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Isabeau d'Anjou - solo BG1 to ToB

Discussion in 'Creativity Surge' started by Earl Grey, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

    Oct 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] - A disclaimer/warning first -
    Don't expect a rousing story meant to compete with Tolkien.
    As usual I'll stick with trying to share how I designed my character, what quests she does and, perhaps most importantly, what tactics she develops to get by the hardest parts. :book:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    * Background and why.
    Alex and Modjahed made a couple of posts on different parts of soloing which got my interest up after a long period with no BG.
    Alex posted about using the Ascension mod in SoA/ToB and Modjahed about a very powerful character played from the start of BG1, taking advantage of all the stat boosters you can get along the way.

    * Streamlining it.
    Isabeau's journey is primarily about soloing my first character from BG1 to the end of ToB. I haven't managed to finish a solo BG1 because I lost interest in it around chapter 5 when I tried. This time will see a more streamlined approach without getting caught up with all the quests in the city of Baldur's Gate.

    * The character.
    I choose Isabeau d'Anjou - a name I've used a lot in BG - from the 1985 film with Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer and Matthew Broderick; Ladyhawke. Michelle looks fantastic in that film!

    * Stats
    Female Elven multiclass Fighter/Mage

    Strength 18/80. I was prepared take a lower strength, thanks to the Gauntlets of Ogre Power in BG1 and the Girdles of Giant Strength in BG2.
    Dexterity 19. Had to max this... missile THAC0 and AC bonus.
    Constitution 16. Obviously had to be 16 for the HP's.
    Intelligence 18. She's a mage!
    Wisdom 18. I wanted a high wis because of Wish but would have accepted 14-15.
    Charisma 8. An elf can't have lower than this. So sad, no roleplaying Isabeau.
    Yep, that's a whopping 97 total! I kept rolling, determined to get over 90 - which isn't easy with a F/M - and :money: there it was! Lucky I didn't roll right past it because I was getting tired at that time and was ready to settle for the 90 score I had stored. :coffee:
    (Screenshot of the roll can be seen at my site)

    * Comments on the character and stats
    I choose a F/M over a F/M/T with an eye towards ToB. Isabeau will be able to use 9th level spells and by starting with 18 in both Int and Wis she will excel at casting Wish. Naturally she'll also be a better fighter due to reaching a higher level - 24 compared to 18 - than a F/M/T.
    No thief skills and no thief High Level Abilities (HLA) is a trade I'm willing to make in order to get 9th level spells as well as a better fighter.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    BG1 beginnings
    Wouldn't it be nice if I could do this without reloads? Yes, you're right, it didn't take that long before Isabeau died for the first time and I had to reaload, so that idea went out the window fast enough. :)

    Here are the most noteworthy "quests" Isabeau has done:
    Golden Pantaloons taken and stored safely.
    Marl in Feldepost Inn
    Silke in Beregost
    The Nashkel Mines
    Tome of Constitution from cave
    Greywolf and Prism
    Wand of Monster Summoning from a cave in SE
    Tome of Charisma from cave
    Bandit camp ending chapter 3.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Please post something so I wont have to keep editing. A simple "top" would suffice. :)

    [This message has been edited by Earl Grey (edited June 09, 2002).]
  2. TheBlackRose Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose

    Sep 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Nice story so far, Earl. Here's your "designated top".
  3. Uytuun Gems: 25/31
    Latest gem: Moonbar

    Apr 27, 2002
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] Good beginning, Earl Grey, keep on posting
  4. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

    Oct 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] Thanks for the toppings guys! :)

    Isabeau finished BG1 - TotSC installed - last evening and I've spent the time since then installing BG2. Darn thing failed on first try. :sosad:

    The Ducal Palace battle and the Final battle forced me to "cheese it" by using several charges of Monster Summoning wands.
    Gotta get some sleep now, so a report comes later! :coffee:

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    @Black Rose
    Editing to add more text will make the post too long and by getting a reply between my posts the reports get nicely divided.

    * So what happened in BG1?

    Chapter 3: Travelling the countrysides to get some equipment and other items.
    Tome giving Constitution +1, which she saved until she was F-7/M-7, because I read somewhere that you get +1 HP/level when you use it. It turned out correct, but I'm not sure these HP's carry over to BG2.
    Tome giving Charisma +1. Wheee! Isabeau now has Cha 9. :rolleyes:
    She fought several ghasts in a cramped cave to get a Wand of Monster Summoning. This proved to be pointless, since you can buy them in chapter 5 and I didn't need the wand until late in the game anyway.
    The fastest draw in the West was killed to get the Bracers of Archery.
    The Final fight in the bandit camp was a medium challenge. You can be disabled by spells quite easily and the bad guys deal a fair amount of damage, so focusing on the spellcaster completely isn't an easy thing.
    Mirror Image is a standard defense and helps buy a few rounds.

