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The Pillars of Eternity No Reload Challenge

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(Or DoT damage if you have any)


(You can also keep drinking vital essence on top of each other to restore health)


(Also Psychovampiric Shield / Borrowed Instinct from your Cipher, probably at the statues rather than Thaos, both to weaken them and to improve your Cipher’s numbers)


(Another one: if your base ACC and defences aren’t up to scratch, it’s your priest that needs to make the difference: Inspiring Radiance, Champion’s Boon, Shields for the Faithful et al. You can’t have your priest tied up trying to heal or revive everyone. Each character should be responsible for their own healing while the priest is buffing)

Edited by Jaheiras Witness
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Divinegon, Hearth Orlan Cipher


With Divinegon trapped by Zovai's Withdraw, we need to bring down the statues without the help of our cipher. Our best remaining asset is Frost, our rogue. Frost has extremely high Accuracy, and even when she gets bad rolls, Deep Wounds will keep up a steady stream of damage.



Frost won't be able to do this on her own, however. Zovai casts Champion's Boon on Frost for a +10 bonus to Might and Rius summons a trio of tentacles to take advantage of their high Accuracy and strong damage per hit. Mora Tai, however, is in trouble: his defenses aren't quite as strong when he's not prone, and a bad hit from a fire attack puts him deep in the red.


The enemy knocks down our tentacles (apparently you don't need legs or a back to be knocked prone in PoE) and Frost starts burning her last Scrolls of Maelstrom, since the scrolls can hit both judge and executioner simultaneously. Rius manages to blind both statues, but then Zovai dies.


What killed her? I don't see any source of damage listed, and the only alternative explanation I can think of is that a red potion wore off, dropping her to zero Health or Endurance.


We're making progress, but Divinegon is about to escape from Withdraw, and while we're making strong progress against the statues, the judge is still going to be around when she gets out. I send Pallegina over to flank the judge in the hopes that it will keep the judge from attacking Divinegon. Notice the multiple disablers we've managed to apply in the meantime. Also notice that we've lost our tentacles by now.


Divinegon is almost out. When she escapes, I need to draw her away and then activate Ectopsychic Echo, so I send Frost north of the judge to serve as our target. Frost goes north; Divinegon runs south.


Rius blinds the statues again, enabling more sneak attacks from Frost. Divinegon, finally free and newly healed by Withdraw, activates Ectopsychic Echo. The damage is impressive; the statues don't have the sky-high Deflection that Thaos did.


Divinegon kills the judge! But Thaos is back, and we've got another burst of flame coming, while Mora Tai is in poor condition.


We scatter our party a little, triggering disengagement attacks but possibly sparing us from a dangerous fire attack. But Thaos remains as sturdy as ever; he completely evades the first hit of Ectopsychic Echo.


But we have two pieces of good news. First, Thaos is running out of his Shields for the Faithful spell, which appears to be the source of his high Deflection. And when I check the dialog box, I discover I was wrong--Ectopsychic Echo targets the Reflex defense; not Deflection. The chance of a hit is much higher than I thought.


Our other characters can't touch him, so they switch to either attacking the executioner or using defensive options like renewing our Scroll of Defense buff. Divinegon targets the executioner as well in order to generate Focus (Thaos is too hard to hit).


Thaos has just re-cast Shields of the Faithful, but he targets the executioner rather than himself. His Deflection drops by 60 points, and he suddenly becomes a much more vulnerable target. He's still just as deadly, however. Fortunately, our party is scattered, and Mora Tai is the only one suffering from Thaos' fire spells.


It's time to capitalize on Thaos' newfound vulnerability. Rius summons more tentacles to surround Thaos, and Divinegon re-activates Ectopsychic Echo.


The tentacles prove fully capable of striking Thaos now that his Shields for the Faithful spell is down, though Ectopsychic Echo does the least damage I've ever seen it do.


But that's just the first hit. Ectopsychic Echo deals much more damage soon after, and the executioner is collapsing under pressure from Frost and Divinegon.


Frost lands the final hit! The executioner goes down!


Thaos is all alone now. He's still a threat, but we've made lots of progress with Ectopsychic Echo and Rius' tentacles.


But he's not done with us just yet. Our tentacles are gone, and without them, we can't keep up the pressure like we used to. Worse yet, Thaos kills Mora Tai with fire damage and nails Divinegon with a confusion spell.


And on top of that, he dominates Divinegon for 40 seconds.


That's three spells cast in a single second. I don't know if that's supposed to happen, but Thaos appears to have an extremely fast rate of casting.


