Baldur's Gate
The Black Pits
Siege of Dragonspear
The Black Pits: Gladiators of Thay
Ash (Dragon Disciple)
Shade (Thief/Illusionist)

Intro

After finishing Baldur's Gate I thought I would do a small break by trying The Black Pits. I never played it before, so this will be a whole new experience. I'm documenting it here as I go through.

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First tries

I know I want to do it as a solo run. Challenging encounters are a great way to find new tactics/exploits for a solo run.

I did a first try with a Thief/Mage but got killed in the first fight. Tried again with a Blade, and got killed as well. Gave it a try with a party of four and it was super easy, but it was my Priest of Talos character that did most of the damage.

At least it allowed me to see the merchants in the next room. By browsing their wares I realized the moment I can equip myself things will get much easier. I just need to find a way to beat those 4 Tasloi.

Cleric / Mage

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So I tried again with a Cleric / Mage

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I cast Command on the Tasloi and it fell prone. Now I automatically hit and kill him.

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Ah shit, I killed them all in one shot except for the last one where I did only 2 damage. He woke up and one shot me.

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I tried again and was confused this time because in the weapons left on the floor, I could not find the sling (which I'm proficient with). Not being able to hit them from afar proved really complex.

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I still cast command, but cast it on a Tasloi that was too far away and by the time I got into melee range he woke up. That's one spell wasted.

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Finally managed to kill the second Tasloi but I'm now out of spells. Even my Blindness didn't work.

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So now I wait... this is going to be long, and entirely random.

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Ah well, I lost the randomness...

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Next try. Somehow this time a sling appeared in my inventory...

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Ah, this time it's working. Three commands, three hits, three kills.

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Baeloth is coming and bringing me to the main room.

I bought a Wand of Lightning and one of Frost. The Fireball one was too expensive. I also got myself an Aganazzar Scorcher scroll.

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One use of the Wand of Frost and all the Gibberlings are dead. Still not enough XP to level up.

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I also frosted the second batch of Gibberling, and this time I leveled up. Money is still scarce.

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But I can at least buy that. Things are going to get easier now. I wish I could find a way to make money faster...

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Oh shit, that's a real group now. I like this kind of fights, but I thinks for now I'll still have to fry them from afar.

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Hmm they're dead, but no XP and no loot.

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Ho, that went faster this time.

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Did a bunch of fights, using the Wand of Fireball. Recharging it is going to cost ~12k, which I don't have, so I need to carefully aim. That being said, there's nothing better than Fireballs to kill those ogres

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Killed most of them with the fireball, but had to finish the mage with a multiple scorcher

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This fight is going to be harder. It's the group that was in jail with me. I don't have the wand of fire yet, so I turned invisible. They can see me and somehow clustered around me.

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All my protection spells wore off. Hmm I guess I'll have to freeze them. Ok, it took two charges but it worked...

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Finished the first tier, and got some more gold. 20k will surely help.

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Lots of great stuff to buy, but I mostly just bought the Boots of Speed and recharged the Wand of Fire.

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I wanted to test Sanctuary, as enemies can't hit me while I'm under the spell, I wanted to see if I could still use my wands.

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Well, Ankhegs are not the best foes to try as they won't get out of the dirt if they can't see me, and so I can't target them either. I lost my Fire protection pretty quickly into the fight, but fortunately I could recast them from Sanctuary. Potions might be more interesting next time.

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They all clustered around me and I can't even move. I have to attack in melee to break the Sanctuary.

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I tried again, this time I learned Mirror Image, Blur and Shield to give me more survivability, and I'm going to fire at my own feet. That killed them pretty quickly.

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I wonder what happens if I cast some Skull Trap where Baeloth appears.

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I prepared a small trap for the tier 2 djinni.

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Hmm this time the area is trapped. Well. I'll just not move, and cast fireballs. Worked perfectly.

I died on the next battle, though. Ogre mage and elemental portals and the only damage I could do was Fire and they were resistant. I tried several times, with Skull Trap, and some Frost but the Quasit was regenarating faster that what I could damage it.

This made me realize that out of my Cleric / Mage class, I was mostly using the Mage part. Most of what the Cleric does I could replicate through Potions of Scrolls.

