The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 7: Baldur's Gate (In Progress)

I started over with a fresh character. It'd been a while since I've been able to play, I wasn't that far along, and I wanted to adjust some of the things I did in the first start. I also wanted to see if I could play at "Core Rules" difficulty, as I feel like I learned enough about the combat in the first start to give this a more "official" difficulty run.

I present to you Bond, a Cavalier of the highest good.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/KpXC484.jpg)

I ground quickly through the prologue and have added the usual suspects by the time I've gotten to the Friendly Arms Inn.

Got to chapter 7 tonight. Having some aggravations.

Spoiler:

Did Candlekeep, ended up getting arrested for murder. I mean I've been murdering this whole game and yeah I killed that dopple and then those Iron Throne guys but they were like these 5 or 6 guys. I've got the blood of thousands on my hands by now...Anyway got out and got to Baldur's Gate and forgot that I was a wanted man. I had to kill two Flaming First patrols because they'll never take me alive and I have a greater good to serve that ain't gonna happen in the lock up. Then all the good characters decided to leave. Seems a bit off.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I present to you Bond, a Cavalier of the highest good.

I think of James Bond as more a Neutral Good, personally.

Also, yay for Core Rules!

tboon wrote:

Got to chapter 7 tonight. Having some aggravations.

Spoiler:

Did Candlekeep, ended up getting arrested for murder. I mean I've been murdering this whole game and yeah I killed that dopple and then those Iron Throne guys but they were like these 5 or 6 guys. I've got the blood of thousands on my hands by now...Anyway got out and got to Baldur's Gate and forgot that I was a wanted man. I had to kill two Flaming First patrols because they'll never take me alive and I have a greater good to serve that ain't gonna happen in the lock up. Then all the good characters decided to leave. Seems a bit off.

The sewers are your friend in chapter 7.

Spoiler:

Pretty much all key locations are close to sewer entrances / accessed from the sewers, and usually the path between a sewer grate and a key location is clear of guards as far as i remember.

Math wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I present to you Bond, a Cavalier of the highest good.

I think of James Bond as more a Neutral Good, personally.

Also, yay for Core Rules!

I’ve been playing at Core Rules, except when I level. I’ll take max HP, every time!

GB, I’m surprised you set his intelligence so high and didn’t boost his strength a little!

Had a little more adventure this morning: after some resupply, I headed west of Nashkel. Was waylaid by enemies: a polar bear that didn’t actually attack me. That was pretty funny. Then I cleared out the Xvart village.

Spoiler:

I loved when their leader summoned a bear that promptly mauled him.

tboon wrote:
ubrakto wrote:

Question:

Spoiler:

Do you need all those rune stones you collect on level 2 once you've opened up the way to level 3?

Spoiler:

No, I dropped mine after shortly after getting to the third level

Very good to know. Thank you!

@GB - I think you'll like that Cavalier class!

I’m currently floundering around between Bereghost and Nashkel dibble-dabbling with party members (Sorry Garrick, it was more economic to carry on to Nashkel and recruit Minsc than it was to resurrect you) and getting quests completed.

I don’t remember the game being quite so difficult in places.

Off to rescue Dynaheir now before Minsc gets upset and wanders off by himself.

Math wrote:

I think of James Bond as more a Neutral Good, personally.

Also, yay for Core Rules!

I was wondering about the alignment choice, but the only option for a cavalier is lawful good. I was thinking Chaotic Good might fit well too.

And so far so good on the Core Rules. I had one difficult encounter that took 4-5 tries to overcome, but other than that combat has been going well. I'm sure things will get more challenging as I level up, but at Level 1 a lot of getting things right seems to be outfitting your NPCs with weapons they have proficiencies in. It's also helped knowing how to use magic. Jaheira's healing spells have prevented a number of deaths, I'm sure.

LastSurprise wrote:

I’ve been playing at Core Rules, except when I level. I’ll take max HP, every time!

Yes, I went in and tweaked the options to always grant max HP at level up as well.

LastSurprise wrote:

GB, I’m surprised you set his intelligence so high and didn’t boost his strength a little!