I give Pallegina the order to use Reviving Exhortation on Mora Tai, but decide that it's more important to cure Divinegon's domination effect soon than to get Mora Tai back on his feet, especially since Mora Tai's Health is in the red and could die moments after being raised. I switch her to Liberating Exhortation. While we wait, Divinegon's Ectopsychic Echo blasts Rius' newly summoned tentacles.


Rius brings back Mora Tai while the rest of the party and our tentacles apply further pressure to Thaos. He's down to Near Death!


A tentacle lands the final blow. Thaos falls.


Divinegon wipes his memory and returns the souls of the world to their intended bodies.


That was an alarming fight. Defense against prone effects appears very important in this fight; getting knocked down really screwed with Divinegon. I think it may be best to start this fight by scattering some of the party rather than dedicating all party members' opening actions to defensive or buffing options. The fight would have been much, much smoother if we had split up the party and kept more people out of the way of those awful fire spells. A few Potions of Bulwark Against the Elements also would have done a lot to minimize damage; there are lots of fire spells and the 15 damage reduction against fire would save a lot of Health and Endurance. Woodskin would be another good option if you have a druid in the party (we had some Woodskin effects due to the two Woodskin belts we got in the Catacombs at Defiance Bay).


Accuracy is very important for this fight, but breaking Thaos' ludicrous 153 Deflection doesn't appear to be necessary. It's probably just better to target his much lower Reflex defense with Scrolls of Maelstrom and maybe some other bombing spells, which could send him into hiding much more quickly if you dedicate multiple characters to bombing him.


Quickly isolating Thaos appears to be the best priority in this fight; he and the statues aren't nearly as strong separate as they are together. Reflex-based damage spells look like the best way of dealing damage to Thaos early on, and the same applies to the statues afterwards; Slicken appears to be pretty reliable against them. It's best to take your time against the statues and let Thaos' shield spell to wear off (assuming the duration continues while he's hidden; I don't know if it does) so he'll be vulnerable to physical attacks when he reappears.

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Jez Watt, Solo Monk (Hard), Part 4


Caed Nua. This is always a good test for solo to see if a character build has a future. In theory Jez Watt should do well, with FOR such a strong point. But it can go south very fast if the phantoms land some stuns and sneak attacks. All the wounds in the world won't help if I'm stunned and cannot react.


Will-o-Wisp is dispatched without drama.






Once inside the keep I pick up Whispers of Yenwood and scout the location of the spirits. Now let's prepare. I go to the crafting menu to prepare some much needed scrolls.






Oh dear. Apparently I am missing velune gems. In fact I cannot craft any level 2 scrolls. So much for Lore 4.


Time for Plan B:






It's all change. I have highlighted 3 things.


1) We ain't punching here. I cannot risk going into this fight with flimsy defences. So Whispers of Yenwood (enchanted to Fine and with Burning Lash) is paired with the Larder Door (also enchanted to Fine). This gets me +2 CON (+4 FOR) from the sword as well as +20 DEF from the shield. The flip side is I have -8 ACC from the shield and I lose the fast damage output of the fists. But one thing that does remain is my full attack option from Torment's Reach: the Larder Door has bash, so the full attack will be utilised.


2) I have managed to get FOR to 88 (with the help also of food and drugs, including cookies and goldrot chew). This is the best I can do right now, and includes the +2 CON from the sword, as well as the minor cloak of protection replacing Fulvano's Amulet for another +5. With my coastal aumaua racial ability my effective FOR will be 108; not bad at all (from memory I managed to get to 116 with Jazz Wit using the 'At the Sight of their Comrades' phrase). My DEF is also respectable at 60, so with a bit of luck I may get some misses and grazes from the main attacks as well.


3) I have Bulwark potions for some extra DR against freeze damage and Fan of Flames scrolls for AoE damage of my own.


Nothing else to do but give it a shot.






Not a great start. Bulwark has been drunk but the first Fan of Flames scroll has only grazed one opponent.






Ok this is now officially bad. I'm stunned, but worse I have 3 opponents engaging me rather than 2, including 2 phantoms. Why did I choose this corner rather than the other one?! This could be over very quickly.






The fight is back in the balance. On the positive side the phantoms are struggling to land any stuns (look at all those misses with additional effect). Their freeze damage is also heavily reduced thanks to bulwark. But on the negative side I am struggling to launch an attack. I have wounds accumulating but I am dazed, with slow weapons equipped, and I keep getting interrupted when I finally act (which is annoyingly also cancelling the order).


Let's try something else.






That's more like it.






In the end that was...way more comfortable than it should have been. Look at all those misses for stun in the above screenshot. That's like 9 misses in a row. I think the phantoms had something like -58 on their roll (ACC - FOR) but even with that penalty they should have 27% chance (I think) to graze? Seems like the dice really fell in my favour.