Fighter / Mage

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So I started again, this time with a Fighter / Mage to get some raw damage power and survivability.

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I cast Sleep on the Taslois, got two, killed them and finally turned to the other and being a fighter, it was way easier to kill it this time.

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Being half-fighter with good stats, I got a decent CA and HP already.

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I started by buying a scroll of Friend to improve my Charisma. It reduced the price of stuff a little and is almost automatically worth it when buying the Wand of Lightning.

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Using the rest of my money on a wand of frost, I'm ready for my next battle.

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Simply frost them

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Same tactic on the next battle, they won't resist either

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This makes us take a level. Improved THACO, one more spell and doubling of HP. I love taking Fighter levels.

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Bought some basic equipment to improve my basic stats. Longsword and Shortbows I'm competent with. Shield for some AC, Helm for avoiding criticals.

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I cast sleep (got two), then went closer to frost them.

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Leveled up again. Bought a scroll of Mirror Image because I can now cast it. I only have two charges left in the wand of frost, so I bought a wand of fire as well;

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Good call as we have a bunch of Hobgoblin spread in the room that the frost cone would have had trouble hitting.

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I took some damage. Unsure how but I think it's the blast radius of one of the fireballs on a target that moved closer. Fortunately, I now have a lot of HP so I survived. One hobgoblin survived as well, so I cast sleep (because I had Mirror Image on, I knew it was doable) and killed him

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One more level.

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I bought Blur to further buff before the fights.

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Hmm, next one is the Necromancer. I thought about buying a scroll of Protection from Undead for this one but forgot. We'll try to do it with the fireballs then.

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And that did the trick.

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More level up. I'm really looking forward to the big money jump when switching tiers as I'll need to refresh my wand of fire pretty soon.

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I bought Invisibility instead of Blur this time, to allow me better placement in the fight.

Except that I cast it before the fight and it of course dissipated when I talked to Baeloth. Shit.

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I'm going to throw fireballs at the one farthest from me because I'm not resistant to fire (yet) and see how it goes.

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Went quite well. The Ogre mage is fleeing, I need to finish him quickly, the other ones are right behind me. I'm gonna try to sleep them out.

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I worked, I sent two to sleep and then killed them with the frost wand.

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Put the last one to sleep, and finishing him off.

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I'm now getting level 3 spells. Interesting. I of course went with Melf Minute Meteors.

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This was the full party of adventurers. I cast Invisibility on myself to find the right angle and burn them. I took the opportunity to cast Meteors on myself as I forgot to earlier.

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Even Invisible, they managed to follow me, making it hard to send a fireball to kill them as I might end up in the radius. I actually got caught in the radius and died.

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So this time I cast MMM on myself. Went to sleep, and then cast Shield, Mirror Image, Blur and Fire Resistance before heading to the fray.

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They popped partway in the middle. I sent the fireballs. I got hit in the radius but nothing serious. Two of them are still standing.

Taking care of the archer first. He drank a potion but I still got him. The other is hasted and firing at me. I tried to fire meteors at him, but it seems that it rarely touches from melee so I missed the three times. I then tried to fry him with the lightning, but somehow it ricocheted and I was the one killed.

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Tried on more time. Again, I didn't kill them all. The warrior and the archer stayed up. I killed the archer, managed to damage the warrior with lightning but he finally got me.

I'm going to change some spells for next game. They do not seem affected by Sleep.

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I'll use Blind this time to CC the leftovers. I also invested in a Fire Resistance potion, so I can recast MMM if needed.

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I forgot to swap the wand of fire and fired a bunch of lighting. I was about to reload when I saw that it killed a few of them and got me mostly unscathed.

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I added the fireballs!

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A warrior and the archer are up. I know the archer is no big deal so I'm going to ignore him for now. I'll blind the warrior.

He resisted… So I killed the archer from afar. I now need to finish the warrior. Well, I'll try to blind him again. But he's a dwarf so he has great saving throws.

Haha, it worked. Now casting MMM and sniping him from afar.

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And that's the end of Tier 1

Tier 2

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Bought the Boots of Speed and recharged the Wand of Fire.

I guess I can finish many fights just by upping my Fire Resistance with a potion. Maybe worth buying the Fire Resistance ring?