So about that. I used the auto roller program to generate his attributes, but for whatever reason I couldn't get the max strength option to work. I tried setting things every which way, and it seemed to work correctly the first time I tried it. But on subsequent attempts, even with things set to ignore non-max ST outcomes, or weight max ST results higher, the auto roller seemed to think it had stored a max-ST character but it actually hadn't.

After about a half hour messing with it I gave up and figured "Oh, whatever, good enough" and that I could try to up his attributes a bit as I play the game.

ubrakto wrote:

@GB - I think you'll like that Cavalier class!

Cool! So far so good. I ended up playing quite a bit last night, with a focus on getting my core party set up. I've got things mostly the way I want them now, with Minsc, Imoen, Branwen, Rasaad, and Dynaheir. I might drop Rasaad at some point, but we'll see. I'm king of interested in his back story, so I might keep him.

But yeah, I'm liking how everything is working out so far. My party is still Level 1 for the most part, and I've just backtracked to Beregost to explore and do the quests there.

______

I wonder, if Dynaheir were to "accidentally" have a tragic death because of some rash combat options, would Minsc leave my party?

Also, are people thinking to keep going through Siege of Dragonspear? I'm definitely thinking I'll want to play that too. (For leveling up, just the base game is fine of course.)

Minsc will stay if Dynaheir has an ‘Accident’. It’s fairly common practice. So I’m told.

Sorbicol wrote:

Minsc will stay if Dynaheir has an ‘Accident’. It’s fairly common practice. So I’m told.

Cool, thanks. I may have just looked this up too. Apparently basilisks can solve the problem as well, with a less permanent effect.

pyxistyx wrote:
Spoiler:

Pretty much all key locations are close to sewer entrances / accessed from the sewers, and usually the path between a sewer grate and a key location is clear of guards as far as i remember.

Spoiler:

Well my two trouble spots were when I first got to the city, I needed to go to Sorcerous Sundries for some stuff and ran into a patrol there. And then when I was taking Duke Eltan to the harbormaster, there is a patrol there as well. I had to reload quite a few times to get through without running into those patrols but no sewer alternatives to get to those places. My main kvetch was how incongruous it all seemed after killing thousands of things that killing these four Flaming Fists was what made everyone decide to bail.

Sarevok dealt with, saw credits. Going to push on to the Siege of Dragonspear. And then on to BG2 - this will be the carryover playthrough I have always wanted to do but never have actually pulled off.

Dynaheir may have gone ahead of our party to scout a certain location. Whoa, surprise, she discovered a basilisk.

The rest of the party ran away. We'll immediately start looking for a stone to flesh scroll. Eventually. After we take care of a few other things.

In the meantime, I've added Neera to our party.

tboon wrote:
pyxistyx wrote:
Spoiler:

Pretty much all key locations are close to sewer entrances / accessed from the sewers, and usually the path between a sewer grate and a key location is clear of guards as far as i remember.

Spoiler:

Well my two trouble spots were when I first got to the city, I needed to go to Sorcerous Sundries for some stuff and ran into a patrol there. And then when I was taking Duke Eltan to the harbormaster, there is a patrol there as well. I had to reload quite a few times to get through without running into those patrols but no sewer alternatives to get to those places. My main kvetch was how incongruous it all seemed after killing thousands of things that killing these four Flaming Fists was what made everyone decide to bail.

Sarevok dealt with, saw credits. Going to push on to the Siege of Dragonspear. And then on to BG2 - this will be the carryover playthrough I have always wanted to do but never have actually pulled off.

Awesome! You finished a game, tboon! Congrats.

I wonder if BG2 would have a chance to win our next vote?

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I started over with a fresh character. It'd been a while since I've been able to play, I wasn't that far along, and I wanted to adjust some of the things I did in the first start. I also wanted to see if I could play at "Core Rules" difficulty, as I feel like I learned enough about the combat in the first start to give this a more "official" difficulty run.

I present to you Bond, a Cavalier of the highest good.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/KpXC484.jpg)

I ground quickly through the prologue and have added the usual suspects by the time I've gotten to the Friendly Arms Inn.

You can definitely handle it; Paladin is easily one of the top low-level classes. You get a massive advantage due to the combat skills and healing combo. I for one have been taking a break while the world boils around me. Assuming the climate goes back to a state that my house is actually built to handle in the next couple days I'll be jumping back in.