My Torment's Reach with sword and shield really did not work. You can see also in above screenshot that I launched two just in this phase of combat with very little effect, so had to resort to Fan of Flames to finish things off. But that's the tradeoff between defence and offence; and with this result, I guess I did the right thing by prioritising defence.


In any case, that's an important milestone passed. Let's proceed!

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Congratulations, semiticgod - what a close battle. For several moments there, I thought that you wouldn't make it out alive. PotD Thaos is certainly a scary opponent for a party that's only at level 9. Well done!

Wait, how many levels was I supposed to have? After beating the game at levels 7 and 8 in my last two runs, I thought level 9 was above average!


I also wasn't sure I'd make it at the time. Sometimes you can see it coming long in advance if you see disadvantages accumulating or if the party proves incapable of performing an essential function. Sometimes, though, you can step back for a moment, reconfigure your strategy, and think through a problem with a sober mind, which can get you through an encounter that would otherwise end in failure. Often, sticking to a standard game plan can give you tunnel vision and make you think there's no way out, and all it takes to find an alternate path to victory is a mental "reset" to get you to reevaluate your assumptions about the situation and which factors are most important.


One of the things I most like about no-reload runs is talking about them in abstract terms. I think a lot of the reason some of us newcomers have been able to deal with PoE no-reload after only a few previous playthroughs is because we've developed some meta-level strategies and key habits of long-term resource gathering and risk management, which compensate for our weaker technical know-how. Much of no-reload strategy is about gauging threats and developing counters.

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Glad you've made it through, @semiticgod!

One note for the future if you have not yet found out yourself already - casting Circle of Protection and applying Scroll of Defense sumultaneously is pointless, unless their AoE not cover all the characters or you want a wider AoE, since they are not stack. Scroll has better Def and duration overall.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
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I don’t know how feasible, realistic or difficult it is: but I would really love an SCS type AI mod for PoE.


The Thaos fight is a great example of why it is needed: you are facing a multi-milennia old Priest of Woedica...who doesn’t even cast Consecrated Ground.


All throughtout the game you see bizarre use of abilities: fighters using Vigorous Defence when they are near death rather than at the start of combat. Priests who don’t use their Radiance. Wizards are like vanilla BG wizards, launching straight into magic missiles and fireballs instead of using Arcane Veil, Spirit Shield and Wizard’s Double first before going into their arsenal. There is so much potential to improve the challenge just through slightly more optimal AI, without going down the enhanced stats route like PotD. How about letting the player face a Dragon Thrashed chanter to see how we like it? Or a priest that uses really basic buffs to make his teammates stronger rather than going straight into Divine Mark? Or a cipher that uses beams against the player? There’s so much scope!

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A few comments:

Circle of Protection and applying Scroll of Defense sumultaneously is pointless, unless their AoE not cover all the characters or you want a wider AoE, since they are not stack. Scroll has better Def and duration overall.

It's a matter of taste. We chose Circle of Protection for the casters in the final fight, in the interest of saving a quick slot. The tanks, who we wanted to be on the other side of Thaos, away from the casters, used their own Circle of Defense scroll



Accuracy is very important for this fight, but breaking Thaos' ludicrous 153 Deflection doesn't appear to be necessary. It's probably just better to target his much lower Reflex defense with Scrolls of Maelstrom and maybe some other bombing spells, which could send him into hiding much more quickly if you dedicate multiple characters to bombing him.

Thaos's Deflection is only high due to a buff, Shields for the Faithful. If you remove the buff, via Arcane Dampener, then his Deflection will be lower than his Reflex. At that point, physical weapons and a broader array of spells can also be brought to bear.


If you have the accuracy to apply Arcane Dampener it's worth doing. We targeted Reflex first and then, after landing a Dampener, targeted both Reflex and Deflection, with each character using their best attack. The opportunity cost of one character applying a Dampener was more than compensated for by the additional attacks and more efficient attacks later.


If you lack the accuracy to land a Dampener, then I agree: you're better off focusing on Reflex.



I think it may be best to start this fight by scattering some of the party rather than dedicating all party members' opening actions to defensive or buffing options. The fight would have been much, much smoother if we had split up the party and kept more people out of the way of those awful fire spells.

Agreed. In our opening we had our tanks immediately break for the statues, maintaining spacing between them and from Thaos. We sent them off equipped with the items they'd need to buff themselves. We kept Thaos in place with beetles. Simultaneously, we had our casters run west of Thaos, reconvening at the maximal distance that kept them within buffing range of one another. With that approach, we were able to achieve optimal spacing, while also applying our buffs before any of our enemies could initiate attacks.



Quickly isolating Thaos appears to be the best priority in this fight; he and the statues aren't nearly as strong separate as they are together.

