that safeguarding against fatal scenarios is much tougher. Without pre-buffs, and with immunities extremely scarce even for priests, you only have seconds to set up your defenses.


I look forward to hearing your post-mortem analysis, and I hope we'll see a new run from you soon.

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Condolences, Jaheiras Witness. Adragans seem even more dangerous to a solo character by a huge margin - good job making it quite far into the game, though, I'm sure once other runners attempt to go solo, they will greatly profit from the work you've done so far.

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No! I totally wasn't expecting that.


(I feel terrible for suggesting Od Nua now. I had no idea it would be dangerous for Jaz Wit  :(. I've never been past level 5.)



Don't worry, you don't have to feel bad. If no-one had suggested anything I would have done Endless Paths anyway since I was already at Caed Nua.


Before I reflect on the particular battle, a general reflection on Dragon Thrashed and whether I was complacent because it was too easy. I don't think so. There is no question that Dragon Thrashed is very powerful and turns a lot of fights into cakewalks. I was also overlevelled for the areas I was doing and had more consumables than I knew what to do with. But as I looked ahead to the remaining challenges, Adragans and the Adra Dragon (which has its own bunch of adragans as minions, and which I totally intended to fight) were the main fights I was concerned about. Everything else would have been trivial. That's partly why I feel frustrated. It takes a lot of work to get this far and I knew the game was more or less won other than a few fights which required proper concentration and strategy. Adragans were on that list and I was concentrating for this battle, with preparations and a strategy worked out. It was execution (and some bad, but not terrible, luck) that let me down.


I also will not whinge (too much) about adragans and more specifically the petrify affliction. In relation to other afflictions and gameplay in general, it is silly, unbalanced and badly implemented. Biggest issue is the base 20 second duration for a hit from an adragan. If it were half that it would still be very strong but more balanced. For a solo character stun/paralyse and petrify are the killer afflictions; but mainly the latter as there are many options to deal with the former. When adragans, which are meant to be just a "normal" opponent in the pwgra/delmegan line, are 100x more dangerous than most bosses and big setpiece encounters, you know there is a balance problem. But I do understand the game was not necessarily meant for solo play and petrify is mainly a solo problem.


Looking back on the fight, there were several things that went wrong.


1) I did not get the scroll of defence off. Pure speed + interrupt issue. My RES was well buffed for this fight (at 13) so it was not a RES dump problem. But there was a DEX issue (next point). The other thing I could have done in hindsight is take a +speed foodbuff (Farmer's Spread or Goldrot Chew) to retreat further at the start of the fight, to buy myself fractionally more time to get buffs up.


2) DEX dump finally bit me as I just was not fast enough to get the defences up. Actually it probably was not the DEX dump itself: I have completed succesful solo no-reloads with chanter with dumped DEX. It was more DEX buffing (I was up to only 5; in previous runthroughs I've been around 8 due to the Deadfire belt which I chose not to buy in this playthrough because it is so powerful) in combination with...


3) Sanguine Plate finally killed me, but not how I expected. The Frenzy was bad in the sense I could not see my HPs when I recovered from the first Petrify, but I could well have been dead from that petrify without Frenzy (because of the +4 CON). No, what killed me was the 50% recovery penalty on top of my DEX. In previous playthroughs I have used lighter armour (including the pirate uniforms before they nerfed the +20 to +9). I was getting hit so infrequently and had so many regeneration and healing options that I should not have bothered maxing DR and instead gone with something lighter with less recovery. 


4) The vital essence potion was a mistake. I should have drunk endurance (would have healed probably x2 damage that vital essence did). Looking back I was fresh before the fight, my health could not possibly have been in danger. I should have maxed endurance healing.


5) A bit of bad luck as well. The adragan had only a 19% chance to hit with the first petrify; it would have been nil if the scroll of defence had been read. A graze there and I probably would have recovered just fine with the huge endurance pool I had.


6) The resting and Salty Mast missing bonuses. In hindsight I should have done these fights before finishing Act 2. The Dracogen rest bonus and Lyrinia's boon that I had up before gave me +4 MIG and +4 CON (along with other stuff)...that's +16 FOR, which in itself would almost have eliminated the chance of a hit from the first Petrify.


7) I could have waited one more level. The talent I was intending to take at level 12 was Bear's Fortitude, which was another +10 FOR. But continuing to Elmshore would also have involved Adragans (unless I skipped everything in stealth), so I'm not worrying too much about this.


So plenty to think about and some lessons learned. I am not too disheartened because I have successfully done this challenge before, so it's not a regret from the achievement perspective; and in any case the main purpose of doing this run was just to get familiar with the game again after nearly a year of not playing. I am just annoyed from a time investment perspective. I don't have as much time to play as some lucky souls and it took a long time to get this far, only to be back at square one. The good news is I will have more time to play over christmas as I have quite a bit of time off work.


