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A Video Based Guide to the Tactics4IWD2 Mod by David Milward

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Chapter 2
Andora  |  Glacier  |  Ice Temple Level 1  |  Ice Temple Level 2  |  Battle Squares


By now the party has made as much progress as it could without using The Game Room. It needs only perform one task to progress the game further. However, completing the Battlesquares challenge in full is worth the time and patience required, for the rewards are great. As such this merits a section unto itself.

First, an explanation of the switches. You select a rank by pulling one of the ten labelled switches along the north wall. Two switches in the bottom corner determine whether the Mode is Inner Sanctum, Temple Maintenance, or Battle Squares. I set the mode to Battle Squares. The very bottom switch is used to activate the selected mode. Once you’ve pulled the activator switch, select one of the nine squares in the middle of the floor. A monster, whose difficulty depends on which rank switch has been pulled, appears for a one on one battle. The rest of party is kicked out of the room leaving only the character that pulled the game switch. If the character wins within 60 seconds, he has conquered that square and it is marked with a pair of axes crossing each other. If the monster survives longer than 60 seconds, the square gets marked with a shield to indicate that the character has not conquered that square.

The ultimate goal of Battlesquares is to obtain all five levels of all ten ranks. A level of a rank is designated by how many squares you have conquered AT THE TIME you get three squares in a row. I'll provide some diagrams to give an example of what getting each level would look like.

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
x o o  x o x x o x x x o o x x
x o o x o o x o x x o o x x x
x o o x o o x o o x x x x x o

Rank 1

My approach was to have Akutagawa do all the fighting. Before he starts a level, the rest of the characters layer him with these spells; Mage Armor (an Armor Bonus without taking away his Wisdom bonus), Bark Skin (generic bonus), and Champion's Strength. Lord Markus also lends Akutagawa his Ring of Protection +2 for a deflection bonus to armor class. Any time you complete any level in the game, you get a random reward, which can vary from spell scrolls, missile weapons, gold, gems, or an xp bonus. Always reload until you get the xp bonus as a reward for completing a level. It will go a much longer way for you.

1st Rank – Monsters that you fight include:

All of these monsters can be easily stunned and killed without using a healing potion. The first time you complete a level in the Battlesquares challenge, you obtain *** Oria’s key ***. You’ll also get a spell effect cast on the character corresponding to the Rank of the game. Here, it’s Armor of Faith. It is not very often that this spell rank will be worth the need to go straight to another level without resting.

Each time you complete a rank, you get a prize. The prize for the 1st Rank is the Dragon’s Belt (+3 to Reflex saving throws). Stygar is rather weak for his Reflex Saving Throws, so he gets this belt.

Rank 2

At this point, I remembered to have Lord Markus lend Akutagawa his Amulet of Natural Armor. It will stack with the Barkskin spell.

2nd Rank – Monsters you fight include:

The spell effect for completing a level is Luck. The prize for the 2nd rank is the Potion of Holy Transference (permanent -1 to Dexterity and +2 to Wisdom). Akutagawa drinks this potion. This in fact was the point to adding a point of Dexterity at 4th level. It makes up for the point of dexterity lost by drinking the potion, and keeps the dexterity modifier at +4. The Wisdom increase in turn improves A.C., Will saving throws, DC of both Stunning Blow and Quivering Palm. The potion might be equally handy for a Cleric that wants to raise Wisdom but is wearing heavy armor where Dexterity may not matter much.

Rank 3

3rd Rank – Monsters you fight include:

Most these can still be stunned and killed. The spell effect is Strength of One. The prize is the Abishai Hide Armor (A.C. +3, damage reduction of 5/+1). Alliria didn’t bother. She already has better armor. This and other items which provide damage reduction which can be overcome just for having a +1 weapon will be useless in the latter stages of the game.

Rank 4

4th Rank – Monsters you fight include:

The spell effect is Stoneskin. The prize is the Boots of Grounding (+6 to electrical resistance). Alliria gets this by default since I have other boots in mind for the other characters.

Rank 5

Note how Tithian, after advancing enough to cast 4th level spells, now also casts Emotion: Hope as an additional buff to assist Akutagawa during his battles.

5th Rank – Monsters you fight include:

The spell effect is the Shield of Lathander, which only lasts for three rounds. The prize is the Throwing Axe of Shocking Burst (+5 enchantment, +1d6 electrical damage, 10% chance of another 1d10 electrical damage). Definitely an improvement for Stygar.

Rank 6

6th Rank – Monsters you fight include:

The spell effect is Regeneration. The prize is the Club of Disruption (+3 to attack bonus and damage, +5 enchantment, outsiders and undead must make a fortitude save or be disrupted). Stygar will be packing this weapon for most of the rest of the game. Tithian already has an anti-undead weapon, the Moonblade. In melee, Markus will be using a hammer for blunt damage while Alliria will use a Flail. That leaves Stygar, who switches from axe to club whenever there is undead, demons, or monsters vulnerable to blunt damage. In the meantime Akutagawa uses the Club for the rest of the Battle Squares challenge.

Rank 7

7th Rank – Monsters you fight include:

The spell effect is Seven Eyes. The prize is the Ice Spear +4 (Ice Lance 1/day). Alliria packs this for when she needs to reach over her comrades in tight quarters, for the time being.

Rank 8

8th Rank – Monsters you fight include:

The spell effect is Divine Shell. The prize is the Composite Long Bow of Empowerment (whenever character is struck, a random ability score is improved by 4. You can’t have more than one such bonus at a time). I didn’t bother. There’s better bows out there that are better at doing what bows were designed to do in the first place, nail an enemy at a distance. The bonus could come in handy in the heat of melee combat. That is precisely the moment when the character should not be having her hands on a bow. What it does have going for it is that it can be sold for a wad of cash.

Rank 9

9th Rank – Monsters you fight include:

The spell effect is Aegis. The prize is a wand with 50 charges of Animate Dead.

Rank 10

10th Rank – Monsters you fight include: Same as for the 9th rank.

The spell effect is Executioner’s Eyes. The prize is the Brilliant Short Sword +5 (ignores the armor and shield bonuses of the target). This is Tithian’s weapon for the rest of the game, and he switches the Moonblade over to being his secondary weapon. This also allows him to crank his Expertise feat to the max for 5 bonus points of Armor Class.

The GRAND PRIZE for the Battlesquares challenge is the Bracers of Icelandic Pearl (+4 bonus to Armor Class, -2 penalty to dexterity, Lesser Planar Binding: Water Elemental 1/day, Cone of Cold 1/day, Horrid Wilting 1/day). These make good interim bracers for Elanna. They still improve armor class, and allow early access to the Horrid Wilting spell, which is quite helpful. When Elanna learns Horrid Wilting as a Sorcerer spell, she'll trade these in for Bracers of Defense +4.

Nathaniel brings down the Glacier

So anyway, now it's time to see Nathaniel to conclude this chapter. I get xp bonuses for bring both his Bag of Holding and his Ring of the Ram back to him. I follow him outside the temple, and watch as he uses his spells and items to bring down the glacier wall.

Remember the false explosive letters from Targos, and the note for Denham when I first entered the Temple?  I get a couple more xp bonuses for delivering them to Captain Mariner and Denham Fisher respectively. The letters explode in Mariner's face, revealing him and his fellow Neverwinter soldiers to be Dopplegangers in disguise. At this point, they are easy to kill though.

Now I leave the Glacier to start Chapter 3.

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