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Well done Alesia! What great achievement, and trying for the POTD solo as well. I think once I’ve done with Elanna’s story I’ll be following you for the same. It will be great to watch a pro do it before / while I make my attempt. 

P.S.  1000 comments, what a great thread and a great community. 

Edited by Concrete Monster
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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 6

It's been a while since we heard of Grim Face and his merry band. They where quite busy though. With talking, with questing, with poking their noses in all the secluded places. And a one single fight with five harassing thugs during ' Supply and Demand ' side quest. Nonetheless, following all that simple mundane tasks was enough for us to hit level 6. But first things first.

In Woodend Plains we just sticked to the road to join Sagani/Itumaak (Athletics>3, Survival>4, Lore>5, Resilient Companion, Predator's Sense, Vicious Companion, Stalker's Link), then proceeded to Stormwall Gorge to hire Hiravias and finally ended up in the Dyrford Village where Grieving Mother took her rightful place in the Crew (Athletics>3, Survival>4, Lore>6, Greater Focus, Biting Whip, Soul Shock, Eyestrike, Mental Binding, Psychovampiric Shield, Ectopsychic Echo, Pain Link). Our stay there was short - just talked with locals and took their quests ('Cat and Mouse', 'Blood Legacy', 'A Farmer's Plight', 'Nest Egg', 'Dream and Memory'). Since 'Blood Legacy' involves some demanding fights, Ogre cave is swarmed with Spiders and I want to hire Korgrak at my Keep but not sure if it's possible without building Barracks first, we postponed to progress further in the village and headed straight to the Defiance Bay for some easy questing/leveling (only let Nyfre flee but not dealt with Medreth for the time being to not ruin our reputation with Doemenels just yet). 

Defiance Bay: Day 1

First of all we had a city tour, the same as in Dyrford Village - talking, poking, you got the idea.

  • Copperlane: started 'His Old Self', bought The Dunryd Demon for Aloth, agreed to fetch a family armor for Osric ('Rogue Knight'), discovered 'Something Secret' (got a knife for Gordy but handed it to him only after buffing a Survival skill with a scroll and showing how to use it safe so he'll not cut his fingers out), listened to a Dalton's sentimental story ('A Voice from the Past') and offer our services to Grimda ('The Parable of Wael').
  • First Fires: filched Obsidian Lamp Figurine from Vailian Embassy,  collected the Edict of Arrest ('Unwanted') and Penhelm's Affidavit from Crucible Keep and also started 'Missing Sentries', 'Built to Last', 'Cinders of Faith'.
  • Brackenbury: agreed to fetch 'The Theorems of Pandrgam' alone with some  jewelry ( ' Far from Home '), learned from Kurren that Penhelm's Affidavit was a forgery and got Osric's family breastplate peacefuly.
  • Ondra's Gift: promised Odda to find her "Brave Derrin' at all costs, were embroiled in a dubious deal by Mestre Verzano ('At All Costs'), dealt with some harassing thugs for Maea (' Supply and Demand ') but then agree with Aefre's terms and made an agreement with the Doemenels for cheaper bitter squash seed prices on Maea's behalf (let Kurren go in ' Hard Feelings ' and lied to Bricanta Doemenel that he was dead - lie for salvation is not a sin). Imatl enlisted us to find a parts of  Engwithan Scepter (' Clandestine Cargo '),  Marceno - his captain's chest ( ' All Hands on Deck ') and  Niah - to expel the spirits from the lighthouse (' The Wailing Banshee '). We are such a benevolent folks, we like to help people and especially to sanitize old gothy castles, yeah!

