Thursday, 27 September 2012

Baldur's Gate Adventures Continue...Hunting Bandits for Fun and Profit

Fighting a ghoul
Smacking around a ghoul
along the coast
My party of adventures have sorted out what the problem was at the Nashkel Mines, and why all of the iron coming out of it was of such a poor quality. Turns out that there was evil afoot. Who knew! Anyway, with the completion of that jolly jaunt it's off to Chapter Three, and it looks like my new enemy is a bunch of bandits that have been causing all sorts of problems. The good news is that one of the local commanders of the Flaming Fist is offering 50 gold per bandit scalp that I bring to her, so it's off to kill bandits indiscriminately, and make off with their hairy bounty. It's all in the name of good, though, so it's okay. =)

These scalps have already proven surprisingly profitable. My party brought back enough to make a fast 1000 gold with minimal effort, and put the proceeds toward a nice, shiny Large Shield +1 for my main character. At least I'm assuming it's shiny, though it looks like there's some wood in there, so maybe not so much. With that, I reckon it's in my group's best interests to keep hunting those baddies down, and start raking in the moolah. With a little hard work we'll make out like bandits selling those scalps. (Ho! Ho!)

At the Beregost inn
The Flaming Fist is paying top dollar for bandit

It can get a bit boring hunting down bandits all day, though, so to change things up a bit I've gone wandering around the wilderness just to see what there is to see, and what sort of trouble my party can get itself into. A lot of it has been just walking around thinking, "So man trees!" but there have also been some really fun encounters.

First there were the spiders. Glothrim and the gang (my character's name is Glothrim, by the way :p) were wandering along and would occasionally get attacked by very big spiders, which they were able to handle just fine (and get a nice amount of XP off of), with the occasional ettercap tossed in for variety. After cutting a path through the forest we encountered our first pack of tough enemies: a sword spider, a phase spider, and a wraith spider. I wasn't expecting them, so wound up getting attacked by all three at once. Being the heroic type, I sent my melees in to fight them, discovered the area is trapped, got everyone webbed, and wound up with even more very big spiders bearing down on my party. Yeah.

Black Talon Elite like using fancy arrows
Black Talon Elite don't drop scalps
but they do carry high-end
arrows that you can loot
Thankfully I remember the most important tip one can have going into an Infinity Engine game: SAVE OFTEN! The caps aren't meant to be obnoxious. It's just that important. So, with death moments away as my party was overrun by big, bad creepy crawlies, I paused, and loaded a quick save from a few minutes earlier. With that I carefully (soooo carefully) made my way to that area once more, this time making sure to only pull one of those spiders at a time. Even then, they weren't easy to take down. The sword spider hits like a truck. A truck made of swords.  The wraith spider wasn't much better. Then there was the phase spider who was mostly just annoying. My group managed to kill them all, and I think Khalid even gained a level during the fights. So, yay!

After recovering, we headed toward the center of the map because I had a feeling there may be a structure there. The whole reason I took my party to this zone was because on the world map it looked like there was a quaint little cabin in the area, so I thought it would be nice if we popped our heads in and got to know the neighbors. Turns out it wasn't a cabin, and the people there weren't very nice. It was actually some old ruins being investigated by Red Wizards of Thay.

Fighting a wraith spider
Wraith spiders give some decent experience for defeating them,
but make sure to isolate these monsters

I haven't read any of the Forgotten Realms books since high school, so I wasn't quite certain, but had a sneaking suspicion that these wizards may not be on the up and up. When we got too close their leader noticed, introduced himself briefly, and then informed us we had to die because we'd seen too much. He was surprisingly cordial about the whole thing. Now, I'm not a fan of wizards in this game because they can hit damn hard, and they always seem to like fearing a bunch of my guys, sending them running around like chickens with their heads cut off, making them pretty much useless for a while. So, having to fight a bunch of wizards at once wasn't the most titillating proposition. Sadly, it was unavoidable.

Denak, leader of a troupe of red wizards
Denak is a bit of a jerk
What transpired next wasn't pretty, and I'm not sure that fancy pulls will win the day here. These guys have the usual array of spells that I've come to expect from magic users in Faerun: mirror images, magic missles, and horror (*sigh*), but they also seem to have additional frightening magical kaboomy stuff at their disposal. With that it wasn't long before my party was wiped out, and I was sifting through save files deciding which one to load. I opted to go do something else for a bit after that little episode.

So, now my party is along the coast, smacking ogres. I haven't had to be too terribly careful with my pulls here, but it's also important not to be careless. At any rate, it's not a bad place to farm up experience, and hopefully level everyone up a few times. Minsc is getting close, and I really want Dynaheir hitting level four as well. She starting to be kinda useful with her magic now.

It's also starting to feel like it may be time to resume the hunt for bandit scalps, and maybe even finishing off this chapter, so I may just get down to that soon. Anywho, I'm off to continue my adventures. Maybe I'll even go and punch a wizard in the face to help me feel better about myself, but not a Red Wizard of Thay, though. They're mean. Until next time! =D

The Red Wizards of Thay can be a challenge
Don't mess with the Red Wizards of Thay

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