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This time I bought a fire resistance potion and intent on burning them to crisps. That worked easily. That's an easy battle I could replay if I need more coin.

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Next one is the easiest fight. Just chug my potion of fire resistance, and burn them. This one I can redo several times

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I had a weird bug. I got hit by the web spell right when the fight was over, so I was technically held when in the antechamber. I can access my character sheet, but nothing is displayed there.

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This didn't prevent me from leveling up.

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For the next one, not knowing exactly what to expect, I stacked up on Fire resistance as usual and on MMM and started blasting them from afar.

I finished my last MMM as the last one fell.

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Level up. More and more spells and not enough time to use them. I can cast two level 4 spells now.

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I bought some spells I know are very useful on level 4. I can only cast two, so the choice is hard.

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I went crazy and also bought a better shield and a better helmet. I plan on having passive 100% Fire Resistance so I can use my money on other stuff.

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This one was the one blocking me in the previous run. I feel more confident this time as I can decently hit on melee or range; I'm stocked with Acid/Frost arrows and protected with the Minor Globe of Invulnerability. I have an AC of -2 and 73 HP.

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Well. This didn't work as expected. I managed to kill the portals and Ogre mage but couldn't finish the critters. I also don't have anyway to heal. Next time, I'll buff even more.

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Better buff. I added Blur, Stoneskin and an Oil of Speed. I managed to kill all the portals quickly and finished the ogre mage with a blast.

Now, on to the quasit/imps

This time I got lucky, there wasn't any golem, wraith or fire imp/quasit. Or maybe I just killed the portals quickly enough.

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Next fight is against a full party. I buffed with Mirror Image, Stoneskin, Shield, Minor Globe of Invulnerability and Oil of Speed. I have 80% Fire Resistance from my gear but didn't improve it further. We'll see…

Fireballs in the main area killed 2 of them. I finished one with MMM. I'm sending more fireballs to last two. Mages are currently immune.

Shit. I'm confused. I need to find a gear against that… Still managed to kill one while being confused but now I'm also held. No longer confused but still held.

One mage killed his friend with a freeze cone. I'm still alive but held.

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They're wasting Magic Missile on me as I'm immune.

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Shit, Enfeebled.

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They're summoning monsters but killing them with their own AoE. So far I'm still alive so there is still a chance if I get out of the Hold Person spell.

Oh shit, now I'm panicked… Ok, I'm dead.

What I learned is that I need to protect from Fear/Stun.

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This time I pushed my Fire Resistance to the max. Also chugged a potion of Free Action. I could not afford the cloak to protect from fear nor the potion to succeed on all saving throws so I'm not yet completely invincible.

I'll focus on the mages this time.

Launched a fireball in the center. Didn't kill them. Then focused on one mage. Removed his Mirror Images, but he turned invisible. I charged the other mage, and the melee guys charged me. I sent another fire wave their way. Killed two. The last one is still after me. Tried to spook her. Failed. Tried to recast MMM to finish the mages. Interrupted. Ran and fireballed the warrior. Killed her but she hit pretty hard and I'm out of defenses.

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Managed to cast an Mirror Image. MMM was interrupted again. Too bad, I'm now going melee.

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They're no longer behind a globe of invulnerability, so I'm going for fireball again

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Thespia managed to recast the globe right before the impact and was untouched. She summons hobgoblins that got fried in the fireball the moment they arrived though.

And Treacle is immune to fire...

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I hit Thespia in melee. Inflicted some serious damaged but got Feebled so I cannot move. I'm trying to finish him with arrow.

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And shit I'm panicked. I guess it's the end then. I need to protect myself from panic. And… I got petrified by a lucky chromatic orb.

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So, I redid the spider encounter to get some money. Because of my passive 80% resistance, I don't even need to buff. Just to be sure I did it twice.

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I bought a Potion of +50% protection from magic to see how effective this is.

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This time I burned the main group. Finished the last one with MMM, ignoring the mage as I was immune to their spells. The last warrior, Lucille was very tough to kill but a second cast of MMM got her. I had to blast a wave of summons and am now in melee with Thespia. He dropped his globe so I'm trying to fireball him. He seems to have a protection spell though and I'm unsure what it is. The fireball hit him but he seems to have 60% Fire Resistance. Still it got him to Near Death. Globe is back up, so I'm finishing him with my sword

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My magic protection protected me from Horror, but not from Contagion. Interesting.