Then our actions were like this: deliver a package to Gareth in Copperlane and hand off a family armor to Osric, buy a medallion from Serel (alone with her ring) and hand it to Thristwn so he could leave back home to his clan, wash our hands of the dispute between Mestre Verzano and House Doemenel and despite of my earlier intentions join with Pallegina to finally build my canon Crew (just can't resist a temptation). Pallegina: Survival>4, Lore>6, Deep Faith, Zealous Focus, Veteran's Recovery, Inspiring Triumph. Speaking with Ambassador Agosti was enough for Grim Face to advance to 6th level: Athletics>3, Lore>5, Survival>2, Aspirant's Mark. As it turned out (I didn't knew that beforehand) this 5 points in Lore were cruicial to advance Eder's quest right now. Normally to gain access to the records one need a reputation in Defiance Bay at least 'Friend' and we are at 'Neutral'. But with Lore:5 we were able to gain access immediatelly and that was enough for other Crew members (except Pallegina) to hit level 6 (Eder: Athletics>4, Survival>4, Superior Deflection; Aloth: Lore>10, Kalakoth's Minor Blights, Interrupting Blows; Sagani: Lore>6, Merciless Companion; Grieving Mother: Lore>7, Draining Whip). Defiance Bay is flooded with experience and even such a pacifist approach allow a full party of six to advance purely from level 5 to 6 in one single day.

Now we are going to return to our Keep - some skeletons are threatening it from below - and then back to the Defiance Bay for some a little more 'bloody' work. Stay tuned!

to be continued...

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On 2/2/2020 at 12:19 AM, Serg BlackStrider said:

I'm curious (I've no experience with lower difficulties in PoE) - how in general PotD has changed the things for you, what caused those reloads? Did you made more fights? Or maybe more questing? More enemies you had to sneak through?

PotD increases enemy numbers and boosts enemy stats. Importantly, it grants enemies +15 to acc and all defenses.

These changes are either very noticeable or marginally noticeable, depending on your party composition and skill level. For an expert player with a full crew, such as yourself, the differences would be minor in many encounters: easy is easy, after all.

For a solo rogue piloted by moi, the switch to PotD significantly decreases margin for error. Fights that were cakewalks on normal become tense.; stealth paths through enemies become narrower. Over all it's much easier to die.

My first solo PotD run was never intended to be a no reload. It was an exploratory run. Reloads were required for Thaos and for some Twin Elms content. I also deliberately experimented with a few encounters that seemed unacceptably dicey, notably in Through Death's Gate.

In any case, I hope to show you soon. I have a rogue ready to go. And this time it's a familiar face!

Best,

A.

 

Best,

A.

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On 2/1/2020 at 9:37 PM, Concrete Monster said:

Well done Alesia! What great achievement, and trying for the POTD solo as well. I think once I’ve done with Elanna’s story I’ll be following you for the same. It will be great to watch a pro do it before / while I make my attempt. 

P.S.  1000 comments, what a great thread and a great community. 

 

Thanks, Concrete Monster! I appreciate your enthusiasm. Hope to see you posting an adventure soon!

Best,

A.

 

NW: I definitely don't consider myself a PoE pro. My total experience with the game consists of a few weeks last winter and a few weeks this winter. I'm making progress, but I'm still learning the game. There are many, many encounters that I haven't even tried yet. Serg has a much greater claim to PoE pro status than I. 

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Thanks for your answer, Alesia!  I knew about that flat +15 bonus to all defenses and accuracy for the enemies PotD grants. And their increased numbers. I was curious how it changes the mostly stealthy approach your characters perform. In my opinion, those buffed defenses greatly increase importance of Perception attribute. If you miss/graze most of the time it doesn't matter much if you have high Might for damage or Dexterity for more frequent attacks. That's why I prefer this three attributes buffed for PotD - Perception (first of all), Intelligence (for AoE and duration) and Dexterity (simply like fast action speed). Constitution is fine on 8 (for start) or even 6-7 after some more experience under the belt. I'm fine with Might at 10 and Resolve is purely for dialogs (Deflection is easily buffed for any class with consumables/resting bonuses/potions/shields/talents). I also think that if you'll take more 'completionist' approach in your exploratory runs you'll learn the game much faster even taking into consideration increased time spent on them.

In any case I'm eagerly looking forward to see you in action soon!

