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ScS 5 - Nashkel Mines lvl 3

Guest PetrusOctavianus

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Guest PetrusOctavianus

In my previous game I had Murn'Eth (slimy guy from another mod) in my party, who had all kinds of immunties and resistances, so the final kobold battle with the Chieftain and two Shaman went well, even with the Shamans pre-buffing.


This time I had the Minsc, J&K, Monty&Xzar and it was bloody brutal, even with the Shamans not pre-buffing.


I had no wands (not id'ed ones) and very few potions at this stage, so the tactic was simple:

Pre-buff by casting Bless.

Khalid with AC 0, 25 HP and resistance to sleep leads the attack.

Monty sneaks behind the Shamans.

Jahiera casts Doom on the Chieftain.

Xzar casts Sleep, followed up by Charm on the Chief.

My main who is a Kensai and has only 13 HP and AC 7 watches from out of the Chieftain's range, ready to spring into action once the Chief has joined the melee.


From here on it's mostly a question of luck. Will Khail save vs Sleep and will Minsc be able to run away in time?

Will Xzar's Charm spell work?


The two Kobold Guards and the Commando is put to Sleep. A sleep spell approaches Khalid. He runs towards it, while the others retreat. He's saved by his resistance and manouvers into postion between the a shaman and the Chief and attacks the shaman.

A second Sleep spell hits Monty, after a failed back-stab, followed by Hold Person. Monty is out of the fight.


The Charm spell against the Chief fails.


The Chief hits Khalid and he's poisoned. Fortunately I have use all money on Antidotes and Healing Potions. Khali quaffs an Antidote and resumes his attack.


Minsc and Jaheira kills the first Shaman and my main starts killing the sleeping guards.

Soon after the second Shaman goes down.

Khalid is again hit and poisoned by the Chief and quaffs the last antidote and is left with 1 HP and starts running to mummy. My main uses his Kai ability and he joins Xzar, Minsc and Jaheria in the attack on the Chief. He's a tough bugger and hard to hit, but finally he falls after Minsc getting a critical hit for 20 points.


This is a battle where you can't afford to make a single mistake and if you are role-playing a Lawful character (no stealing) I can't see how a normal party of lvl 1 and 2 characters can beat these Kobolds if the two shamans are allowed to pre-buff.


This battle is much harder than the one against Mulahey, which I think is a bit weird.

The pre-buffing, combined with the Poison attack of the Chief and the Sleep spells is very hard to deal with for a low-level party.


I'm glad the mod is divided up into so many segments and that it's one of the last to be installed, since I then can turn on or off pre-buffing as I see fit. In this battle pre-buffing is defintely off.

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I can't see how a normal party of lvl 1 and 2 characters can beat these Kobolds if the two shamans are allowed to pre-buff.


Part of the problem is that I normally do the Kobold mines a bit later in the game, after everyone is 2nd level. (Ironically, that's because the first time I ever played BG, when I was only vaguely used to the interface, I found the - vanilla - mines way too hard for my first-level party!)


This battle is much harder than the one against Mulahey, which I think is a bit weird.


Fair point. (Though it's hard to be completely consistent about that sort of thing).


I'm glad the mod is divided up into so many segments and that it's one of the last to be installed, since I then can turn on or off pre-buffing as I see fit. In this battle pre-buffing is defintely off.


Excellent. (Actually the install order wouldn't matter - Improved Kobolds supplies the creature files, Smarter Mages supplies their scripts). But I'm very pro people having as much flexibility as possible to pick the bits they do and don't like.

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I'd agree with the original poster. This fight is brutal. The two shamans in particular seem murderously overpowered for where this fight is positioned. With two of them lobbing charm, horror, sleep, melf's acid arrow, hold person, flame arrow, dire charm, and hasting the kobolds it's pretty overwhelming for a party of lowly adventurers.


That said I'm still working on it but it does feel over the top.


Edit: I eventually had to submit to turning precasting off and was then able to beat them. Still difficult but felt like a reasonable tactical challenge rather than feeling that the spell onslaught from the shamans was too much regardless of what I did.