Agreed. Thaos should be pushed into the statue ASAP. Once he's in the statue, the Headsman should be taken down first, to avoid freeing Thaos while a statue is still on the field. With that approach, the fight becomes much easier.





Edited by Alesia_BH
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I don’t know how feasible, realistic or difficult it is: but I would really love an SCS type AI mod for PoE.


I've thought the same. Enemies in PoE restrain themselves. They don't use their best attacks: they use the best attacks that they can without being seriously annoying. I'd like to see what would happen if the gloves came off.


A SCS type mod is a big project. We were luck to have David in the BG community. I'm not sure what the odds are of someone similar emerging in PoE-Land. I also don't know whether PoE scripts can be modded as readily.





Edited by Alesia_BH
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Btw, According to Boeroer's profile, he's a computer scientist. If he isn't familiar with SCS, we should call it to his attention and try to interest him in creating a PoE analog. He seems to have the skill set and judging by the frequency of his posts, he may have the time. 





Edited by Alesia_BH
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Hi all,


I've been reading up on these and it seems like a lot of tense and fun adventures. I was always an avid reader of the BGT no reload challenges and even participated in some but never posted about them since I ussually get bored at or just after spellhold because I feel the party becomes too overpowered and 80% of the content doesn't really pose a challenge anymore even with SCSII and I really don't feel like playing for an hour just to get to a fight that is challenging. It's still on my bucket list to finish at some point, but since I have limited time ussually (hopefully some more in this holiday month) I'd rather spend my time on games that challenge me.


However I haven't felt that way with PoE yet mostly becaues I just don't know it well enough. I've played up until halfway through act II and completed WMI, however I've reloaded much with that party which made the experience feel less fun. So I decided after reading a bit of this thread why not follow suit with a no reload challenge. Since I've not yet finished the game or even gotten past level 8 orso and I'm playing on Path of the Damned I will turn on maim before death, I am however playing Trail of Iron because that limited my natural instinct to just reload.


I have started the run already and I've neglected to take screenshots when I started so the introductions will be screenshots taken at the end of the progress described in this post.


So first the settings

i.) Version

I have no clue about the exact version, where do you find this? It's the latest version on steam.

ii.) Difficulty Level

Path of the Damned

iii.) Settings (specifically: Maim Before Death- On/Off; Injuries On/Off; Expert Mode On/Off)

Main Before Death - On, Injuries - On, Expert Mode - Off, Trail of Iron - On

iv.) Mods (if any)


No mods although I have modded Aloths stat's I love his personality but I wanted a little more of an edge for PotD


Now to meet the team:


Mithlean (the MC) - A Paladin Tank:





Mithras - A Chanter Tank:





Mirrah - Our druid:





Dighan- Our priest of Eothas:





Aloth- Our Wizard:





Kiara- Our Chiper:





The story so far:

Started off pretty normal, started collecting all the loot in the camp and selling it there for the high return on the items. I wanted cash fast so I could hire my party since I had a lot of custom party members. The prologue went pretty well although a little slower I'm used to since Mithlean doesn't really do the best damage her job being mainly to be a wall between the bad guys and our party of heroes.


After waking up next to the bodies of my short lived friends I headed straight to town to grab Aloth and some quests, however while exploring the town and picking up quests Mithlean hit level 3 which was my queue to hire my helpers, since if that is done right after leveling it reduces the experience gap between Mithlean and Aloth and the rest. This is a bit of a power move I guess but I also like to think of the party as equals and them leveling up at different times ussually distrubs my image of the party so much that in baldurs gate I IEmod my party's xp down to the lowest value when I collect my last party member depending on the class they still level differently but somehow it makes more sense to me, I'm weird like that.


After sorting out the miller and killing a moon godlike in cold blood for some plate (sacrifices have to be made), I headed off to meet Durance (parked in my stronghold later with Eder for the occasional quest or supplicant) and fight the paladins and get some loot. Then I headed over to the blacksmith's stash which was my first harder fight. Luckily with some charm from Kiara and some Confusion at the hands of Aloth we managed to turn the mellee fighters against the bandit leader which allowed my squadron of arbalests and crossbows in the hands of my backline to pepper the two archers with bolts to make quick work of them. Unfortunatly during that time the charmed bandit broke free and proceeded to immediatly take his revenge on Kiara who required a quick Withdraw from Dighan after the first blow landed her at 4 endurance left. But after this quick scare we were easily able to clean up the rest of the group.