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On PotD stats. We're on the same page. My current character is M-10, C-8, D-15, P-16, I-17, R-12, with the R-12 granted on RP grounds. She was initially M-10, C-8, D-16, P-17, I-18, R-9 but I respecced her at L1, in Guilded Vale, because the R-9 didn't feel right, character wise. Int was prioritized over Per on RP grounds, too.

On PotD differences. Here's a semi-comprehensive list of differences for my rogues:

1. Exiting Raedric Hold via vines rather than sewers advisable.

2. Shadowing Beyond cast required in Caed Nua hall

3. Reaching L6 before major combat in Defiance Bay advisable

4. Shadowing Beyond cast required near Icantha, out and back

5. Killing spiders outside of Korgrak cave advisable

6. Shadowing Beyond cast required near second druid group in Through Death's Gate

7. Pulling and killing sporelings in Through Death's Gate advisable

8. Unlocking final door in Through Death's Gate with Mechanics 8 preferable to retrieving key

9. Additional questing in Twin Elms advisable to increase acc for final fight

10. Thaos battle noticeably tighter

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Elanna Part IV

In the morning, their search for Woedica led them to the ruins of a temple in the center of the city where a long-lost spirit provided the next clue on an increasingly difficult trail to follow.

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Following this trail took them to the catacombs, where the newly-departed soul of a Woedican acolyte led them through the winding tunnels with very little incident on their way to the hidden Temple of Woedica far below ground.

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Once inside the temple the party met a new initiate rehearsing their lines for the upcoming ceremony. Having seem how well-armed the mercenaries guarding the temple were Elanna decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and took the initiate’s hood, along with her well-rehearsed catechisms. Elanna’s fiery temper proved useful once again in securing both the hood, and the silence of their unwilling accomplice.

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Elanna’s disguise was a resounding success and infiltrating the ceremony was as smooth as could be hoped for. From her meeting with the mysterious Woedican cypher Elanna managed to find three promising leads, but the foremost of them looked to take the trio out of the city to the nearby township of Dyrford.

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On their way out of the city the band chased up a lead on an old family heirloom that they had been asked to retrieve from the Knights Crucible, however their inquiries stopped at a dead-end requiring a visit to Hadret House, which could be ill afforded with their journey to Dyrford such a priority.

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In Dyrford the group quickly discovered the temple of Berath, and between the kinship of clergy, and Elanna’s growing reputation for complete honesty, they were able to convince the Priest there to provide them with the information they needed. The information was less than ideal, however; the group they were following had headed to Engwithan ruins, which would be dangerous enough on their own, but completely untenable with their ferocious Glanfalthan guardians. The pursuit would have to wait.

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Fortunately, the journey was not for naught. While in Dyrford Elanna and company happened upon a very particular woman who, as it happened, was a cypher of some skill and who held a great interest for the new watcher. Her assistance was freely offered and greatly appreciated and so the three became four.

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Elanna: Party Update

 

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So this is where I felt the party was really complete. I started this run with the intention of playing a party similar to what I would have called the 'standard' from when I was first introduced to DND3.5 Edition: Fighter, Mage, Cleric, Rouge. Partly due to mechanics and partly due to style I intended to modify this trope a little, I really wanted to include a Cipher instead of Rogue given the setting, and the plan was to cycle through Chanter and Paladin for the Fighter slot as I progressed.

Compared to BG, I think solos, and especially smaller parties gain much less advantage as the experience gain isn't as noticeable compared to a full party, but I liked the idea of slightly more powerful characters, and less micro than having to look after all six (or seven with a ranger) party members. A mistake? Maybe. But a fun one.

Edited by Concrete Monster
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It's great to see you posting, Concrete Monster! 

I always enjoyed flexible, rotating member sub-6 member parties in BG, even though the experience system penalizes that. I think it's great that PoE supports that approach. Looking forward to your continued adventures!

Best,

A. 

