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Random Encounters on BG2EE with SCS


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#1 kryptix

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 10:34 AM

I hadn't played BG2 in about 8-9 years since I have no idea where my old discs went and I've changed computers many times in between, but I'm playing EE on insane with most of SCS installed (without the item tweaks because part of the reason I'm playing fighter/illusionist was to use the robe of vecna)...

I really like the mod so far because its making things really challenging, but I'm slightly stuck right now in Chapter 2. I have only done the Copper Coronet and Slavers, so I am still very low level, but I got Nalia and she is trying to force me to go to D'Arnise keep now. I'm using CHARNAME (Female), Jaheira, Nalia and Viconia right now, but they are not very geared at all, only CHARNAME is somewhat geared (I bought the +3 fire axe off Bernard and I have a full set of Jewelry so AC-2 and THAC0 6 with 3 attacks and has good HP from being an import with 19 str 19 con 20 int and 19 dex.)

My problem is that as I leave the slums trying to go to D'Arnise hold, I'm getting jumped by a random encounter with 10 orogs and a bandit party with a couple of mages. I don't think I remember this from vanilla at all, and it would be a good challenge, except that the orogs seem to be way too high leveled because they resist web like crazy and kill Nalia or Viconia in 2 hits (generally exploding them as well even with the setting that should keep this from happening). That's without even considering the Harper's call bug (I can't revive with Jaheira)...

I'm at work and haven't tried to see if I get similarly jumped if I stay in town, maybe getting Hexxat first, but I don't see how that would help me at all. (Also, I'm not sure if Nalia will leave me if I detour to the graveyard first). CHARNAME can hold her own against the orogs for a while but no where near long enough to take down such a huge group, and I don't have enough spells to take them down either... I'd understand if I was having trouble with some mages, but there's not much strategy or tactics that I can think of that can keep me from losing some vital NPCs in this situation because the orogs spawn literally on top of me and Nalia can only get off one spell before exploding (maybe two when I get stoneskin to be the first spell cast). Is the solution to cast invisibility on my whole party before traveling so that I can reposition in relative safety before I get hit? I can't even kite because I move slower than them... Also none of my mages have PfMW or even PfNW/Mantle...

TL/DR: I'm playing with an all female party and SCS enhanced random encounter is blowing up my lower hp characters in one to two hits.

Anyone have any suggestions?

#2 DavidW

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:05 AM

"Try a bigger party" is my main thought. You're handicapping yourself by only having four characters.

#3 kryptix

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 11:31 AM

I considered that, but the only people in the slums I can pick up right now are Jan, Fexxat and Minsc right now. I guess Minsc would help, but I think the problem isn't so much that I can't win the encounter but rather I can't keep Nalia and Viconia from being permakilled. I'd be perfectly happy if I could run away my party and then try to solo the encounter with CHARNAME actually because I think that might actually be viable (This is pretty much what I did for the random encounter starting the Harpers quest)...

I think I'll try having Viconia chug a invis potion and having Nalia improved invis herself to see if I can get them away before the mages reveal them... If I load up some wands on CHARNAME and use her spells to crowd control, hopefully I can wipe out everything except for the mages, and then its just a matter of taking out two mages.

By the way, great mod and I wish I had it when I played all those years ago. I was just wondering if all of the random encounters had so many extra enemies added?

#4 kreso

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 12:41 PM

By the way, great mod and I wish I had it when I played all those years ago. I was just wondering if all of the random encounters had so many extra enemies added?

No. If you're high enough level, they won't even bother you, which is a really nice feature.
Anyhow, for suggestions, try Malison/Emotion or Malison/Web. Cast Haste/Invisibility beforehand. Chaos is nice with it's massive ST penalty.
4 characters of which 1 can fight decently isn't the optimum by any means. Minsc will die very fast, I'm afraid. He doesn't look as such, but he's made of paper. Korgan is much better.
And don't play on Insane difficulty :D . That's asking for trouble if your party isn't wrapped in stoneskins.

#5 kryptix

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 02:07 PM


By the way, great mod and I wish I had it when I played all those years ago. I was just wondering if all of the random encounters had so many extra enemies added?

No. If you're high enough level, they won't even bother you, which is a really nice feature.
Anyhow, for suggestions, try Malison/Emotion or Malison/Web. Cast Haste/Invisibility beforehand. Chaos is nice with it's massive ST penalty.
4 characters of which 1 can fight decently isn't the optimum by any means. Minsc will die very fast, I'm afraid. He doesn't look as such, but he's made of paper. Korgan is much better.
And don't play on Insane difficulty :D . That's asking for trouble if your party isn't wrapped in stoneskins.


Yeah, actually the first random encounter caught me with 3 people in my party without having rested and I couldn't even prebuff because of cowled wizards... That was quite interesting, I was like I don't remember this being nearly this hard haha...

