The Weakling Challenge

Discussion in 'Arcanum Discussion' started by Wolfsbane, Apr 30, 2015.

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  1. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Hi!

    I have been revisiting Arcanum lately, and a thought struck me as I was playing: what is the lowest level possible to beat the game in? A decent build will render a character invincible at level 20+, but how weak can you be and still complete the game? Is it possible to do it at level 1?

    Would you like to find out?

    This here is my challenge, then: Replay Arcanum and try to beat it with an as low level a character as is humanly possible. Play on hard difficulty, and no reloads! Post screenshots throughout your journey to prove the validity of your claim. Please post your epic failures as well, a good fuckup is always hilarious to read about!

    May the weakest character win!
     
  2. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like an intriguing idea, would you limit exploits (e.g. using Baneful Gauntlets to kill people) or is the idea to keep it on the straight and narrow as much as humanly possible? I might give it a go.

    EDIT: Well, that was very short-lived. I just made a Charlatan's Protege Elf with three points in persuasion and two in pick pocket. Got to Shrouded Hills, got Sogg on my team along with Virgil (who talked past the guy at the Crash Site) and gave him a staff. Then I went to steal the key off Lukan (so I didn't have to do the quest) and got pounded into the ground due to a failure. I guess it seems like such a playthrough would be very contingent on having a lucky pickpocket roll.

    I guess as a pro-tip, if you give Virgil and Sogg staffs (I know Virgil comes with one) and tell them to "Back Off" (f5) when they knock something unconscious you don't get any combat experience whatsoever.

    I was thinking in terms of the critical path...
    Go straight to Black Root and get the train to Tarant, then let Sogg and Virgil take on the zombies in P. Schuyler (I can't see a way around that - unless you can run through), persuade your way to Bates, then maybe farm invisibility scrolls at the magick shop (probably wouldn't have the money, would need to have a think about how to get more) so I could get through the BMC mines (two will do from my pacifist playthrough, telling Sogg and Virgil to wait), then persuade on the Isle of Despair, persuade in Wheel Clan, maybe use another invisibility scroll to get through Hadrian's Pass (or a Teleport to The Ruby Glade if you have one of those instead), persuade at Falcon's Ache after Quintarra, ship to Caladon, get to T'sen-Ang (maybe Gideon would be an issue), persuade to get to Nasrudin's remains, maybe pay to get a ship to Thanatos, do Tulla, then Vendigroth, then the Void and be home in time for tea.

    I guess it might also be a good idea to be able to produce a profitable item through technology so you can have an income without resorting to risky theft or killing loads of people for cash money.

    EDIT 2: So I did a bit of research into early tech profitability. Chemistry 1 allows you to make three Strong Poisons which sell for 50 each at Junk Dealers and cost about 30 to make - not exactly brilliant but it is a means to rack up funds for spamming one of the Wise Women for powerful follower equipment (an Arcane Staff would allow for easy knock outs so would be pretty useful) and also purchase invisibility scrolls. Explosives 2 allows you to make 5 Flash Grenades for around 40 selling again for 50 each at firearms trader so is a lot more profitable, plus wine and magnesium seem more consistently stocked than the poison ingredients. Both of these options only require intelligence 8.

    EDIT 3: So I forgot you can just buy the blasted key at Shrouded Hills for 1000 (providing no experience), and after doing a quick check you can just run past the zombies in P. Schuylers and use a Scroll of Exiting to get out. If you were going for max persuasion, 18 charisma can be achieved with the Charlatan's Protege background, the goddess statue (need to take a Potion of Intellect before you talk to him), the Ring of Persuasion (it gives +2 CH if you have 4 magickal aptitude, based on an Elf with the two explosives tech levels I described previously) and the Jewel of Hebe (maybe slightly tricky to get ahold of, but not impossible - Scroll of Cantrip with spell at full?). That would mean you could hit maximum Persuasion at level 3, 2 if you got Kerlin's blessing. Further, I found you can get a free fate point just from setting Gar free - with no experience gained and being quite possible with Persuasion 3 at level 1 (EDIT 4: actually you need to be his level to get him as a follower to immediately set him free, obviously).
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  3. on1ondevelopment

    on1ondevelopment Member

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    There is a money duplication glitch, as in this video:
    Some people say it doesn't work, but it did for me. I use the latest UAP of Drog Black Tooth, and also his High-RES and High-Quality Townmap patches.

    Or a more legitimate method is to go for what you say about making a profitable item. Learn how to build the Fine Revolver, then buy a Revolver Chamber and find Revolver Parts. Build the gun, then sell it to Smythe's Gun Shoppe in Tarant. I'm fairly sure they buy those there, but I swear I've made a small profit on a revolver I crafted although I am not 100% sure as to where I sold it.
     