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Grim Face (Hearth Orlan, Priest of Eothas) & Co - Part 7

TOC:

So we are back in the Keep to resolve a skeletons' attack ('A Call to Court' task also triggered just in time) and since party formation after scripted event is a base №1 (not custom which I normally use) Grim Face ended up in the frontline and was focused by both Skeleton Wizard and Rangers. He managed to cast Inspiring Radiance and was ready to follow with Interdiction but his endurance went down dangerously fast so he hid under Withdraw literally in the last moment (courtesy of his decent reflexes and fine robe he wears which does not constrain his movements too much) when Necrotic Lance was already midair. With him safe the rest of the Crew dealt with the undead without issues in short order.

Spoiler

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Pallegina hit level 6 (Lore>7, Vielo Vidorio) and we followed to the Duc's Palace to meet Chancellor Warrin and gain a main weapon for Grim Face for the rest of the game (Gyrd Haewanes Stenes Scepter).

Defiance Bay: Day 2, Back Again.

We started again in Copperlane to finish 'His Old Self' (somehow I lost the pics from that encounter but it wasn't something special - we focused Nyrid with all our firepower and he fell almost instantly even not able to finish a single spell. His bodyguards are also nothing to write home about) and then entered the Catacombs which were properly sanitized (since Grieving Mother took Greater Focus talent early on she could fire Mental Binding right off the bat and that greatly trivialize most encounters). We let Eorn go, talked with Helig of Thein to advance ' A Voice from the Past ' and finished ' Never Far from the Queen '. In order to progress Aloth's personal quest and talk to Moedred we headed to the Brackenbury Sanitarium where ' The Man Who Waits ' got some of our attention too (talked with animancers but not proceed to the North Ward yet). This also let Grim Face to wear Blaidh Golan instead of Fine Robe. Back in the Catacombs we recovered Soulward Amulet from Helig's now completely and irrevocably cold fingers and convinced Dalton to set free Rowyna's soul at long last.

Spoiler

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Ondra's Gift is next where Dodwyna and her misfits were challenged to recover Vianna's research (and Aru-Brekr for Eder), Waldr lost their last "Three Fingers", then sight, followed by limb sensitivity and shortly after a rowdy head itself, we found Brave Derrin's body and avenged his death and also collected three part of Engwithan Scepter to recover it for Grieving Mother (I'm amazed with her combat performance and skills so she well worth it).

Spoiler

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Next we sanitized the outskirts of Heritage Hill (except the large group near the tower) and saved Saeda making sure she'll reach the safety in the Cruicible Keep. This brought all except Pallegina to level 7 but since I usually level all party members at once we need a little bit more exp. Returning to the Caed Nua to start ' A Return to Court ' and WM1 content ('Durgan's Battery' quest) solved this small issue just fine.

Spoiler

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So Level 7: Grim Face (skills(none), level 4 spells), Eder (Lore>8, Armored Grace), Aloth (Survival>3, Deleterious Alacrity of Motion, Essential Phantom), Sagani (Athletics>4, Driving Flight), Grieving Mother (Athletics>5, Pain Block, Silent Scream), Pallegina (Lore>8, Aegis of Loyalty).

Time to tie up some loose ends. Forest Lurkers in Woodend Plains and Black Meadow during 'The Parable of Wael' were dealt with via new approach: Eder open with Vigorous Defense>Disciplined Barrage>Knock Down, Grieving Mother cast Ectopsychic Echo on swift legged Itumaak and he delivers it past Lurker. Iben & Co were dealt with as usual by approaching from the West to utilize a choke point there, we buried the scroll as Wael asked and told Grimda it was their God's will. This granted us access to the Elder Archives so we could finish ' The Theorems of Pandgram ' side quest.

Spoiler

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' A Return to Court ' quest was resolved peacefully and now we are back in Caed Nua after calming down our folks for +3 Prestige and talking with Marshal Forwyn to start ' The Battle of Yenwood Field ' quest. Since we are at home and already done with easy questing in Defiance Bay, I think, now we are going to explore the Caed Nua lower levels a little bit. Stay tuned!

Current Crew state:

Spoiler

Grim Face:

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Eder:

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Aloth:

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Sagani:

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Grieving Mother:

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Pallegina:

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to be continued...