I also don't remember insane being nearly this hard but its pretty insane that random enemies will hit my NPCs for at least half their health, but I think thats also partially because I think Viconia has like 35 hp...

I'm going to go find somewhere to rest and try to drop a malison chaos cloudkill or something tonight. I think if I had sequencers it would be better, or if I could prebuff but 4 hour travel before the encounter makes everything but skins wear off.

Also, I never realized how much I relied on the male characters in the game until I tried to do without them this time around. No Korgan/Keldorn/Minsc to tank, no Jan/Yoshimo as a thief (Nalia is not a real thief), I never did rely on Edwin though because I either played PC Mage or more often then not I couldn't pass on Keldorn... I remember that Aerie used to be great but she is very annoying to me now so I booted her (especially playing female CHARNAME).

Just as a general question, I was thinking of picking up Hexxat and Neera, then dropping someone for Imoen later on. Who should I drop? I've never kept both Imoen and Nalia before, but I've heard they have some interaction in TOB, is that worth keeping Nalia around? She is pretty much Imoen-lite anyway. Am I going to regret playing 4 arcane casters?

Also, since I plan to actually keep Imoen, how much should I do in Chapter 2-3 (and I can't remember what I will miss if I don't do it before Chapter 6). I remember you can get a level 13? Imoen, but I want to make sure I don't miss anything in Chapter 3 if I can help it.

Edited by kryptix, 05 December 2013 - 02:16 PM.


#6 polytope

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 07:48 PM

"Try a bigger party" is my main thought. You're handicapping yourself by only having four characters.


Personally, I find a party of 3 or 4 to be most effective in the early-mid game due to faster level ups (especially if you have a multiclassed PC as OP does). I also usually solo for a level or two before recruiting people so as not to recruit them while they are too low a level; since Kryptix is a F/I I'm guessing she picked up an under leveled Viccy, Nalia is almost never higher than lvl 9 anyway, as NPC level is set upon first entering the area they're in (unless EE changes this...).

Is the solution to cast invisibility on my whole party before traveling so that I can reposition in relative safety before I get hit? I can't even kite because I move slower than them... Also none of my mages have PfMW or even PfNW/Mantle...

TL/DR: I'm playing with an all female party and SCS enhanced random encounter is blowing up my lower hp characters in one to two hits.

Anyone have any suggestions?


Recruit Jan for his invisibility-10-ft-radius spell, which will hide all your PC's and you can avoid fighting the orgos, they give little xp and no worthwhile loot so why bother? You might want to fight the ogre mages if some ambush you, as they may have scrolls and other treasure.

If you're determined to use only ladies I think SCS adds a copy of Invis-10-foot to Lady Yuth or maybe the other scroll merchant in the promenade. Sister Garlena has one too, and don't worry about invisibility while travelling there, I believe you're never ambushed on the way to and from Watcher's Keep.

Not sure I'd take Viconia in the party on insane difficulty, she will reliably get one shotted by backstabbing thieves and mind flayer's ballistic attack power. It is handy to have a magic resistant cleric who can cast remove fear/paralysis/restoration on a debuffed party though. Jaheira at least has Ironskins but I really dislike fighter/druid multi (you need 3 million XP for your first 7th level spell slot and your third fifth level spell slot... fifth level spells are really crucial for either cleric or druid imo).

Just as a general question, I was thinking of picking up Hexxat and Neera, then dropping someone for Imoen later on. Who should I drop? I've never kept both Imoen and Nalia before, but I've heard they have some interaction in TOB, is that worth keeping Nalia around? She is pretty much Imoen-lite anyway. Am I going to regret playing 4 arcane casters?


I would. You'll run out of scrolls for your 4 mages, in particular I believe you're only guaranteed to find 2x spell sequencer and 2x protection from magic weapons in SoA... not to mention Mordy Sword, PW:Stun and other rare scrolls (SCS adds some of them to shops though). It also looks like you'll only have two multiclassed fighters - Jaheira and your F/I - and everybody is a caster (I'd get bored of memorizing all the different spells but it's your game).

Edited by polytope, 05 December 2013 - 08:02 PM.

Polytweak - Polytope's enhancements of BG2 creatures, NPCs and the proficiency system.

#7 DavidW

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:03 AM

I hadn't noticed this was on Insane. In that case I've no suggestions - people are welcome to play SCS on Insane but it's balanced for Core.

#8 kreso

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:46 AM

I also don't remember insane being nearly this hard but its pretty insane that random enemies will hit my NPCs for at least half their health, but I think thats also partially because I think Viconia has like 35 hp...

I find "insane" difficutly just as imbalanced as "easy". I hate double standards.

I'm going to go find somewhere to rest and try to drop a malison chaos cloudkill or something tonight. I think if I had sequencers it would be better, or if I could prebuff but 4 hour travel before the encounter makes everything but skins wear off.