After sorting this out we were unfortunatly still not level 4 which is really the minimum I wanna tackle Cuad at since it means my hirelings are even still level 2. So instead we went to the compass to make a potion for a friend of ours who was with child. The Xaurips nearly downed my Chanter when I tried setting up the fight by pulling back to a managable chokepoint. I forgot about the skirmishers paralyse and he got a hit on Mithras while running back to the party which was quite far away. Rushing back to his aid we managed to get another clutch withdraw off however that did mean we didn't have much of a frontline left to actually manage all the little buggers. Instead Aloth spammed the area between us and the approaching foe with chill fogs which slowed them down and whittled down the smaller Xaurips before they even reached us. Mithlean pickup up the champions and Kiara unloading her stored up focus to spam some aoe damage helped kill the rest of the smaller ones which left only the high priest. Dighan and Mirrah introduced it to the pointy side of some arbalest bolts which left it also taking a dirt nap. After this it was some easy cleanup, and a well deserved rest because this fight was very taxing on our spell slots due to me completely messing up the skirmisher paralyse. I need to refocus a bit if I don't want to end this run by not taking these fights serious enough. The sporelings actually went a lot smoother then normally, I managed to pull one seperately and build up a lot of focus on it with Kiara which allowed me a lot of quick aoe when the other three came up which ended the fight quickly. Without support the 2 big ones really don't do anything so are just cleanup.


This finally got me to level 4 and I had a little deviation planned, I saw by the time that in a day we would have a gloves of manipulation spawned in Readrics hold, now normally I save it for later but I thought the opportunity was worth exploring so I went ahead anyway. We went up on the north side and quickly dispatched the soldier and archer. We went inside and put on some priest robes to blend and went looking for the head priest since we were told he could get us an "audience" with Readric and the gloves are in his bedroom. We promised the priest to save his friend in the dungeon which went smoothly and we were in an out of the bedroom with the gloves of manipulation ready to bail and head to get ourselves a castle. Or were we, you know if you pull Readric and his friends to the "secret" entrance room you can really chokepoint them there with your tanks while the rest peppers them. Normally I do this a little later and a little better equiped, however I have faith in my tanks with double healing backup and chill fogs to get it done. So Mithlean ran out and shot an arrow (not even near the closest guard) before running back to join her friends. Mithlean and Mithras were side by side forming a wall while Aloth covered the ground in ice and Mirrah covered the air in stinging bugs. In the meantime Kiara and Dighan peppered the archmages with bolts and stuns (in the case of Kiara) while Dighan and Mirrah threw in heals when required. It took quite a while to finish everyone up but noone was ever in danger of dying and the tactic worked really well. This also kind of worries me though because of this keeps being this easy I might just get complacent again.


After this Kolsc came and I took the screenshots you see above. Next post I'll be sure to include inventory pictures at the start. I'll also include more action pictures, however I only decided to post this after I was already done with all of it so there aren't any of this. If you guys have any feedback on the post or the play, feel free!

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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: Twin Elms- At the Mercy of the Tribes


Have you seen Rocky Horror Picture Show? 




After jumping ahead to cover Arcadia's battle with Thaos, we now have to jump back, reconnecting with our beloved Moon-Godlike in Twin Elms. We're time warpin', ya see. Am I loud and clear Rocky?




Oh, come on: It's not that hard, kid. It's just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right....


And now we're here: Twin Elms.


As you may recall, Arcadia had reached Twin Elms toward the end of an stupidly long session. I was exhausted. And it was beginning to show. The first slip up occurred in the Northweald forest, where I picked the wrong dialog option and triggered a fight with the Fangs Bright Bloods. I was expecting them to be pushover. In fact, I wasn't even sure we'd need our per rest abilities. But this party is not like most PoE parties. They've got some juice.


The Fangs opened by knocking Eder and Pallegina on their keists. Eder was pushed halfway across the map, and to make matters worse, he was stuck in his inconvenient position. The battle had scarcely begun and our line had been broken. Desperately in need of buffing time -and with our beetles trapped in the inventories of our incapacitated tanks- Arcadia quickly cast a Pull of Eora, hoping that would delay the onslaught.






It didn't work. Two Fangs made it through. We tried to reinforce with Maura's Tentacles and a second Pull, but that didn't work either.  Our positioning was non-sensical, our actions were poorly chosen, and some of our characters weren't even acting. The Fangs were formidable foes, but my exhaustion was the real enemy.


Desperately seeking a reset, we pulled back. That was a mistake. We suffered our first in-combat knockouts since the Temple of Eothas. Alikae and Alena fell, with Cassia having already Withdrawn. It didn't look good.






Arcadia was all:




By now it was clear that we had to stand our ground. Fortunately with Pallegina back in the action, we could do just that. Pallegina, adra beetle; Arcadia, Maura's Writing Tentacles.






Ok. We can work with that. Cassia rejoins us behind our newly established line, while Arcadis dispatches the lsat line breaker. Pallegina frees Eder. The tide has turned.