 

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
Add current party state.
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Excellent progress, Serg!

(I don't know if I approve of letting Aloth wear Dunryd Demon with a robe, though it looks way too weird...)

🙃

Best, 

A.

(And it case it wasn't clear, this was a joke: Aloth can wear whatever he likes)

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Elanna Part V;

Having been foiled in their pursuit, next up for Elanna and her friends was a swathe of questing through Defiance Bay. The team completed A Call to Court, Supply and Demand, At All Costs, The Man Who Waits, His Old Self, Built to Last, A Return to Court; and began The Hermit of Hadret House; all with fairly little incident. The only point the team was given pause was against the thugs threatening the Salty Mast. Poor positioning on the engagement there resulted in two knockouts early on, but the two Eothosian devotees carried the team to victory.

 

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After this was done it was finally time to deal with Readric. With an extra level or two and a fairly standard choke-point there were no issues grinding the priest-killer into the dust. Osrya was also given a taste of justice for her part in harming innocents.

 

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Following this Elanna decided it was time to discover what was happening in Heritage Hill. Once again the area was cleared with no significant issues, even completing Missing Sentries. In this fight both the newly acquired Adra Beetle figurine and the Shades were put to good use buying time for the team. After discovering the mystery of the Engwithan machine Elanna decided to switch it off, hoping to preserve as much of the city as possible while preventing the interruption to the Wheel.

 

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With this done the party has garnered sufficient reputation to gain entry to the archives in order to help Eder find out the truth about what happened to his brother.

 

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Before leaving the city the party completed a few more tasks. Taking care of The Forgotten on behalf of the Vailian Embassy, investigating the Banshee at the Lighthouse, and clearing out Crucible Keep of its malfunctioning Animat soldiers. These battles took a heavier toll on Elanna and her team with Grieving Mother often bearing the brunt of the hurt.

 

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Finally, on their way to investigate Eder’s past and hopefully gain entry to the Engwithan ruins north of Dyrford village the Elanna and co successfully talked down a dangerous Ogre and convinced him to join them at Caed Nua.

 

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Edited by Concrete Monster
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You are making great progress, Concrete Monster! Keep on it!

Some note on your party - in my opinion you might want to give Eder some damaging/healing scrolls (those work best with high Might) and hand over those scrolls of Defense/Protection to Aloth/Elanna for better AoE/Duration.

___________

What are you up to nowadays, Alesia? Sailing Deadfire for reconnaissance maybe?

 

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3 hours ago, Serg BlackStrider said:

What are you up to nowadays, Alesia? Sailing Deadfire for reconnaissance maybe?

Noppers. I'm working on a PotD solo. I did a couple unposted runs. My first attempt ended at the second Sun in Shadows drake encounter. The next one ended in Galwain's Maw.

I have a character that I'm ready to post now. I'm not certain she'll make it all the way, but I'm confident she'll put in a respectable showing, at least, like her predecessors.

Best,

A.

@Concrete Monster Excellent progress!

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Hello, everyone! A couple weeks ago I promised to return with a PotD solo attempt. Well, good news everyone: the time has come. Meet our challenger.

Alia, Pale Elf Rogue (PotD Solo)

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Game Version: 3.7.0.1318 with White March I & II, Difficulty: Path of the Dammed, Settings: Maim Before Death: On; Injuries: On; Expert Mode: OFF, Mods: None

Character Description: What is there to say about Alia? Honesty, I'm not sure. Alia is the fourth in a line of characters I built in preparation for a PotD solo. Sadly, her personality is the least developed of the four. And by that I mean it's non-existent: I haven't developed her at all. Her portrait is cool, though. She looks like a noble: a refined noble. Breaking free of her roots, perhaps? Maybe. Anyhoo. I'll fill this in if and when I come up with something. Who does she look like to you?