Imo, the best "easy" start for SCS is - Waukeen's Promenade, Slums, Copper Corronet/free slaves (get Lirarcor if you can), Goverment District, talk to Delon to get his village on the map, City Gates, Umar Hills - get Ilbratha and do the little quests there, travel to Temple District and steal necklace from Talos, go to Docks, finish thieves' quests by killing Edwin. That way you get a lot of loot, maybe 2 levels, and a bunch of gold. In addition, you avoid "being ambushed" scenarios and get to pick up NPC's you want before the real battles start (Suna Seni and similar).

Just as a general question, I was thinking of picking up Hexxat and Neera, then dropping someone for Imoen later on. Who should I drop?

Mage is a lot better than a thief. Always. More mages spamming ADHW, the better. Thieves are nice for RP and trap setting, but otherwise a mage is much more powerful. Drop the vampire chick. Neera is a Wild mage, which is the most powerful kit in the game anyway. With her, you don't even need a second mage.

I've never kept both Imoen and Nalia before, but I've heard they have some interaction in TOB, is that worth keeping Nalia around?


No.

Am I going to regret playing 4 arcane casters?

I played 5 once...and only regretted that things got too easy and they needed a lot of micromanagement, which was unbearable.

Also, since I plan to actually keep Imoen, how much should I do in Chapter 2-3 (and I can't remember what I will miss if I don't do it before Chapter 6). I remember you can get a level 13? Imoen, but I want to make sure I don't miss anything in Chapter 3 if I can help it.

Imo, levels 12-13 are ok for going to Spellhold. You won't miss anything.

#9 kryptix

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 09:45 AM


I also don't remember insane being nearly this hard but its pretty insane that random enemies will hit my NPCs for at least half their health, but I think thats also partially because I think Viconia has like 35 hp...

I find "insane" difficutly just as imbalanced as "easy". I hate double standards..

I'm going to go find somewhere to rest and try to drop a malison chaos cloudkill or something tonight. I think if I had sequencers it would be better, or if I could prebuff but 4 hour travel before the encounter makes everything but skins wear off.

Imo, the best "easy" start for SCS is - Waukeen's Promenade, Slums, Copper Corronet/free slaves (get Lirarcor if you can), Goverment District, talk to Delon to get his village on the map, City Gates, Umar Hills - get Ilbratha and do the little quests there, travel to Temple District and steal necklace from Talos, go to Docks, finish thieves' quests by killing Edwin. That way you get a lot of loot, maybe 2 levels, and a bunch of gold. In addition, you avoid "being ambushed" scenarios and get to pick up NPC's you want before the real battles start (Suna Seni and similar).

Just as a general question, I was thinking of picking up Hexxat and Neera, then dropping someone for Imoen later on. Who should I drop?

Mage is a lot better than a thief. Always. More mages spamming ADHW, the better. Thieves are nice for RP and trap setting, but otherwise a mage is much more powerful. Drop the vampire chick. Neera is a Wild mage, which is the most powerful kit in the game anyway. With her, you don't even need a second mage.

I've never kept both Imoen and Nalia before, but I've heard they have some interaction in TOB, is that worth keeping Nalia around?

No.

Am I going to regret playing 4 arcane casters?

I played 5 once...and only regretted that things got too easy and they needed a lot of micromanagement, which was unbearable.

Also, since I plan to actually keep Imoen, how much should I do in Chapter 2-3 (and I can't remember what I will miss if I don't do it before Chapter 6). I remember you can get a level 13? Imoen, but I want to make sure I don't miss anything in Chapter 3 if I can help it.

Imo, levels 12-13 are ok for going to Spellhold. You won't miss anything.


I went around last night and got Daystar (This was ridiculously hard to cheese at level 9-11, I actually went, temporarily picked up everyone who could raise dead, grabbed a bunch of scrolls to raise people and healing potions. Then I did rotating suicide runs to run the lich out of all of his major spells, ran in with my CHARNAME and beat him down with +3 Axe.) Actually, does the Daystar Sunray hurt liches in SCS? I got an immune when I tried it. Viconia was actually very good for suicide runs with her magic resist. I don't know if DavidW will want to change the encounter more, but what I was able to do was raise my suicide runner upstairs wait for things to fade then I would basically periodically test the lich to see if he still had anti magic, when he ran out I went in with chaotic commands etc to beat him down. But year, 5th level spells and only 1 +3 weapon and I got him down after almost an hour!

Also got Hexxat and finally beat the random encounter, it was pretty ridiculously easy when i decided I'd burn a few invis potions. (Trying to cast invis would get it dispelled before people got out of range of the dispell...) Just ran away and threw up a few webs and cloudkills and fireballs.

I've come to realize that on insane, I get hit insanely hard but the enemies still have pretty weak HP for the most part so I can deal by just trying to never get hit I guess.. Hard to play when I don't have spells up though.



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