For reference my party consisted of:

The protagonist - Elven Fighter/Mage 1/1

Khalid - Fighter 2

Minsc - Ranger 1

Imoen - Thief 3

Jaheira - Fighter/Druid 2/2

Branwen - Cleric 2

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I had expressed the same concern about Upgraded Kobold before this post ever appeared.


DavidW replied that there have been people saying that this fight is too easy (I'd like to see them in the face :cry: ) and that after all is an optional component.


I can do nothing but just recommend to uninstall it. It's, for me and probably for most people, a really unbalanced component, turning some kobolds in creatures more dangerous than ogre magi.

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I recall that the spells my party cast made the deifference in winning this fight. It would be very tough without an arcane caster. Sleep and Horror in particular go along way towards evening the odds. And no doubt it helped a lot that both times I've played SCS I had a Berserker in the party.


Other than poison antidotes we're unaccustomed to thinking of what gear we need before entering the Nashkel mines. But it's not a bad idea to get some gear before you head down there. Potions of all kinds, including Freedom, actually get used heavily in my SCS games. And the Greenstone Amulet available at the inn at Ulgoth's Beard is an invaluable item for SCS. (Sell to a merchant with one charge left and buy back with 50 charges.) Some adventuring out in the countryside can raise the cash to buy the amulet.

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My normal difficulty metric is: can I beat it, on one or two tries, on Core difficulty without metagaming. (Though I'd be lying if I said I've done massive numbers of tests on each fight - most of my game-balance testing is based on one fairly careful runthrough and on third-party comments). The kobolds certainly pass that test. Some thoughts:


- I think you should probably be at least L2-3 to take it, L1 characters are too vulnerable to instant-kill magic.


- antidote potions are plentiful, and the kobold guards give you plenty of in-game reasons to be carrying them


- the kobold mines are the sort of place where you really should be scouting and buffing. (If you don't like this way of playing, turn off enemy pre-buffing, since it assumes you do plenty of buffing of your own). In any case, at low levels in BG you absolutely need a divine caster with Remove Fear, and if you're not protected when you first meet enemy spellcasters, get protected at once.


- there's only one way to deal with spells like sleep at low levels: don't cluster. (This is true even much later in BG2 for spells like Horrid Wilting). Try to make sure you're not all in the area of effect of a single sleep spell.


- the kobolds have dismal saving throws, and (since there are no divine spellcasters present) have no protective buffs. 90% of ordinary kobolds will fail a save vs. Horror; 95% of them will fail a save vs. Sleep. Your area-effect magic can decimate them.


All that having been said, I'm perfectly up for lowering the shamans' level to 4 if there's a consensus that this would make for a smoother experience.

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I blame the play style I developed on vanilla BG. I used to keep it a bit more challenging by not resting until I was pretty much all out of resources. My whole party was usually begging for sleep by the time they actually got to rest. This is my first Tutu run with these mods installed and I had not yet needed to adjust that style of play until hitting this level of the mines.


As far as tactics go I was doing most of what you've suggested as far as was possible with my party composition and limited resources. I made a fighting withdrawl to pick off some of the sundries with missile weapons while limiting the chances for the commando to shoot or the shamans to cast, pulling all the way back to the large brightly lit room on the north side of the bridge across the chasm where there is plenty of room to split up and spread out. Once there Jaheira put up the mandatory Remove Fear, Branwen put the chieftain out of commission with Command, Imoen knocked out the commando with flame arrows, Minsc quaffed an invulnerability potion and then we went to work on the shamans. After that it was a matter of killing the chieftain quickly as I only had two antidotes to share amongst the party.


Overall I prefer the mod to vanilla. Some of the other kobold fights on level 3 of these mines could turn into epic slugfests and were great fun. I simply was not prepared for the spike in difficulty on the final fight on the level and once I hit it my stubborn nature kicked in and I didn't want to concede to tucking tail and running off to get more levels and supplies. I kept Mulahey from being anticlimactic by going straight onto him after the kobold fight without resting (yes I'm cruel to my party). I generally don't scout and prebuff as I like to react to fights on the fly so I'll just leave precasting off for now and see how it goes.

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