Ascension- additional notes on content

Compiled by DavidW

Chapter 10 Walkthrough

Ascension's version of Chapter 10 can be broken into four stages.

Stage 1: Irenicus, Bodhi, Imoen

In the first stage of Chapter 10, Melissan summons Irenicus back from death, and he in turn calls up Bodhi. Melissan also brings out the Bhaalspawn taint in Imoen, turning her into the slayer. (Unlike the unmodded game, Melissan then re-enters the energy stream, and wiYou have the chance to persuade Bodhi to join your side by promising her a part of your soul: to do so, you need to have a non-good alignment, a reputation of 11 or below, and a Charisma of 16 or more; you also cannot have recruited Balthazar. (If you have a Wisdom of 16 or more, you can trick Bodhi and only pretend to promise part of your soul; this has no effect on gameplay but allows you to betray her in the epilogue.)

In the ensuing fight, Irenicus is supported by Fallen Solars, with the number depending on the difficulty and whether you recruit Balthazar or Bodhi. The maximum number of Solars is 3 (if you recruit Bodhi and are on INSANE difficulty).

Imoen is unkillable for the first three rounds of the combat, but thereafter can be killed normally. She will return to normal either after 10 rounds or after all other opponents are removed, and then will offer to rejoin the party if she was previously in it.

Stage 2: Pools, Demons

With Irenicus defeated once more, you have to still all three essence pools in order to draw Melissan out. Each pool can be activated by either the player or Imoen (anyone else trying to activate it will take damage). Initially, activating the pool just causes a large group of demons to teleport in. Once the demons are dead, touching the pool again drains its essence, and also grants new powers to the Bhaalspawn touching it (who, note, can be either Imoen or the player). Full descriptions of the powers gained can be found here and is also documented in-game, either by right-clicking on the new abilities (Enhanced Edition) or as a journal entry (non-Enhanced Edition).

Touching the pool also applies a Greater Restoration effect to the whole party, and sometimes also rests the party so that they can regain all spells and abilities. This rest effect is controlled by the difficulty:

  • INSANE: you never get to regain spells and abilities
  • HARD: you regain spells and abilities after the last pool
  • CORE: you regain spells and abilities after the first and last pools
  • NORMAL/EASY: you regain spells and abilities after each pool
After the last pool has been stilled, you have only about fifteen seconds before Melissan appears and Stage 3 starts.

The Five

Melissan reappears, and summons the Five. If Balthazar is in the party, of course he is not summoned, but Melissan will instead summon Gromnir if the difficulty is CORE or higher.

In addition, Melissan will make a play for Sarevok's loyalty. If he is in the party, she will try to recruit him. She always fails if Sarevok has been redeemed (i.e., is now Chaotic Good); she also fails on difficulty EASY, NORMAL or CORE. On HARD or INSANE difficulty, Sarevok will betray you unless you are evil and have a Reputation of 9 or lower.

If Sarevok is not in the party, and has not previously been redeemed, Melissan will summon him if the difficulty is CORE or higher, and he will side with her. If he has been redeemed (but is no longer in the party), she will summon him but he will side with you. (In this situation, he functions as a non-party ally, just as with Balthazar; his AI can be toggled on and off with the E key.)

Melissan then departs and leaves you to fight the Five. Their baseline abilities are the same as in the Tougher components, though they are more sensitive to the difficulty slider; details can be found here.

This phase continues until Melissan's return, which is keyed the difficulty slider and to how many of the Five you defeat (with Sarevok and Grommir included, and with Illasera, Sendai and Balthazar counting double). The details are as follows:

  • INSANE: Melissan appears as soon as any of the Five are killed
  • HARD: Melissan appears once you kill any two of the Five (or any one of Sendai, Illasera or Balthazar)
  • CORE: Melissan appears once you kill any three of the Five (or any two, including Sendai, Illasera or Balthazar)
  • NORMAL or EASY: Melissan appears once you kill any four of the Five, with Sendai, Illasera and Balthazar counting double

Melissan and the Five

Once Melissan appears, she will fight you alongside the Five (and alongside demons which she periodically summons). She is immortal until they are all defeated: as long as any of them remain, reducing her hit points to zero will just cause her to retreat to the essence stream to heal. Each time one of the Five is slain, she is weakened, taking damage and losing some of her protective abilities. A more detailed description of Melissan's abilities and immunities can be found here.

