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That guardian dragon

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by squirrel, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. squirrel Gems: 1/31
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    My party has battled monsters, duerger, driders, illithids, evil serpents and all manner of other beasties to get this far but now they're struggling.

    I've had a read through some of the other threads for tips on tactics against the guardian but still finding it tough so thought I'd see if anybody has any advice for my specific team.

    Half elven CG bard - he's got the wight's blade +1 but usually sings and throws in the odd spell rather than fight
    Half elven CG wizard (evoker), tends to fight with crossbow if she runs out of useful spells.
    Tiefling CN rogue - usually an archer in a fight, currently equipped with longbow +4 but also has short sword +4 for sneak attacks
    Moon elf NG Cleric of Oghma, uses mace +4 but often hangs back at the start of any fight to summon beasts or cast buffs on the party
    Human CG fighter - rushes in melee style with warhammer +4 & shield or greataxe +4
    Ghostwise Halfling CG barbarian - another melee favourite with longsword +4 & shield

    They're all level 13.

    My wizard is hasted to get the damage in quick and has a max of 5 lower resistance spells to use before piling in with the magic & mordekainen's missiles.
    I can also summon quite a lot of creatures with wizard, cleric & bard but they don't seem to last long enough to keep the dragon occupied.
    My fighters seem to be doing very little damage at all and though buffed against the acid the dragon just seems to bite chunks out of them so that they don't last long when it turns its attention to them.

    I wouldn't expect a dragon to be easy, but I'd like to at least get it past the "barely injured" stage!
     
  2. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    The collar from the Worg(?) in Targos is helpful for stopping at least one party member from panicking. Plus, if your Wizard can cast Disintegrate at this point (it can happen) then you may get a lucky shot with it.
     
  3. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The reload until you Disintegrate is a time honoured way of killing it. Be prepared to run like heck for the way back to Kuldahar though.
     
    Silvery likes this.
  4. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Yep, forgot that bit
     
  5. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    If you want to win without cheesing it- Take a good, long look at your spell selection. By this point you should probably have a good idea of what the dragon is going to use against you, so prepare in advance. Buff your warriors with everything you can. Keep the cleric and bard handy with healing spells whenever they are needed. Use summons to divert attention from your warriors. Did I mention taking a good long look at your spell selection? A well-prepared spellbook is the difference between victory and a bad case of the deads.
     
  6. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
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    1) I always have 4 guys up against the dragon, as heavily buffed as possible, who can stand on each side of the dragon (not next to each other, where the dragon's breath can damage multiple PCs at one time) and can therefore get lots of attacks in. If you have 3 PCs back, you have too many PCs back. Looking at your party, I'd send up the Bbn, Ftr, Clr, and Rogue, and leave the Bard and Wizard back (you know your party--maybe the Bard should go up while you pull the Rogue or Cleric back);
    2) You should have so many buffs on your 4 front-liners that you cannot see their faces on their individual icon screens. Haste/Mass Haste, Bless, Aid, Bull's Strength (unless they already have a +4 bonus from items), Cat's Grace, Prayer, Remove Fear, Barkskin, Stoneskin (I generally have my sorcerer cast Stoneskin on all 4 of the characters I'll put up front against the dragon), Emotion: Hope, Emotion: Rage, Luck, Ghost Armor, Mirror Image, Holy Power, Fireshield, Blur, Death Armor, Shield, Defensive Harmony, Draw Upon Holy Might, Holy Aura, even Improved Invisibility, etc, all need to be used. There is an art and science to casting buffs--many of these spells will run out very early on in the battle if you make the mistake of casting them first and then cast 4-6 rounds worth of further buffs afterwards (i.e., Defensive Harmony), so make sure you carefully manage that;
    3) Summoned monsters may help. The dragon does destroy them pretty quickly, even if you managed to get many of your buffs cast upon the 'summoned' as well, but I notice that if I summon a couple of fairly high-level monsters and put them right in front of the face of the dragon, it will focus on them to the exclusion of my party for a few rounds. That normally buys my front-line fighters a few more rounds where they can hit the dragon without the dragon hitting them;
    4) Drink some potions, use some limited use items. That's what they are there for, right? I have a bad tendency to forget that I have them. But some of the potions grant sizeable combat bonuses, while some items (like the dragon-head helmet the party generally finds back in the white wyrm lair, with it's 1xday cone of cold effect) have only a daily use--which should be used here! Same goes for character abilities--some of the cleric special abilities are very useful. Also, make sure your fighter-types don't have Power Attack or Rapid Shot turned on (the penalty to hit for both of those feats can inflict a serious negative effect when you are fighting high AC monsters like the Guardian), etc;
    5) I have been able to affect the dragon with spells, but rarely. I have managed to use Lower Resistance followed by a couple of Malisons and have managed to Slow it, Grease it, & hit it with some Flame Arrows, Skull Traps, and Glyphs of Warding. That is hard. I'm not sure it's worth your time and effort to try to directly affect the Guardian with damage-inflicting or penalty-causing spells;
    6), If you casters aren't going to cast spells at it, ensure they have good ranged weapons with high-quality ammunition, good enough to hit the Guardian. Even 6 pts of damage here and there from a wizard with a cross-bow helps out--as long as he's shooting ammunition from a weapon that can actually hit the Guardian. So this may require a lot of cross-leveling of items across your party.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  7. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    A 13th level Rogue should have one hellavu' sneak attack.....;)