Nashkel is complete, and that's always been a frustrating section for me. I feel like the EE reduced the frequency of the awful kobold commandos. Those guys' fire arrows lead to so many one-hit kills. Even with just the basic Sword Coast Strategems installed Mulahey kicked my ass repeatedly. I really had to spread the cheese thick to win that fight. Makes me think SSS is better in BG2 when you tend to be overpowered rather than BG1 where the low levels mean bad saving throws and low hit points.

Well, Dynaheir rescued, down towards the mines in Nashkel next. Cleared up most of the quests for chapter 1 I think, gained a few levels so I think we are ready.

I missed that damn ring of Wizardy in the tree stump at Friendly Inn. that would have been extremely useful about 4 hours back into this play-through. Ho hum.

bleh

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
LastSurprise wrote:

GB, I’m surprised you set his intelligence so high and didn’t boost his strength a little!

So about that. I used the auto roller program to generate his attributes, but for whatever reason I couldn't get the max strength option to work. I tried setting things every which way, and it seemed to work correctly the first time I tried it. But on subsequent attempts, even with things set to ignore non-max ST outcomes, or weight max ST results higher, the auto roller seemed to think it had stored a max-ST character but it actually hadn't.

After about a half hour messing with it I gave up and figured "Oh, whatever, good enough" and that I could try to up his attributes a bit as I play the game.

Just an FYI, not directed at you in particular, but during the stat generation process you can swap out numbers from various attributes to raise & lower them on a 1:1 basis.

With the auto-roller, I put minimum strength 18/00 and weighted that as 10 points worth of other stats, to keep high overall stat roll totals from wiping out a more beneficial lower overall total yet 18/00 character.

edit to hopefully clarify: What the auto-roller sees as an 18/00 character may look like a lower strength at first, but you have to take points away from another attribute to get up to 18, then the 18/00 will appear.

And if you're not satisfied with your stat array, or wish you had swapped out numbers, you can always use a save game editor. I did that the other day when I realized I had made some poor selections for weapon proficiency. Totally don't want to start over for that, and the game has no option to re-spec, as far as I know.

I went with EE Keeper, which was super easy to use.

^ and ^^

Oh! That explains everything! Thanks!

I'm going to give that EE Keeper a shot to nudge up strength and subtract an equal amount of points from less useful attributes. 18 strength would be super helpful in a lot of ways.

For what it's worth, I'd say Bond should be allowed an 18/00 in Charisma haha.

Running Man wrote:

For what it's worth, I'd say Bond should be allowed an 18/00 in Charisma haha.

Ha! I did have him up to 18 in charisma after finding that CHA+ item. He's back down to 17 because...

I've genetically engineered Mr. Bond, giving him 3 more strength points (18/50) and subtracting a point each from INT/WIS/CHA.

Thanks everyone for the help, that worked great!

That's a reasonable solution you found, not an exploit and no need to retread old ground. That auto-roller is seductive though, for rolling new characters while you sleep.

I got in a good chunk of time tonight. I've cleared the mines and got Bond to Level 3.

I've got some items to identify next, then it's back to Beregost for more adventuring.

Anyone have cleric spells they particularly like? I've been using heal for the Level 1 spells, but there are a lot of spells to pick from for clerics.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I got in a good chunk of time tonight. I've cleared the mines and got Bond to Level 3.

I've got some items to identify next, then it's back to Beregost for more adventuring.

Anyone have cleric spells they particularly like? I've been using heal for the Level 1 spells, but there are a lot of spells to pick from for clerics.

Remove Fear is situational but pretty powerful in a pinch. Since the Cavalier resists fear, he will always be available to nullify fear on others. Bless is a nice group buff.

In Level 2 spells, Hold Person and Silence 15' Radius are pretty kick-ass. Chant can stack with Bless which is nice. Draw Upon Holy Might is quite powerful at higher levels. Slow Poison can be pretty important if you know there are spiders.