    Chapter 4: Running fast.
    Isabeau is now a Fig-6/Mag-6.
    - Equipment:
    Long Bow of Marksmanship
    Long Sword +2 "Varscona"
    Robe of the Good Archmagi
    Bracers of Archery
    Girdle of Piercing
    Ring Prot +1
    Ring of Fire Resistance
    Boots of Avoidance

    The way to getting Spiderbane in Cloakwood 2 is cautious. Isabeau used MM and plenty of arrows to kill all the spiders and ettercaps. Camping out and pushing on. When she finally had Spiderbane the rest of Cloakwood was a very quick rush up to the Mines.
    The hired party that awaited her was killed a bit cheaply. She used three Fireballs from her Wand of Fire from out of sight and then slapped on a Web. It was very easy to pick the remaining ones off with arrows. Not cheesing with the fireballs and starting with a Web would probably have been easy enough. Letting them just close on you and just meleeing them is not doable.

    The Cloakwood Mines was also a fast run, often using Invisbility.
    At final level she avoids fighting the summoned monsters and kills the human guard and then the boss mage. Mirror Image + MM + arrows and Boots of Speed prove too much for the enemy mage. Very easy.

    Chapter 5: A search for Tomes.
    Isabeau only did what she had to get the following items:
    Tome giving +1 to Intelligence
    Invisible and ran up the tower to steal the Tome, then she did it once more because I noticed Ramazith had a Ring of Prot +2 which I wanted. Killing Ramazith is easy, same as mage boss at end ch 4.
    Tome giving +1 to Dexterity; well you just have to go in and pick this one up. :)
    Tome giving +1 to Wisdom. This required some questing. First the dead boy and Umberlee quest which gives you the favor of the Lady of Tymora. Next quest is to get the geas spell removal for Lothander which involves getting the Tome from the Lady of Tymora and giving it to the Umberlee priestess. The actual exchange with the Umberlee priestess turned sour so Isabeau "had to" kill her and so she got both the scroll for Lothander and the Tome for herself. :)

    Another important part was to get the Cloak and Helm of Balduran. Another case of running about with no fighting.

    The fight on top level of the Iron Throne was tough. Isabeau used Invisibility to run to the other side of the party and started the fight with Web followed by pelting them with MM + arrows. A Fireball is nice too.
    Resist Fear is a well used spell before the battle.

    Almost forgot, Isabeau also wasted another mage to get the Ring of Wizardry. She didn't get the freebie Ring of Wizardry in the FAI area so this one was welcome.

    Chapter 6: another breeze.
    Isabeau went invisible and pretty much ran through this. Of course she wanted two things.
    Tome giving +1 to Strength and one Tome giving +1 to Wisdom. There were traps involved, but as usual with traps she just takes them on the chin, heals up, sleeps and gets ready to proceed.

    Chapter 7: Avoid the Flaming Fist.
    Run, run and run.

    First a side trip to Durlag's Tower to get another Tome giving +1 to Wisdom. Isagbeau walked right in, took it and walked out again. No fighting required.

    A couple of tough fights.
    Slythe and Krystin is tough considering that they are only two. Preparing full out and not underestimating them is the key. What gets you in trouble is conserving your resources. If you have it use it!

    The Ducal Palace is really tough since you lose/die if the two dukes die and they die quite fast unless you can keep the bad guys away. I had to do many restarts here before finally swamping the enemies with summoned monsters. They had no room to move so they had to hack their way out which gave Isabeau time to pick them off with arrows. Cheesy.

    The thieves maze was another case of turn invisible and run right through it. Isabeau used a few potions to make the traps practically ineffective.

    Run, run, run to the final battle. This was another tough one as it should be. TotSC has made this battle more difficult. In the end I ended up using the Wand of Monster Summoning tactic again. The baddies use spells like Fireball and Cloudkill which removes loads of summoned monsters quickly so each summoning doesn't buy much time. The battle turned into a dance in which Isabeau summoned monsters, shot a few arrows, ran a bit, summoned more monsters, shot arrows again etc.
    There are not many spells available which help that much. As usual Mirror Image and Resist Fear are used before the battle. Gobble up all potions like Pot of Magic Shielding, Pot of Invulnerability and Pot of Absorption.
    The battle is a mess and suddenly it's all over. Sarevok has fallen! :D

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Stay tuned for Isabeau d'Anjou has now entered BG2...