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Erf Contagion is ugly. And I'm also slowed. I'm recasting MMM to try to overcome the slowness with the high APR and hit Treacle. Thespia seems to be regenerating so I'm ignoring him for now.

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MMM is getting through the Mirror Images slowly. But Thespia's Globe is down again, I'll burn him. He died. The Magic Resistance potion is really OP. No spell can get to me. It's even better than the more expensive one that was giving 50% damage reduction and all saving throws success. This is like a better Scroll of Protection Against Magic.

Interestingly enough, Chromatic Orb still drains my Mirror Images but I'm not affected by its special effects

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Treacle has been spamming Chromatic Orbs at me and is now running. I think he's out of spells. I'm gonna finish him with MMM

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Haha, things are getting hairier.

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And that's end of Tier 2.

Tier 3

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This is my new favorite tool.

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This might also be useful for killing critters

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Oh, this is nice

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The ring of Spell Turning could be a great way to turn spells against users. But I can learn it as well. Victor is nice because it can interrupt anyone.

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This is +50% Fire Resistance. This can be a great improvement.

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Maybe one of those?

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THIS. This will be a huge improvement to my CA. I wear no armor currently. But it's so expensive...

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Ahem? This is like the best solo item. Improved Haste to kill enemies, and Invisibility to flee. And +2 CA on top of that?

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This is also interesting loot, but not mandatory

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So I asked to go to the next battle so I could see what it was. As it's Fire weak troll, I'll still try it, without any buff, to see what's the problem here.

I almost had them but the slimes are poisonous and that killed me. I also had no way to heal. I could do it with some simple buff and a necklace of protection against poison.

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I buffed and tried again. This time first focusing on the group near me. Fission Slime takes a lot of damage from the sword and I take nothing from their poison. As for the trolls, well, they don't last long against my fire. This is actually an easy fight I could replay for more gold (8k)

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I wanted to try the next battle. This is going to be a massacre. For me. I know how to counter that, by improving my Crushing AC, but I haven't yet. So let's see how resistant to fire / frost they are.

The shambling mound can quickly die to fire/frost. The golems are resistant to magic though… But they take damage from my fire shield. Interesting.

I cast improved haste on myself and will try to kill them

They are immune to Slashing damage. Which renders my sword useless. Immune to arrow of biting as well. Immune to arrow of frost. They can take damage from MMM, but very little. Sunfire had no effect on them. Well. With my AC they couldn't really hit me, but there was nothing I could do to them either. Or at least not fast enough to have any impact.

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I tried again and this time I'll try to have them all around me, while I'm protected with a globe and an AC of -7 and spam Skull Trap.

This does not work as expected. Their Magic Resistance still protects them.

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I did another quick troll+slime fight to get some money. I bought a Mace +2 and tried again.

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Apparently, if I stay in the lower corner I don't aggro the ones up the map. Let's see if I can kill those with my mace

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With Improved Haste I'm hitting them and in 3-4 hits they die. Weirdly they don't seem to be able to hit me that much. Well, I guess the Mirror Image + Stoneskin helps I finished the Shambling Mound with MMM from afar. Improved Haste is really good. I need it in my spells.

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I went to the next fight with all my buffs. Classic Shield + Stoneskin + Mirror Image for melee survivability.

Protection from Abjuration to not be dispelled. Minor globe of Invulnerability + Minor Spell Turning for protection against magic.

I forgot to add the Fireshield, so I'm not 100% fire resistant...

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Oh, Cold Salamanders! They will melt easily. They're spread apart which adds to the difficulty, but they should gather easily enough when they see me. Some fireballs, finished with MMM and hasted swordplay

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Now to Fire Elementals. This will require some other tactic. But maybe the Fire Giant is not immune to fire?

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He takes the piercing but not the fire. Ok, we'll wait for them to cluster around me and we'll frost them.

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I'm frosting them. It's slow, but they don't deal a lot of damage as I'm 90% resistant to fire

I managed to kite them for a long time and kill them with MMM, but the elementals explode when they die and I took some damage there that eventually killed me.