We prevailed.






Arcadia was all:




Actually, no: She was furious with me. But believe it or not, this session still had hours to go. And it got worse.





Edited by Alesia_BH
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I’ll third the welcome!


Slaughtering backers for their armour and using loot tables is a bit too coldblooded for my liking. But you have chosen a very tough challenge for your first no-reload attempt, so the best of fortune to you! I like some of your character builds: very focused and clinical, some of those characters with dumped CON and RES will not last long if they get targeted, so it will be interesting to see how you manage engagement. It’s a well balanced party overall - lots of spellslingers protected by 2 of the best tank classes.

Edited by Jaheiras Witness
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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: The White March- Part 1


After our harrowing experience in At the Mercy of the Tribes, we pulled no punches in Hunter Brother, deploying our per rest abilities immediately. 








Next, we headed into the Endless Paths, seeking Solace. As per usual, the drake posed no threat. 







We were now read for Thaos, in my estimation, but there was one task left: we needed to avenge Aotha.


As some of you may recall, my rogue, Aotha, fell to the Forge Guardians in an off-thread White March blind run. Whenever I lose a character, I like to avenge them. That meant the Forge Guardians had to fall, despite my ambivalence toward the White March. And so we headed north.


Now, heading to the White March may not have been a terrible idea. The terrible idea was going before I got some sleep. It was now the afternoon and I still hadn't slept. Crazy, right? Crazy it was. and Arcadia nearly paid the price.


Here we are, smiting crag ogres. At level 8, we were seriously over-leveled here


(EDIT: Sorry! Picture missing!)


These are extremely easy fights. Crew one fell with ease. As did crew two.






And then this happened. Three party members down, with Arcadia fallen for the very first time.






How did we almost fall to Darzir, after breezing through basically every fight, save the Fangs? Well, for the last few hours I had been half asleep. By the time we got to Darzir I was 9/10ths asleep. At first, I didn't realize we were even fighting Darzir: I thought we had one last batch of generic ogres to go. Worse still, after Darzir fell, I had thought the fight had ended, removed my headphones, and turned away from the computer, only to later learn that we were being jacked by canoneers just off-screen. Fortunately, I realized my error in time.  


Do you know what I did next? I went to sleep. Finally. It was about time. Arcadia would have thanked me, but she was so mad at me that we weren't even on speaking terms by that point. 9 hours later, we resumed our adventure, seeking vengeance for Aotha. Arcadia was ready. And so was I.





Edited by Alesia_BH
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I’ll third the welcome!


Slaughtering backers for their armour and using loot tables is a bit too coldblooded for my liking. But you have chosen a very tough challenge for your first no-reload attempt, so the best of fortune to you! I like some of your character builds: very focused and clinical, some of those characters with dumped CON and RES will not last long if they get targeted, so it will be interesting to see how you manage engagement. It’s a well balanced party overall - lots of spellslingers protected by 2 of the best tank classes.


Yes I'm noticing this challenge as well. It's also indeed the main reason for the plate armor and the gloves of manipulation although those 2 are the only times I've chosen to do that. I'm actually a little worried since my other two half runs i at least had a third melee (2h barb or DW fighter to pick some some stragglers if required). But this allows me some more tactical challenge and I'm even keeping one persons action queue open to have an option in case the back line gets charged. Keep someone ready to at least paralyze, charm, or just stuck the oncoming threat.


I also see a lot of scroll uses in your adventures, I'm notoriously bad at using consumables like that and only have lore on Aloth. It seems I might wanna spread it out a little more and spend some time investing in some consumables for tougher fights. Something I'll have to look into because I'm always one of those people that finish the game with 30+ potions of don't get stunned in my inventory, while nearly dying and ending the run 20 times already because i didn't use them in case I need them later.

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Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: White March (Continued)


After a full nights rest, the game magically became easy again. We completed the remainder of White March 1 without further incident, save a few trap mishaps, two in Galvino's lair, and another in the Battery.


The lagufaeth crews were all dispatched with ease, using Prayer Against Imprisonment, Call to Slumber, and AoE casts, among other spells.







Ice blight risk was managed with Pulls of Eora






in general, I find White March enemies gimmicky, but not hard for a suitably prepared party.


Aside from the forge guardian battle, which I'll cover in detail, there was only one fight on the White Forge questline worthy of mention. Just before the forge, we had accidentally pulled two crews: a group of spirits and a group of forge defenders, with the forge defenders perfectly positioned to assault our backline. We addressed that by Withdrawing the priests, and letting Pallegina block the door while Eder and the wizards finished the spirits.






The priests rejoined us for the finish of the defenders.






Next up: the Forge Guardians.