  4. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    So I thought I'd give this a go in earnest - no reloading, no exploits, on hard. I've already had a character die because they got Entangled on the trap in the P. Schuyler basement and mauled to death. I would take more screenshots, but I need to alt tab out of the game to do it because I'm using a mac so I won't be producing many.

    My character is Bert (shit, I forgot Bert is actually Roger - Bert was the elf who died! Oh well, I'm not going through the entire thing now, maybe later), an Elf Charlatan Protege - 3 persuasion, 2 explosives. Why his parents decided to call Bert Bert and not T'lef M'indera or G'lyld Js'ara, he'll never know.

    After finding himself the sole survivor of a zeppelin crash and befriending a religious fanatic (keeping his 400 starting gold for the journey), Bert scrounged supplies from the surrounding area - making sure not to get close the critters he could see in the distance. He met an assassin trying to leave the area, but fortunately Virgil and his silver tongue smoothed out the whole situation.

    Upon arriving at Shrouded Hills, Bert told Virgil to wait and entered the Panarii Temple. Deftly running away from some enraged rats, he managed to loot a container containing two magnesium, two ammonia and three tasty tobacco leaves. Using the magnesium and wine purchased from Gaylin (meeting a whiny gnome on the way) and found at the Crash Site, Bert masterly crafted 10 flash grenades - giving himself a much deserved pat on the back for his labours.

    Bert next sunk to bin foraging, scrounging a few pairs of filth encrusted shoes - a new low even for someone called Bert. He visited the local Inn, hearing news of Elder Joachim and recruiting a surly half-ogre named Sogg. Upon embiggening his merry band, he then sold shoes and electrolyte (buying a staff for the half-ogre) to the general store clerk, steel to the blacksmith and all the other miscellaneous crap (including a sporty camera) to a fruity junk trader called Ristezze. Having now over 1000 gold, Bert felt it was okay to get out of town and head for a nice trip to the coast - unluckily for him he had to give most of it away to a thief guarding the only way out of town, much to his chagrin.

    Upon crossing the bridge he was accosted by the whiny gnome again who assaulted poor Bert, and even though he tried to tell Sogg and Virgil to back off he was too slow resulting in the little chap's death and an extra 39 experience which made Bert feel like a disgusting and miserable failure. After crying bitter salty tears, he felt compelled to get some seaside sun, so he travelled almost directly east. Closing in on the coast, he was attacked by a grizzly bear (fuck!) but luckily for him Sogg and Virgil beat it into submission (Virgil staving off Sogg's death) and Bert this time successfully told them to back off.

    Bert carried on towards the coast, but much to his disappointment at the only spot of beach he desired to visit there was a bloody town there called Blackroot - who would have guessed?!?!? He talked an idiot half-orc black smith into giving up some dwarven gauntlets, made 5 more flash grenades - sold them and the spoils of the dead gnome to the junk dealer and then fancying a change of scene got the train to Tarant, paying an extortionate 75 gold per person.

    Feeling cash light once again, Bert made five more flash grenades from supplies purchased from the inventor and herbologist - then slept on the street like a hobo so he could buy another set of supplies for five more. He sold these to the gunsmithy for a cool 52 gold each, and this time curled up in his old friend the bin for another night's kip. Waking in the morning he made 5 more grenades, sold them again to the gunsmith, bought a scroll of exiting from the general store and a Morgana's Tears from the magick store, picked up a telegram for Virgil - then made for the local P. Schuyler and Sons, ignoring the idiot dwarf on the door.

    After convincing the sheepish bloke in charge he was with the Tarant police force, he received a key for the lower levels and, not wanting Virgil or Sogg to face the horrors of the jewelry shop basement, told his fellows to wait. In a manner akin to a knight he'd once heard called Sir Robin, he bravely ran through the hordes of undead in the basement (avoiding the snares of an entanglement trap that must catch many off guard) and made it to the very lowest level. Once there he had a conversation with a rather fetching corpse and learnt that he must contact Gilbert Bates about his gold encrusted ring. Not feeling up to another bout of tremendous bravery, he used a scroll of exiting to escape.

    Upon being back in the light, Bert once again asked his chums to join him once again. He strode up to the gates of Bates and convinced the buffoon on the door he was a friend only to - egad! - receive his first level up. Entering the mansion, he talked to an old fellow about lots of exposition that Bert cunningly skipped through. All he knew now was that he was headed for the BMC mines...

    [​IMG]

    Apologies for the lack of spell/grammar check, but I'm now going to entertain for the evening so I lack the time. I bet you can't wait for the next installment where I mass produce grenades to get invisibility scrolls?