    [This message has been edited by Earl Grey (edited June 12, 2002).]
  5. TheBlackRose Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose

    Sep 20, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Damn! Nice work man, I wish I had the drive to burn through a game of BG1's size that quickly.

    Don't worry, I'll wait for a report. Maybe your reports could just consist of editing the first post? Just my 2c.
  6. Namuras Gems: 13/31
    Latest gem: Ziose

    Aug 21, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Seems like a fun game, Earl. :)

    One thing surprises me: You appear to have had more problems with the fights in the Undercellar and in the Ducal Palace than I had, and I'm solo-ing a fighter using only Vampire's Revenge for a weapon. Charm Person (from cloak) is what I used; it seems greatly underestimated.

    (To those waiting for the next installment of the Suicidegnome saga, I can only say thanks for waiting. With NWN coming out so soon, I foresee myself doing alot of playing rather than writing the next few weeks.)

    Anyway Earl, I wish you fun continued playing, and good luck. This is interesting. :)
  7. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

    Oct 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] Isabeau d'Anjou is a good way into BG2 now. She is a F-14/M-14 and just got her first two HLA's today: Whirlwind and Greater Whirlwind.

    As expected she is totally overpowered. Here are her stats at start of BG2:
    Str 19
    Dex 20
    Con 17
    Int 19
    Wis 21
    Cha 9

    * Chapter 1 *

    Irenicus Dungeon was sucked dry and she enters Athkatla as a F8/M9.
    Mencar Pebblecrusher and gang is lured into a false sense of security and then attacked.
    Attack tactics:
    2x Spider Spawn
    Prot from Normal Missiles
    Mirror Image
    Draw Upon Holy Might
    Start with a surprise attack on the mage who dies before reacting, next concentrate on the mage's familiar who also dies very quickly. The rest are taken down one at a time leaving Mencar til last because he is so tough. This is not at all an easy battle this early.

    Circus is next and with the same preparations as before it's very easy. Just run through second level and on third level go straight for the bad guy. Chop-chop and he's down in a few seconds.
    Now Isabeau has Cha 18 whenever she needs it. :)

    * Chapter 2 *
    Still F8/M9 (at 230,000/230,000 xp)

    - Free the Slaves
    - The orphan Risa
    - Buried Alive (to get the Silver Pantaloons early)
    - The Slaver ambush between areas with Suna Seni.
    - Riddle in the Sewers
    - Slavers "stockade"
    Isabeau is now F-9/M11 (at 376,000/376,000 xp)
    - Poisoned man
    - Mission for Harpers
    - Find out what happened to Montaron
    - Steal Necklace from Talos
    - Kill for Edwin
    (used the spell Phantom Blade here)
    - Documents for Edwin
    - Embarl's dagger
    - Renal's quest #1 finished
    - Mae'var's treachery
    Isabeau is now F10/M11 (at 629,000/629,000 xp)

    - Tanner murders (piece of cake with Mirror Image and Stone Skin)
    - Nalia's Castle
    - Guarded Compound
    Easy with an early Chaos causing fighting between the enemies.

    * Chapter 3 *

    - Roger's Sea Troll
    - Party in the Temple Sewers
    - Unseeing Eye
    Avoided fighting in the Beholder lair by using invisiblity. Beholders and Gauths are very annoying. :p
    Isabeau uses Invisible Stalker and Spider Spawn now.
    - Neb
    - Mook at the docks
    - Jaelos and Caehan
    - Sir Sarles using the alloy solution
    - Wellyn the child spirit
    - The Dawn Ring
    Isabeau is F-13/M-13 (at 1,270,000/1,270,000 xp)

    - Trademeet Genies
    - Animal Trouble at Trademeet
    - Helping Tiris
    - Madulf's message
    - Mimic's blood
    - Planar Sphere

    This is where I'm at right now.
    Isabeau is F-14/M-14 (at 1,660,000/1,660,000 xp)

    All the chapter 3 quests listed above I did today, the previous I did almost a week ago. (Been playing The Sims in the meantime)

    Current tactics is to do all this before entering hostilities:
    Invisible Stalker
    Prot from Normal Missiles
    Resist Fear
    Protection From Evil
    Mirror Image
    Protection from Fire
    Fire Shield Red
    Spider Spawn
    Minor Globe of Invulnerability
    Minor Spell Turning
    Draw Upon Holy Might

    Yes, this is a lot of preparations and some of them I know beforehand are very unlikely to be of any use, but it makes for a more "realistic" style. If I actually were this character I'd rather sleep/memorize another time than save on the casting of a few spells.
    There are a few nice spells which Isabeau still lacks. She failed to scribe a few "big" scrolls into her spell book and I don't reload with her in BG2... :D
    ... yet.