Btw, apologies for the extremely sparse coverage here. I'm unfond of the White March and I have a lot of ground to cover. I basically harikiried Aotha because I was dreading doing catch-up coverage that would include the entirety of White March. Now I remember why. I just want to get this over with. Again, my apologies!

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Adventures of Mithlean - Caed Nua, Defiance Bay and a few levels of the Endless Paths


So I know I said I'd post some inventory pictures at the start of this story, however of course starting up the game I completely forgot about this as soon as I loaded my save, what can I say I wanted to continue. So there will be a brief bit of action and then the promised inventory pictures.


We left our heroes having just cleared Readric's hold and seeing what the castle looked like Mithlean thought that it would be a good idea to get a hold of her own (who can blaim a girl really?). So we headed of to Caed Nua, where we met Kana and parked him in limbo with Eder and that crazy priest. After very very very carefully pulling the first group of shades and phantoms back to the entrance way that we could block we cleared the rest of the area with no real trouble and we went inside for the real challenge.


For this fight I decided to clog up the stairway as much as possible while focus firing the phantoms as they approach to get rid of at least one or two before the actual engagement. Mirrah summoned some extra blights to help clog the holes in the line formed by Mithlean and Mithras and Aloth sent some Minoletta's Minor Missles towards the closest phantom followed by some arrows from Kiara which cleaned him up, in the meantime Dighan gave us some extra protection in the form of some buffs to our DR followed by Consecrating the ground below the party. By the time the phantoms reached us Kiara had build up some focus so she quickly dropped a Soul Shock while Aloth blasted a seond phantom with the missles combined with arbalest fire from Mirrah. This meant that even before meeting our frontline we managed to drop two of the dangerous foes. After this some AoE in the form of Soul Shock and Arcane Assault along with some focus fire took down the rest of the spirits in a Caed Nua fight that has never been so clean for me.


The spiders on the way to Maerwald were not noteworthy and quickly dispatched and Maerward was downed by Mithlean chugging a potion of Bulwark Against the Elements (see I am using consumables!) and blocking the door while the rest unloaded on poor guy standing on some very chilly ground provided by Aloth.


After this an uneventful travel to Defiance Bay where I grabbed the figuring for the beetles quickly, ousted a imposter mage out of a svef dealers home and cleared the catacombs for the locket and main quest. The sporelings fight for the hood while normally a big challenge went quite apart from a big positioning mistake from me that cost Kiara and Mirrah their lives as one of the trolls charged in and hugged them tight. Pictures would have done this fight better but unfortunatly I forgot. I swear I will be better about this later and even in this post since I'm typing up half now and adding screenshots of the inventory before I forget and will add a second part right after.


We went back to Caed Nua because they had a letter for us and quickly met with the Chancellor and Marshall since someone was trying to take our keep away!!! This is where we stand now with our party:



Notable Items: Whispers of Yenwood, Outworn Buckler and Company Captain's Cap






Notable Items: Oaken Scarab Figurine






Notable Items: Fine Arbalest, Ring of Overseeing






Notable Items: Gloves of Manipulation and a Fine Crossbow






Notable Items: Gyrd Haewanes Stenes






Notable Items: Fine War Bow, Bartender's ring, Fulvano's Gloves





As you see nothing crazy yet and as Jaheiras Witness said indeed my back line is indeed very fragile and doesn't like being the centre of attention. Although things like Mirror Images and Psychovampiric Shield does help a little bit. Anyway, onwards and upwards!


We talk to the Knights of the Crucible who would like us to find a animancer for them so we set off, stopping by the Halls of Revealed Mysteries to also pick up a task from there. We end up at a house in Ondra's Gift that is crawling with unsavory types. We block the door and clean them up in short order getting the research the knights were looking for along with some goodies. While here we also look for a lost father and his son, sadly the son tried to defend the honor of a lady of the night and didn't survive the tale. Finally we talked to a merchant who gave us a task (we met a curiously loud woman outside) and we found a chest for a sailor which was not gained easily. I can't recall this fight posing much of a problem but they quickly swarmed us and Mithlean especially took some big hits at the start as you can see.






I immediately deployed the buffs i'd been holding back thinking I wouldn't need them. I quickly Consecrated the ground, cast natures vigor, dropped a confusion on the frontline and switched Kiara to a hatchet and shield since she was jumped by two of the scoundrels. It however didn't help as Kiara quickly hit the dirt. However the confusion did break up their ranks sufficiently to help our battered frontline out.






Aloth was swarmed soon after as the thugs completly ignored that tanks. Luckily I still had an ace up my sleeve as 3 beetles and 3 shadows appears around the robbers.