    From what I remember revolver chambers are expensive, though I didn't check how much they sell for. I'd still give the edge to the flash grenades because it's so easy to get the ingredients (the inventor and herbologist in Tarant who are right next to each other almost always have magnesium and wine respectively everyday).
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
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  5. Philes

    Philes Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting.

    I have nothing to contribute other than I didn't want all your content to appear unappreciated!
     
  6. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    After enough passing of time Bert got over the trauma of the blimp crash and with it remembered his name is actually Roger. For the next few weeks Roger made what can only be described as phat stacks selling flash grenades, only to blow it all on two invisibility scrolls, another scroll of exiting and some Morgana's Tears (giving one to the religious nut-job and one to the barely conscious half-ogre).

    He then set off to the BMC mines, resulting in the death of one ailing wolf as naughty Virgil and Sogg would not back the fuck off when he told them to again. He also met a shady character who had a lot of questions about whether he was the man surviving the crash, but having the razor sharp wit and quick tongue only befitting of a man called Roger he managed to convince the man he was not the person he was looking for.

    Upon reaching the BMC mines, Roger told his fine companions to wait outside. Getting at a safe distance from the wolves in the first chamber, Roger cunningly ate his scroll of invisibility to make himself impossible to detect by the naked eye. He valiantly ran to the entrance to the lower chamber, and once getting there he ran some more. Alas, his choice of invisibility spell change over spot was ill conceived (picking a spot just to the right of the fork that leads to the big chamber with the three dead thieves and the entrance to the next level) and when he put on sneak mode, cancelled invisibility and re-ate the spell a single Kite Berserker spotted him - alerting all his buddies.

    Deactivating sneak mode, Roger fled like the noble cowardly lion - hoping desperately to reach the stairs to the next level which would guarantee safety and allow him to reach the end of the mines. Unfortunately whilst he managed to escape the clutches of the Kites and even a swing from a mighty Rock Sprite, the Rock Sprite then deployed his cheap homing attack felling the courageous Roger where he stood. Though dead, Roger lived on in Arcanum's history as one of the bravest cowards there ever was.

    ---------------

    I think the problem here was I didn't pick a safe enough spot to deactivate invisibility, I seem to remember that was the spot I picked with my pacifist build I did a while ago and that worked just fine but then again he did have some points in prowling at that stage. Also my fingers were quick enough to alt-tab out of my game so I could screenshot and crop the window of his death (the only way you can do it on a mac) so apologies for the lack of screenshots again. I could have just used my scroll of exiting, but in the heat of the moment I forgot and besides back-tracking to Tarant would have been a chore. Once you have the second invisibility scroll up (I guess try and snatch a detect traps spell from one of the corpses) completing the mines should be fairly trivial with the scroll of exiting so long as you know where you're going. From there, doing the Isle of Despair main quest by persuasion and the Wheel Clan main quest again by persuasion should be trivial. I guess for the pass of Hadrian, you could try and keep you and a follower invisible whilst running through, but it might be a bit tricky.

    I'm not keen on another attempt as the money making process is a bit tedious (it probably takes around half an hour to get +10000 gold needed for invisibility scrolls) but hopefully someone else will manage to make a success of the challenge.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  7. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    I'm loving it!

    I will try a different approach than you, though. Poison and stuff. I'm hoping to device a plan to get the boat early on, ship off to Thanatos and, hopefully, slay mr. N to get myself transported to the endgame. I'm not sure how I'm going to solve it from there, but hopefully I'll find a way.
     
  8. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    About exploits: you do what you like, but I'm going to use every last one I can think of. The object of the challenge is completing the game with as low a level as possible. Fair play is not necessary.
     
  9. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a good idea, I wouldn't have thought of using that as a shortcut to the end game. I guess the other way would be to go the evil route and kill everyone in that particular town by poisoning them, obviously attacking their main man instead. I'm not quite sure if that would give lower experience, but it does seem like it might (as in getting a boat to get to Thanatos is often a quest, though I suppose if one was bought instead it might not be considered one).
     
  10. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Getting the boat that early requires forcing a location. It's not for sale until a certain part of the main quest.
     
  11. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    I've just seen a speed run that I found on the GOG forums, and I think it has the location forcing you describe. They only hit a max level 7 (and seem to avoid the vast majority of encounters), also they complete the game in 11 minutes 32 seconds:

     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  12. gunslinger

    gunslinger New Member

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    I think the easiest way to go is to build a half-ogre with 20 strength and buy potions of haste to use in tougher fights.
     
  13. Leonidus

    Leonidus Member

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    If you really need to kill something, you can ask party members to wait, then ask them to leave party, then pull desired monster to them and they should attack it.

    As they are outside the party, you should get no exp.

    This method is used in pacifist runs to kill the Void gatekeepers who must die to open the fortress.
     
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