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This time I only buffed with a Potion of Speed, Fire Resistance and Regeneration.

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The Oil of Speed allowed me to kite them easily. The Fire Resistance made me invulnerable to their attacks. Piece of cake.

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Kited him. Arrows of Biting didn't seem to actually bite, so ended up using arrows of ice.

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I'm gaining a LOOOOOOT of XP, but I'm now capped. Great, this will only increase the challenge.

Final Battle

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I feel like I'm close to the end. I buffed with Oil of Speed, Regeneration, Fire and Magic protection. I didn't bother casting Globe of Invulnerability nor Spell Immunity as I'm 127% resistant to magic. Maybe that was an oversight. We'll see.

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So, a Rakshasa, Baeloth and a dwarf warrior. I trust my AC, so I'll focus on Baeloth and the Rakshasa.

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Baeloth started with a globe and Mirror Images. Ok. I'll run them down with MMM then. Going all nuke here.

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I rolled really poorly… Didn't managed to get rid of the images. I'm switching my focus to the cat. He's not taking any fire damage from MMM. Not even the explosion effect. And is not affected by my sword. I guess I should have bought a +2 sword. Also unaffected by my arrows.

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Thardek resists the fireball really well. My protections are wearing off but I'm still protected against magic so they cannot do anything to me.

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Killed him with the wand. He was a nuisance but didn't land any significant hit. Baeloth is still protected by a globe, and even casting more shields and spell protection.

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I switched to my Mace +2 to hit the cat and it worked. I'm not very proficient in it, but at least it works

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They are firing their spells at me, but as I'm immune I don't care. Still, they get hit in the crossfire Rakshasa managed to touch me for 9 damage once, but I quickly regenerated it. Baeloth is sitting in the Poison Cloud of the cat, stupid.

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Finally got the cat. Now on to Baeloth. I can't MMM him as it's reflecting back to me.

He managed to cast Contagion on me. It really seems like it's bypassing MR. That makes this spell pretty useful as it slows the target.

His protections are down. I tried to cure poison but it does not cure Contagion.

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Ergh, he's calling on to the beholder...

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Holy shit. He dispelled everything I had. Ok, beholder needs to die

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The Wand of Frost can harm both of them. Seems like it is not reflected by the Globe of Invulnerability. Good to know.

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Ah shit. One of the Beholder rays killed me I think.

If I had to do it again I would first buy a +2 Sword and maybe +2 arrows to get Baeloth down as fast as possible. Maybe breaches would work? Chain casting them? Or just wand of frost on him.

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I needed some more money to do the last fight correctly so I redid what I though would be the Slime/Troll fight but it actually was the Fire Elementals. Well, let's see if I can make it work. I'm well buffed, I'll try to frost them and finish the giant with MMM I still drank an Oil of Speed. Frost wand killed the Elementals, and Bow + MMM finished the giant. It's an easy fight, but pretty long.

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This will allow me to hit the Rakshasa

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Redid the Troll/Slime fight for real this time. Much faster and easier. Gives less gold, though.

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I also tried the Ice Salamander one again to see if it could be done quickly enough while still giving me gold. It's actually quite quick. 2 fireball per salamander kills it. For 6k gold. Better than the Fire Giant.

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I buffed to the max. Shield, Mirror Image, Stoneskin for sure. Max MR, max FR (not sure if the FR is needed). Also cast Spell Turning, I don't know if it's gonna work with my MR, we'll see. Oil of Speed and Regeneration.

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I start by focusing most of my fireballs on the warrior so he's out of the picture quickly.

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Actually, Baeloth forgot to cast Globe, so I'm draining his mirror images. He's also cast AoE and Lightning my way, but I'm immune and it damages the warrior.

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Friendly fire… sorry, friendly ice

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He's sending my MMM back at me. That's interesting. I don't know which spell does that.

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Maybe it's Minor Spell Turning. Well I cast the same thing on myself, we'll see if it has any effect.

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Even with my MR, I take damage from the Cold Shield

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I finished the cat in melee while Baeloth was spamming spells my way. I'm going to let it drain his spells on me.