I don't think I will do another chanter run immediately. I think it has to be a melee class; I don't have the inclination or patience right now to play a micromanagement class such as a spellcaster. Paladins are a no-go from roleplaying perspective. I should probably also rule barbarian out since Frenzy will get me killed for sure at some point. No interest in ranger. Also not rogue since it's not a class I particularly like in PoE and I'll let Alesia figure that route out. So might have to be Fighter or Monk I guess. Thoughts, opinions and feedback welcome :)

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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher


We head back to Od Nua, just to see what's left. The last time I was here, I stopped short of fighting the Xaurips because the presence of Wurms concerned me, but now that we're much higher level, I'm not worried about the "unknowns" anymore; we're tough enough to handle Xaurip-grade surprises.


The Xaurips are remarkably easy to crush at this point. Divinegon now has the Extra Weapon Set talent and therefore can open with an arbalest and a firearm blast before switching to the Engwithan Scepter, and the extremely high Focus numbers let us use Silent Scream to deal very fast, very high Raw damage to groups of enemies.



We finally get the Hand and Key armor, which will be very helpful in the final battle. After resting for the Wilder Accuracy bonus, we take on the Xaurips in the big blood chamber, and Rius, our mage, tries out her new tentacle summoning spell. Turns out the tentacles have a shocking 71 Accuracy, and they deal very impressive damage per hit. Their inability to move is barely any handicap; they're best used to construct walls, and their wide circles only make that easier.


Against the ogres on the level below, Rius finds that Slicken is highly effective against the low-Reflex ogres, allowing Frost to slip past the druid without provoking a disengagement attack. Even the ogres have trouble standing up to Divinegon these days.


But it's just barely not enough to clear the field, and when more ogres join the party, we start taking heavy damage and getting knocked prone. Rius buys us lots of time by re-applying Slicken, which also allows Frost to land some sneak attacks on top of Finishing Blow.


When we know Frost is safe and Divinegon has enough Focus, we clear the field with another Ectopsychic Echo.


When we fight Zolla, we use Slicken early in combat rather than midway through, and even Zolla can't deal with slippery floors.


We follow up with blindness and Silent Scream, crippling the fighters and paralyzing Zolla...


...but when Divinegon gets knocked prone, I just throw out a Confusion spell to keep the pressure off of our poor cipher. By the time it wears off, Zolla has already killed another ogre!


We clean up with another Ectopsychic Echo. So, so many fights end with that spell.


The next batch of ogres proves just as vulnerable to Slicken as the others, but Rius finds that Confusion lasts longer and doesn't need to be chain-cast to keep the ogres off our backs.


This fight involved a lot of optimizations, but the basically formula involved disabling the ogres with Slicken and blindness while applying area-effect damage from every source we had.



Notice how broadly scattered our party was. I have no idea why I let them stray so far apart, but the reason we could get away with this arrangement and survive without choke points (aside from our high levels and strong defenses under Circle of Protection) is that the ogres spent so much time disabled that they couldn't actually apply much pressure.


We don't go much farther in this dungeon, but we do fight some scattered critters and generate enough gold to craft a bunch of expendables and upgrade some of our gear. I burn so much money on upgrades and expendables that we actually send up selling off dozens of units of excess ingredients just to afford everything.


As we approach the big hole to Thaos, we finally reach level 8 for our paladin, rogue, and wizard. We're almost ready.




High-damage spells take down the Stelgaers and Blights, but the Adragans are a different kind of threat. We open with the Oaken Scarab Figurine and a Scroll of Defense land a fast kill on the first Adragan.


I'm hesitate to send Frost out past the enemies to enable an Ectopsychic Echo, since I don't know what the Adragans might do to her, so Divinegon just uses Antipathetic Field instead. It won't hit the Adragan at the far back, though--Antipathetic Field only affects those within the beam, and the original target is outside of it.


We blast the beetles with Silent Scream to get past their high damage reduction while our own beetles succumb to enemy pressure. We've got a couple characters stunned thanks to Returning Storm or some such, but no Petrification nonsense so far.


Divinegon busts out Soul Ignition to light up the uninjured Adragan and charms a big beetle, but in the end, it's Zovai, our low-Perception priest, who scores the kill against the odds.



Zovai has actually been surprisingly effective with Iconic Projection when she uses it. I didn't intend for her to deal much damage, but she's still quite capable of doing it, even if she doesn't have the raw power of Frost, Rius, or Divinegon, our rogue, mage, and cipher.

As always, I prepare for a fight with the Sky Dragon, but I successfully choose the right dialog options. I haven't fought the Sky Dragon since my Easy mode run, and I don't think I actually beat it even then (unless I somehow forgot doing so).



Done! We now have Hylea's favor, though Pallegina has mixed feelings about the matter.



We're almost to Thaos. But before we do, I really want to hit level 9, since I'm sure Thaos is going to be an absolute nightmare.