Gaming Notes: After completing my first PoE solo no reload on core, I set my sights on a PotD attempt. Following an exploratory run, I launched into action with a character that made it all the way to the second drake encounter in Sun and Shadows, falling just before Thaos. I took a break after that disappointment and ran a new character. That one fell in Galwain's Maw, due to a positioning error. Where her predecessors failed, Alia hopes to succeed. I can't guarantee a victory, but I'm confident Alia will put in a respectable showing. Wish her luck!

Edited by Alesia_BH
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Alia, Pale Elf Rogue (Solo)- Entry 1: Caravan Camp to Caed Nua

Show of hands: Who here remembers Astrid? That was a stupid question, naturally. This is the internet: I can't see your hands.  I'm going to assume, though, that most of you would have raised you digits had you the venue to do so, and cover Alia's early game movement with sparse detail, using Astrid's posts as a reference point. Fair enough?

Ok. Speaking of differences, here's Alia's pre-Caed Nua build.

Skills: Stealth: 7, Athletics: 0, Lore: 2, Mechanics: 3, Survival: 0
Abilities:  (L1) Blinding Strike (L3) Reckless Assault
Talents: (L2) Weapon Focus: Knight (L4) Shadowing Beyond

Here's Astrid's:

Skills: Stealth: 7, Athletics: 0, Lore: 2, Mechanics: 3, Survival: 0
Abilities:  (L1) Crippling Strike (L3) Dirty Fighting
Talents: (L2) One Handed Style (L4) Shadowing Beyond

With the exception of Shadowing Beyond and the skill point distribution, everything about Alia is different from Astrid. And yet they are very nearly the same character. Astrid and Alia were both setup as one handed crit specialist in the early game. The only distinction is the approach: Astrid went for hit conversion percentage, Alia went for acc. I'm not sure which approach I like better, in the general case, but I was glad to have the additional acc on PotD.

So, let's get to the action. Alia breezed through Cilant Lis and then headed straight to Raedric Hold for the standard embarassingly metagame-y solo character item raid. She collected the fine brigandine, Ring of Searing Flames, Gauntlets of Manipulation and Boots of Stealth. Adding in the Ring of Minor Deflection she found at The Black Hound, and the Esternwood crossbow and she was well on her way to a complete early game item set. Alia's route through Raedric Hold was very nearly identical to Astrid's. She collected items from the sanctuary and then descended into the dungeon on the 1rst. The guards were taken down one by one in discrete locations.

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On the second, she collected her last items and then departed- exiting via the ramparts rather than the sewers. On PotD, I think that's the best practice: The sewers are pretty crowded and the ramparts seem pretty safe.

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Next, we visited Black Meadow to complete The Smith's Shipment and pick up all the other goodies. Then -in a departure from Astrid's route- we went to Mahdmr Bridge for Ferry Flotsam. The first looter was taken down almost immediately with an opening crossbow bolt and an arrow trap. The second put up a respectable fight, but we were never in danger here since Alia elected to keep rather than sell Gaun's Pledge. I like that move: Gaun's Pledge can be a difference maker in the early game.

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Upon returning to Guilded Vale, we dropped of Tuatanu's crate and purchased a Blunting Belt. We settled Against the Grain soon after.

In Late for Dinner, Alia used Blinding Strike (crossbow) -> arrow trap to nix bandit 1 ASAP. Arrow traps are legitimately useful in the early game.

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The other two went down without a fuss.

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Our item collection schedule called for a visit to Esternwood on the 6th and a trip to the Eothasian Temple on the 7th. That yielded Torc of the Falcon Eyes and Rymgrand's Mantle.

Buried Secrets was completed entirely with stealth. This move always makes me nervous but it has never been a problem.

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With Weapon Focus: Knight, Alia elected to upgrade Yenwood, raising it to fine and adding a lash. The Caed Nua hall required a Shadowing Beyond cast this time. Alia cast Shadowing Beyond, let the spirits contact her, and then broke for the door. Easy-peezy.

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We used the spiders against Maerwald, mostly because we wanted legs for Fan of Flames scrolls. Bulwarks helped against the blights.

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And done! We're off to Defiance Bay.

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Best,

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
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