Baldur’s Gate Portraits

14 Mar

These are pretty cool, too.

A little honest cheating.

16 Dec

So Balan & Co. venture out beyond the town limits, and encounter four wolves.  Balan quickly develops a strategy: Imoen sneaks up to the wolves and positions herself in such a way that only one of the critters can see her, then she shoots it with her bow.  It chases her back to the others.  Balan throws a chromatic orb at the creature, which blinds it, and the party finishes it off.  Then Imoen sneaks up to the next wolf, and the company takes it down in the same way.  Once the four wolves are taken out, Imoen sneaks to the next area, and spies an orc standing just outside a cave, by a wagon.  This time Branwen throws the spell “Hold Person”, which freezes the orc, and they try to take him down, as well, but he unfreezes and escapes into the cave.  So much for sneaking up on whoever is in there.

Now comes the famous “15 minute workday” part of the story.  The company enters the cave, Branwen throws down “Hold Person”, the company wails on whichever orc is stunned until either it dies, or it unfreezes and attacks, at which point they retreat back outside.  The orcs do not follow them, which is fortunate, for then the company can rest up, prepare spells, and go back into the cave.  It’s tedious, but effective.  Pretty soon, Branwen gets to a high enough experience level to start casting “summon skeletons”, or whatever it is.  Now, the company has instant tanks that can take the front line, while the company peppers the enemy from the back.  Still, there are enough orcs in this cave to require the “15 minute workday” plan to remain in place.  After Balan gets to level 5, however, they change strategy a little.  Instead of going outside to rest, sometimes they rest inside the cave, if Balan and Branwen still have spells available, because there are occasional random encounter orcs that pop up while they are resting.  More XP, FTW!!!

I’m doing the “quicksave”, “rest”, “reload” if there are no random encounters when they rest, because it’s in the company’s interest to be as high a level as possible before they leave Easthaven.  The fight through the goblin valley that’s coming up is brutal, brutal, brutal.  They don’t have to know that, though.

Adventures in Easthaven

2 Dec
Talking to Erevain

I love that conversation option.

After getting a good night’s sleep in the inn, Pshaw & Co. happen upon a little boy who needs help.  Goblins have stolen his fish, and he wants it back.  He’s willing to pay 100 gold for its return.  Ha! Just kidding; he won’t actually give the Company anything more than his thanks when it’s all said and done.  Now, normally, Balan would have the entire company charge in; it’s only goblins, right?  But our wise wizard remembers the difficulty with which they dispatched those bugs, and he sends Imoen in to investigate.  There are, indeed, several goblins, so she sneaks up on one of them, taps it on the shoulder, and lures it away from the others.  Once it is all alone, WHAM!  The rest of the team attacks!  Branwen casts “Hold” on it, causing it to freeze, and then everyone shoots it to death.  Balan, having relearned Chromatic Sphere, uses that for the two times he is allowed that day.  Once the goblin is dead, they head back to the inn to reload the magic spells.  15 min day FTW!!  Eventually, they manage to do this to each goblin in turn.

Getting back the fishbone

Goblin Captain: “Where’s Mort?”
Goblin #1: “He wandered off, just like the others.”
Goblin Captain: “That’s weird; they never came back, and its been, like four days.”
Goblin #2: “I’m sure everything is fine.”
Balan: “I swear, goblins is so dumb!”

After getting the boy his fish back (or what was left of it), the team heads over to the other side of town, where they help some guy out with a wolf infestation.

Branwen: "It's like...some horrible nightmare!"Imoen: "At least you're not in your socks, and the floor made of linoleum."

Branwen: “It’s like…some horrible nightmare!”
Imoen: “At least you’re not in your socks, and the floor made of linoleum.”

At the end of this quest, each team member is at level 4, with the exception of Imoen, who is at level 5.  Next episode, Pshaw & Co. head out into the wilderness!

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition is here

29 Nov

Go here.

 

Apparently, it’s got some issues.

Here’s your bill, and don’t forget we do termite inspections, too

24 Nov

So, after upgrading their weapons a bit, Pshaw & Co. descend into the basement to begin the Battle of the Basement Bugs.  TWO. HOURS. LATER, they ascend again, covered in bug guts and rubbing their sore arms.  The barkeep is so grateful that she gives them FIVE WHOLE GOLD PIECES.  Yeah, right lady.  5 gp for 2 hours’ work?

Oh, well; at least they’re all at least 2nd level now.  Branwen knows some new prayers, Balan can cast “Chrono Sphere” (or whatever it’s called) TWICE per day, now.  Imoen is a lot more stealthy, and Kagain upped his skill with the crossbow.  After resting in the inn, they plan to head out of town to explore the area.

The party’s new looks

18 Nov

Just for fun, here are the new looks of the party members:

Imoen

Balan: “Um, aren’t you a little cold in that get-up?”
Imoen: “My eyes are up here, Pshaw.”
Balan: “And?”

 

You may have notices that this portrait is different from the one in the “Killer bugs” shot.  I decided that this portrait looked more like Imoen’s face than the other, more Asian portrait.

Kagain

Imoen: “Nice beard.”
Kagain: “My eyes are up here, Imoen.”

 

Branwen

Balan: “What is it with the skimpy outfits? We’re, like, in the Frozen North, and stuff.”
Branwen: “My eyes are up here, Balan.”
Balan: “And?”

 

And, of course, the appropriately named, “Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-game”

Tavern bugs; how typical. HOLY COW, THESE THINGS ARE TOUGH!!! AND GROSS!!!

18 Nov

Unfortunately, Kagain did not die this round.  I was hoping that he would, to sort of set the tone for the rest of the game.
You see, I checked the “Heart of Fury” mode, which means that monsters are extra-special hard.  One blow from one
of those bugs in the tavern basement will obliterate a level-1 character.  Well, Kagain must be a craftier fighter than I
thought, because he landed several blows on the giant cockroach-thing without taking a scratch in return.

Finding that the bugs are going to be a tough fight, Pshaw & Co. decide to put off this quest for the moment, and try to find some better equipment.  They visit one of the fishermen huts, and find Ol’ Jed, a hopeless drunk.  Jed asks them to buy liquor for him (Grisella, the tavern owner, won’t sell him any more wine), but instead, Balan talks Jed into giving up his self-destructive lifestyle.  Then they meet a guy who goes on and on about some dream he has (and seriously, folks, no one is interested in you telling about your dreams).  Balan agrees to help him, then lo and behold, finds a sea elf that matches the description of the one in Joril’s dream.  Balan acts as a go-between (Balan: “I hate being in the middle!”), and resolves both Joril’s dream problem, and the sea elf’s weird fixation problem.  Joril gets the sword of his ancestor, the sea elf gets…whatever she was wanting, and Balan gets some XP.  Huzzah!  Imoen and Branwen are now at level two, and they haven’t even done any real fighting yet.

IWD rewarded players that included a bard in the party; extra XP could be garnered by singing to the sea elf instead of just talking to her.  Also, the bard could tell a tale to a random villager and get a gem as payment.  In the town of Lonelywood, the quest arc with the little girl would offer higher XP awards to a bard that chose the right conversation tree (tell a story about a bear, or some such).

A word about playing in “Heart of Fury” mode:  it is an extremely difficult, but rewarding, challenge to begin with 1st level characters.  The characters level up super-fast (you can get the cleric to level 8 with a party of four in just a few days’ time; in Baldur’s gate, it took several months of adventuring to achieve that), but the player must be a “combat as war” type player.

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