    Many Lower Resistances should allow big damage with spells. It's been a long time, but after trying to access my memeory chips I get the distinct feeling that Lightning Bolt/Chain Lightning was a winner for me after the LRs. Also thinking Harm was a helper as well.
     
  8. squirrel Gems: 1/31
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    Thanks, i'll give it another bash. If I recall when I played this years ago I ended up dropping the game difficulty to easiest setting for this battle but I've been trying to avoid that this time round.
     
  9. claudius Gems: 5/31
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    Mordankainens sword can deal some damage...

    I usually have a high AC character with Mirror Image and Blink to keep the dragon occupied. All buffs like above ^^^ posters. The AC bracers from the genie in the camp where you first meet Nym is an amazing AC item. Expertise and dodge for another 6 AC. So if the dragon needs just with those items 30% less (edit: 55% with the djinni bracers) chance to hit and 50% concealment those mirror images will stay up. In the past I have used Fighter/Mage with just up to 5th level for another feat and blink. Conjurer. I think a pure mage or sorceror could do it but if you make a mistake they have low total hitpoints.

    And then everyone else with the awesome ammunition that you have (hopefully) saved in your travels. Mordenkainen's...

    I always have a high AC mirror image character. Sometimes I have had a druid and they can deal a lot of lightning damage which is something the guardian is vulnerable to. Just like 5 or 6 call lightnings and the guardian will go down hopefully.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  10. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    The Chult Dragon is usually tough - as some people mentioned summon monsters help a lot! Lower Resistance, buff, heal, run like hell... I tend to rely a lot on undead - they tend to last quiet well. Of course - it helps if you have weapons that can actually hurt the dragon... And have a few "Remove Fear" at your disposal.
     
  11. claudius Gems: 5/31
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    Another idea is to Otlukes a tank and see if the dragon will still bite on him? Never tried it.
     
  12. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    I haven't used the Otiluke's invincible tank exploit for ages, but didn't they patch that together with Improved Invisibility in patch 2.01?

    Remember that you only need like 50 AC to tank the beast in a traditional tank & spank way.
     
  13. claudius Gems: 5/31
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    Sir Rechet, is that the AC for HoF? I read UPP (or was it JUPP?) and their deep gnome decoy had a bit above 50 maybe 55 but maybe I am mis remembering.

    I don't think Otiluke's is cheesy but for the AI of the computer. A caster should be able to Otiluke someone in real DnD, but a dragon is supposed to have from high to supra genius intelligence. It's silly to think the dragon would attack someone who was Otiluked.

    I've used Otilukes in the time loop. So I think you can cast it on enemies.
     
  14. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

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    No, 50 AC is for normal mode. You need 70+ in HOF. Might even have been closer to 80, can't remember anymore.
     
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