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Now the beholder is here. But he spawned at the top of the map. Maybe I can avoid him?

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Shit, this might end badly. I'll just run into the Beholder and try to kill him as fast as I can. Well. I died and I'm not even sure what happened.

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This time I bought Skull Trap scrolls and trapped the area where the Beholder is supposed to appear. I haven't dealt with the Warrior, I tried to fireball him but that was a mistake, he's too resistant. I'll try to frost him now

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Arg the cat trigger the trap but somehow got out of it unscathed. Oh that's right, Rakshasa are immune to spells of level 3 and below.

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No problem, I can cast another (and I killed the cat with MMM). I had to put a helmet on the floor so I could use it as a valid target for the scroll.

Hmm, Baeloth managed to cast Contagion on me and I'm now slowed. Drinking an oil of speed fixed that.

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Baeloth is near death. I don't understand when his script is supposed to make him call the beholder so I'm gonna nuke him with the frost wand, hoping to kill him before he could call for reinforcements.

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Hmm, he's resisting. Still I managed to touch him earlier so this might only be a buff, or just random drow chance. I'm gonna try again. Still resisted.

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Hmm, one of his buffed dropped. I don't know which so I'll retry

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Ah yes, this time it worked. So he had a Magic Protection spell.

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He's still Near Death, so I assume he's only kept alive because he needs his script to kick off. I charged my next frost wave, just in case.

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Well, his script kicked off, but not what I expected. He didn't call the Beholder.

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He dies and gave me gold. Hmm, what will I ever need that for?

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Because he didn't summon the Beholder, my trap triggered on the captives that were just released...

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Well, I think I bugged the game. I think the captive were supposed to talk to me but I killed them and now there is nothing I can do except force quit the game :(

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This time I focused some frost on Therdak to kill him quickly, while casting a few fireballs to the mage to disrupt their casting.

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Killed the cat in melee while Baeloth was trying to send spells my way. He's protected so there isn't much I can do to him right now. I'm unsure if I should set my trap or not. I guess I'll just wait for the Beholder to show up.

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Well. He just appeared. I'll try to spam skull traps his way and not die.

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That killed him. Yeah!

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His globe dropped so I spammed MMM to kill his images.

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I actually finished him in melee and he fell quickly. Now he's on the floor and a portal is appearing.

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Well, actually two portals. Hmm I don't know who that can be. I don't have any more Skull Traps unfortunately, so I'll turn invisible and see what's going on.

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What? Two Golems? Where the fuck are they coming from? Ok I'll take the Mace +2, rebuff and kill them.

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Easy.

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OH SHIT! There was a rogue Skull Trap left from when I killed the Beholder...

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OH COME ON! They still don't want to talk to me… I have to redo it ONE MORE TIME.

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Here we go again. This time full frost on Thardek and he's dead. Next: The cat.

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Stuck in a corner, can't do anything.

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Draining his images, waiting for the MR to finish. I didn't put any trap, I was scared I couldn't disarm them if needed.

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I'm pretty sure this is based on some timer as he wasn't even that hurt when he called him.

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Dead, and this time I'll disarm the trap

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He's chain casting Mirror Image when I hit him.

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And now some Golems… Boring.

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AGAIN?! I just killed two, he summoned two more...

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He's reflecting my MMM to me, but still taking damage. And that's ok because I'm immune to the Fire damage. But my Potion of Heroism is out, I'm mostly unbuffed now. This fight should end soon.

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COME ON! This time I don't care, I focus on the mage

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Hmm weird. I don't know where the Spell Protections Removed is coming from. I was just hitting him with my sword. Something dispelled him. Maybe he did? Anyway, I'll focus on the golems.

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Fucking shit, I'm unbuffed, the golems are actually hitting pretty hard and I have no way to heal. I'm going to let Baeloth finish his dying speech and see if somehow I can ignore the hostile golem

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Pfiuu. Ok, the cutscene seemed to have stopped the Golem and initiate the dialogue. We'll see if I can go through.

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Ok, finally finished!

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Hmm, well I think there is some kind of bug here. I have no sound during the final scrolling, and the only text seems to be some sentence taken out of its context.

And here finished my solo run of The Black Pits. Now, on to Siege of Dragonspear.