More marginal spells... Command is an OK choice against single targets of less than 5 hit dice which is nice against the random assassins. Armor of Faith can be good late in BG2 but the damage reduction scaling is too slow to be of use in BG1. Resist Fire/Cold is OK but is a single-target spell which means you're not going to be able to protect everyone, and need to know you're going to take elemental damage.

imbiginjapan wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I got in a good chunk of time tonight. I've cleared the mines and got Bond to Level 3.

I've got some items to identify next, then it's back to Beregost for more adventuring.

Anyone have cleric spells they particularly like? I've been using heal for the Level 1 spells, but there are a lot of spells to pick from for clerics.

Remove Fear is situational but pretty powerful in a pinch. Since the Cavalier resists fear, he will always be available to nullify fear on others. Bless is a nice group buff.

In Level 2 spells, Hold Person and Silence 15' Radius are pretty kick-ass. Chant can stack with Bless which is nice. Draw Upon Holy Might is quite powerful at higher levels. Slow Poison can be pretty important if you know there are spiders.

More marginal spells... Command is an OK choice against single targets of less than 5 hit dice which is nice against the random assassins. Armor of Faith can be good late in BG2 but the damage reduction scaling is too slow to be of use in BG1 (it does generally result in a point or two of reduction as fractional damage rounds down). Resist Fire/Cold is OK but is a single-target spell which means you're not going to be able to protect everyone, and need to know you're going to take elemental damage.

imbiginjapan wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I got in a good chunk of time tonight. I've cleared the mines and got Bond to Level 3.

I've got some items to identify next, then it's back to Beregost for more adventuring.

Anyone have cleric spells they particularly like? I've been using heal for the Level 1 spells, but there are a lot of spells to pick from for clerics.

Remove Fear is situational but pretty powerful in a pinch. Since the Cavalier resists fear, he will always be available to nullify fear on others. Bless is a nice group buff.

In Level 2 spells, Hold Person and Silence 15' Radius are pretty kick-ass. Chant can stack with Bless which is nice. Draw Upon Holy Might is quite powerful at higher levels.

Yeah Bless and Remove Fear are great. Bless is part of my "buff up" protocol. and there's so many things that cause fear in the game early-ish on that Remove Fear is a must to have around.

I also like Doom as a debuff for level 1, makes some hard fights less difficult.

Sanctuary can be useful going into a tough fight where Khalid is almost sure to get feared so you can be sure that you can Remove Fear him so he can get back to business. For me, it always seems like it was Khalid getting Fear'd.

Level 2 I like Aid in addition to what imbiginjapan said.

tboon wrote:

For me, it always seems like it was Khalid getting Fear'd.

Khalid has a lower morale break than most other party members. Since he's ostensibly a tank type character and tends to get hit a lot, his morale break triggers often.

Great tips, thanks everyone. I'll start using these spells now that I'm getting to sections where I'll need more than just healing.

The related question, I suppose, would be what magic spells people like? My mage just got to Level 2, and I think she can't even use Level 2 spells yet, but for Level 1 spells I've been mainly spamming Magic Missile. And of course Identify for identifying items. I tried Sleep some, but it didn't seem to work.

And I went back and got that ring that Sorbicol mentioned, that doubles the amount of Level 1 spells for a mage. That's super helpful in turning a Level 1 mage from "useless squishy person I'm trying to prevent from getting killed" to a reasonably helpful NPC.

Magic Missle, Sleep, Identify and Charm Person are the only level 1 mage spells worth much of anything.
Chromatic Orb can be good at higher levels but needs to be coupled with a saving throw debuff to offset the +6 save bonus. Friends can net a shop discount.

Grease is good too to crowd control but can frequently be found as scrolls. Not sure I'd burn a spell slot on it.

Protection from Evil is pretty decent level 1 spell as you seem to fight a lot of evil. Armor or Shield if your mage tends to get targeted a lot (I used Armor mostly but maybe Shield is better?).

Friends is useful to get better prices from merchants

But MM is the most useful level 1 spell IMO. I seldom used Identify until later in the game when I had the bandwidth to have multiples of them lying around between my mages. It is easier to just pay to ID after a certain point as money is never a worry since I almost always sold the thing I ID'd for way more than the cost of IDing.

^Wait, I can pay to ID something?

#missingsomethingobviousyetagain