    Bottom line: In BG2 this has been nothing but a complete and utter massacre. :roll:

    [This message has been edited by Earl Grey (edited June 20, 2002).]
  8. ArchAngel Guest

    are you gonna use that trick "bug" that gives you one extra strenght in hell, if you give into sarevok? The one where you transform into slayer and then activate the tear. Gives you one extra strenght IIRC.

    EDIT; and of course, good luck Earl.

    [This message has been edited by ArchAngel (edited June 20, 2002).]
  9. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

    Oct 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] I never heard of that bug! Interesting, but no I'll stay away from exploiting bugs. Should be easy enough anyway it seems. :)
    She uses Celestial Fury and Flail of the Ages now and will probably go for Crom Faeyr in the off hand :eek: later; so with a base strength of 19 now, 20 or 22 later and normally 25 by just having that weapon in the off hand, an extra point of strength doesn't look all that vital.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Need to edit here... can I have another topping please! :wave:

    Got to chapter 6 today and Isabeau has hit the ToB xp limit! :heh:
    I won't bother with a list of the quest done, she has done every quest I could remember in chapters 4 and 5. Nothing was able to challenge her. Even Elder Orb's, which are usually lethal, are now soundly thrashed if she gets a chance to get her spells up.
    The surprise you get when entering the Beholder cavern in the Underdark - one Elder Orb and one Beholder - was nasty. I had forgotten that they wait on the other side of the entrance. :aaa: Isabeau did a very quick turnabout and ran out the way she entered. A minute or so later she was so buffed up with spell effects it was almost silly. Full of confidence she again entered the cavern, ran up to the Elder Orb, turned on Greater Whirlwind and sliced that big eye up real good. His Beholder buddy got the same treatment a couple of seconds later. :1eye:

    Another example: the knights in the Demogorgon statue room (Kuo-Toa cave in Underdark) were all dispatched in less than 10 rounds. Think Whirlwinds, a Planetar and a couple of Skeleton Warriors!

    A few traps might still be lethal - but I mostly just avoid those. :good:

    Her HLA's are as following:
    1 Whirlwind
    4 Greater Whirlwind
    1 Hardiness
    1 Resist Magic
    1 Power Attack
    1 Critical Strike
    1 Smite
    All the Wizard HLA's: Comet, Dragon's Breath, Energy Blades, Improved Alacrity, Summon Planetar, extra 6th, 7th and 8th level spells.

    Back in Athkatla several artifacts have been assembled, most importantly Crom Faeyr. Time to pay back the debt to one Jon Irenicus.

    [This message has been edited by Earl Grey (edited June 23, 2002).]
  10. Mr Topper Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise

    Jun 26, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Doing my thing. :hippy:
  11. Eze&Sharkie Guest

    This like-WOW.:cool:
    That is one real amazon.:mommy:
  12. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

    Oct 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] This campaign is on hold for a little while because I'm doing Single Player in NWN.

    Isabeau finished SoA easily enough and has since cleared out Watcher's Keep, except for leaving the "bigbad" at the bottom alone for now. I want to do that battle as close to the end of ToB as possible. The latest thing she did was kill Yaga Shura, so we are in the final stages of chapter 8.

    Str 20
    Dex 20
    Con 18
    Int 21
    Wis 21
    Cha 10
    Accumulated xp (checked it in SK): 16,151,320 :D

    [This message has been edited by Earl Grey (edited July 17, 2002).]

    Note to self: Check out what happened to bring Int from 20 to 21 between saves Isabeau110 and Isabeau111.

    [ August 19, 2002, 16:00: Message edited by: Earl Grey ]
  13. Sirdan Gems: 7/31
    Latest gem: Tchazar

    Apr 11, 2002
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    [​IMG] Very, very nice. Overpowered character, but i like her :evil:

    And btw, how does she have 21 Int? It should be 20. +1 in BG1, +1 BG2(Lum's the Mad Machine)

    [This message has been edited by Sirdan (edited July 24, 2002).]
  14. Earl Grey

    Earl Grey Mmm... hot tea! Veteran

    Oct 26, 2000
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] @Sirdan
    I believe the extra Int comes from the Deck of Many Things. If the first card is "bad" the second card can be "Star" which adds 1 to your prime stat.

    This is an obvious case of multiple reloading to get what I want. :heh:
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