This combined with some great invokes of White worms which exploded for a nice amount of damage with so many corpses saved my run from an early end to a ragged band of bandits. Well that was certainly clarifying as to the extreme risk if 4 bandits get into my back line. Luckily the duo of Mithlean and Mithras managed to keep the bandits off of Dighan and Mirrah. Next time I won't save my spells and underestimate the enemy especially rogues which can teleport past my tanks need some defensive buffs on my back line.






We took the chest (I'm an honest paladin no opening it) and our wounds on Aloth and Kiara and went back to the sailor hopefully a lot wiser. From here we talked to the poor boy's mother, luckily we were able to convince his father to come back and tell her the tale himself. Finally we went to the crucible knights to give them the research. And do some shopping with their blacksmith Shod-In-Faith for Mithras and we hit level 4 for our hirelings of the party very nice since it gave our casters access to third level spells.


We headed back to the Goose and Fox to deliver a package for the odd merchant in Ondra's gift but found some people there that didnt like this very much. I decided not to take her up on her offer to kill the merchant, not wanting to get involved in this squable of clearly two sides both on the wrong side of the law. I got my payment from the merchant and left the two parties to deal with each other. Afterwards i headed towards my keep to start exploring the first few levels of the paths.


Which we will do in a few hours because first I gotta go past my barber and run another quick errand. To be continued later on.

Edited by FNGRenegade
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My follow up update will be very short, not because I died luckily but I ran into a lot of ogres on level 3 and had to use every resource to kill the guys. That made me rethink my plan to push on further because I'm 99% sure the named Ogre a little further on would have no doubt been too much to handle, the tanks are ok with healing but they just run out of health (not endurance) before I can down all the ogres. That and the fact it's getting kind of late made me just say lets call it here tomorrow is a new day where I can focus on some more side quests in Defiance Bay and maybe Drywood before I get back into the thick of things in the paths.


Great stuff, you’re playing well. You might want to start using your quick slots though, a few potions here and there could save your bacon when things go pear-shaped! No plan survives contact with the enemy and all that...


I have followed your advice and most people are equipped with at least some endurance potions and things like eldritch aim for when I need to land something clutch.

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Nizidramanii'yt, Hearth Orlan Wizard

Difficulty: Hard

Settings: Injuries on zero Endurance; Maim before death on zero Health

Mods: None

Special: Poverty run (no items in inventory besides cosmetic items and starting grimoires; copper can only be used for rests and quests)


I've decided to try my hand at a poverty run, bumping the difficulty from PotD to Hard so I don't have to deal with the bigger numbers of PotD, but still get the full-sized fights you don't get in Normal mode. We can't use any equipment, consumables, or weapons besides those we create magically or which have no effect (like unenchanted clothing and headgear), we can't keep anything in our inventory, and we can only use copper to rest an inns, buy Camping Supplies, and pay for quest-related stuff like bribes.


Our Watcher this time is Nizidramanii'yt (which I pronounce nih-zih-druh-mah-nee-it), another Hearth Orlan mage like Gray Sidoh, with the same portrait as always. The name Nizidramanii'yt comes from the black dragon from Baldur's Gate 2--not to be confused with the shadow dragon, named Thaxll'ssilliyia.



The prologue is free from the poverty restrictions because it's impossible to de-equip Heodan during the fight with the Glanfathan goons, but I still keep Nizidramanii'yt free of items. To deal with enemies, Nizidramanii't (which is a lot harder to type than Divinegon was, so let's called her Nizi) can use Concelhaut's Parasitic Quarterstaff, which is actually the most powerful item you can get until much later in the game. It's a staff and therefore slow, but the damage is incredible and it even heals the wielder.


The moment Nizi hits level 2 in the Gilded Vale, we buy 5 level 1 custom characters, since we're not going to survive long with the item-dependent vanilla NPCs.







I'd post their inventory screens, but there's not much to show. Most of them don't even have clothes yet.


Anyway, our basic strategy is to use two druids as bombers and damage dealers while shapeshifted, two priests to compensate for our lousy defenses, and two wizards with Concelhaut's staff for damage and disablers. There's nothing special about their stats; I just cranked up Perception, Intellect, and Might and avoided dropping any others too low.


The good news is that, without armor, everyone is going to be moving very quickly and we'll get to burn lots of spells very fast. We'll also have some deceptively strong defenses once our wizards get Arcane Veil, and our druids will have summoning spells that will help us handle enemy pressure.


I also considered a monk, a barbarian, and a cipher, but decided against each one. The monk seemed too underpowered and vulnerable, the barbarian didn't seem to have good enough damage output with Novice's Suffering, and the cipher would struggle to generate Focus without a real weapon. Instead, we're a spell-heavy party that will need to rest often.

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