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So I have two ideas for next solo character and I would be interested to hear what you guys think and what you would prefer to see.


1) Wild Orlan Fighter

MIG 13

CON 10


PER 20

INT 19



This will be a dashing sword and shield fighter who relies on extreme accuracy to land plenty of crits. Will make heavy use of scrolls (for both defence and offence) and a certain talent I intend to take at level 2 to redress the odds. Could be a fragile character with low FOR and HPs – getting past Caed Nua will be a challenge.


2) Coastal Aumaua Monk

MIG 21

CON 18


PER 10

INT 14



This will be a brutal, punching monk who will smash anything in his path with Swift Strikes and Torment’s Reach. Formidable and durable, though early game could be tricky due to relatively poor DEF, and REF will always be a disaster. Level 7 onwards could be spectacular as a certain ability makes an appearance.


Let me know what you think :)

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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher


Near the Thaos Hole, we run into a bunch of Spirits, and when we see a Cean Gwla among them, we take the threat seriously, deploying our beetles and summoning some tentacles. Divinegon lands a kill on a Phantom with her blunderbuss (she opens with an arbalest for a reliable hit, then a blunderbuss for a heavier hit, then a scepter for consistent damage), but our beetles aren't doing too well against the enemy, and our tentacles spawn to the south, away from the enemy. This robs us of a very valuable wall--and worse yet, the tentacles can't even move; the entire spell was a waste.



Our twin paladins are still in good condition, though, which buys us some time to launch some Fireballs and stuff, allowing us to weed out some of the weaker critters.


There are some druids in this fight we need to worry about, but when one of them gets Returning Storm off the ground, we discover that our tentacles actually had some small role: absorbing lightning bolts.


Divinegon targets the druid, which I deem one of the primary threats, while Rius, our mage, blinds the enemy and Zovai, our priest, deploys Iconic Projection. Our wall has held up long enough for Zovai to use all of her important defensive options, which means she has time to try an offensive spell. Again, I've underestimated Zovai's potential as a damage dealer. Having middling Perception doesn't really cripple your offensive output; it merely makes it a little weaker and less reliable.


Our wall holds strong, and we bring down the enemies with little trouble. But the next fight is very different: this time, we get a familiar party-wide paralysis effect, and we have neither a chokepoint nor a wall to reduce enemy pressure.


We don't suffer heavy damage while paralyzed, but we do get surrounded. The moment we break free, we fortify our defenses: Pallegina uses a Moonwell scroll (I was able to crank up her Lore when I re-trained her to get Liberating Exhortation); Mora Tai, our other paladin, uses a Scroll of Defense; Zovai casts Circle of Protection followed by Devotions of the Faithful; and Rius casts Confusion, successfully scattering the enemies and temporarily keeping pressure off of our back line. Frost, our rogue, has no such defensive options and stays on the offensive; Divinegon uses Silent Scream for a reliable damage burst.


We've still got two Cean Gwlas flanking us, but strong offensive action by Frost and Divinegon bring them down, while our tanks to the north hold the line. With the broad bonuses from Moonwell, a Scroll of Defense, and Circle of Protection, the enemy can't really break through our defenses, and soon the field is clear enough for Divinegon to activate Ectopsychic Echo and drag it over the enemies without worrying about any dangerous disengagement attacks on her target.


After another rest, we run into another group of Spirits, and get another party-wide paralysis. We've got a decent choke point, but Frost is within range of a Cean Gwla, and Pallegina takes massive damage before the paralysis wears off.


We don't have time to cast Moonwell (Pallegina needs to heal herself first), but Rius summons some tentacles, exposing several enemies to attack. It won't do much to distract from the party, since we've already got a chokepoint in place, but it'll deal some damage in the meantime.


Enemies teleport past the chokepoint, but only Pallegina is suffering much pressure, though she's barely clinging to life. Meanwhile, Divinegon blasts away at the enemy.


The enemy starts making progress on Rius, but Frost is on hand to neutralize individual threats.


By the time our tentacles vanish and an opening appears, allowing the enemy to threaten the party, we've already pinned down the Spirits flanking us, and we've dealt heavy damage to the enemies in front of us. We clean up with more area-effect spells.


The Thaos Hole is open to us, but we're not ready to head through. We've upgraded our gear and put together a suite of consumables (though we couldn't afford dragon food), but we still haven't gotten everyone to level 9. Problem is, the only way I can see us getting enough XP is either by doing a lot of dangerous delving in Od Nua, spending a lot of time searching for safe quests around Defiance Bay or wherever, or tackling Raedric.


After much thought, I can't accept the prospect of leaving undead Raedric in place; too many people die in the epilogue for me to be okay with sacrificing all those people to increase our odds of making it past Thaos.


So, there's just one more fight before we enter Sun in Shadow. It's time to confront Raedric for the second and last time.

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