Melissan's abilities and immunities

Summoning and controlling demons

Melissan can gate in demons; each use of Gate summons 2 Cambions, a Succubus, and an Alu-fiend (1/3 of the time), a Babau and a Nabassu (1/3), a Marilith (1/9), a Glabrezu (1/9), or a Balor (1/9). She uses this gate ability up to once per 4 rounds on INSANE difficulty, once per 5 rounds on HARD difficulty, and once per 6 rounds on CORE difficulty, though she will not do so if too many enemies are already present.

Once the Five are all defeated, a desperate (or enraged!) Melissan will step up her demon summoning. To begin with, she triggers a contingency effect which applies Gate on Core difficulty, three Gates on Hard difficulty, and five Gates at once on Insane difficulty. Thereafter, she summons at the rate of once per 3 rounds on INSANE, 4 rounds on HARD, 5 rounds on CORE and 6 rounds on NORMAL.

On INSANE, Melissan has a single use of another powerful summoning spell, which calls up two Fallen Solars.

On any difficulty, Melissan has the ability to control demons, specifically those controlled by or summoned by the party. She can use this power at will, entering into a brief period of mental battle at the end of which the demon is either controlled (75%) or punished by a blast of divine energy (25%). On difficulty CORE or higher, she has a one-off chance to take control of every demon on the battlefield in a similar manner.

Melissan's immunities

At her full power, Melissan has a powerful suite of immunities and protections:

  • Immunity to stun effects, paralysis, sleep, charm and domination, Imprisonment, Maze, disintegration, polymorph, poison, level drain, Intelligence drain, and confusion
  • Immunity to Timestop
  • Immunity to backstab effects
  • Immunity to all first-to-fourth level spells
  • Immunity to any weapon of less than +5 enchantment
  • 95% resistance to fire and electrical damage
  • 50% resistance to cold and acid damage
  • 95% resistance to magical damage
  • 90% resistance to all physical damage
  • 95% magic resistance
  • 2/3 chance that any spell she casts is uninterruptable
  • 1,000 hit points
However, for each of the Five who are killed, Melissan's defenses weaken, as follows:
  • Abazigal killed: -100 hit points; electrical resistance drops to 50%, can be affected to +3 and +4 weapons
  • Balthazar (or Gromnir) killed: -100 hit points; physical damage resistance drops to 75%; vulnerable to backstabs (Melissan also receives this penalty if neither Balthazar nor Gromnir fights for her in the first place)
  • Illasera killed: -100 hit points; magic damage resistance reduced to 50%
  • Sendai killed: -100 hit points; magic resistance drops to 70%; can be affected by third and fourth level spells; -4 penalty to saves vs. spells
  • Yaga-Shura killed: -100 hit points; fire resistance reduced to 50%; -2 penalty to saves vs. death

As long as any of the Five (or Gromnir, or Sarevok) live and fight for Melissan, she cannot be killed: if reduced to below

Melissan's protective spells

Melissan has five powerful defensive and restorative spells. Divine Mantle is effectively a priestly version of Absolute Immunity, giving immunity to weapons below +6. Divine Spell Shield is a priestly version of Spell Trap which additionally reflects 10 levels of level 1-3 spells. Divine Restoration is a combined Greater Restoration and Negative Plane Protection - but using it reduces Melissan's Strength by 1 for 120 seconds and inflicts 100 points of magic damage on her. Divine Cleansing is a self-only ability that wipes essentially all negative effects on Melissan, at the cost of a 25-hit-point reduction and a short moment of paralysis. And Blade Barrier is a powerful variant of the normal cleric spell that does 12d12 damage to anyone caught in it.

Melissan's use of these abilities depends on the difficulty slider. She begins combat with Divine Mantle and Divine Spell Shield cast, and then gets to recast them after 5 rounds. After that, the pattern looks like this:

  • EASY: no divine restoration; no blade barrier; divine cleansing usable once only; divine spell shield not further renewable; divine mantle renewable once per 20 rounds.
  • NORMAL: divine restoration at will; blade barrier and divine cleansing usable once per 20 rounds; divine mantle renewable once per 10 rounds; divine spell shield renewable once per 20 rounds.
  • CORE: divine restoration at will; blade barrier and divine cleansing usable once per 10 rounds; divine mantle renewable once per 5 rounds; divine spell shield renewable once per 10 rounds.
  • HARD or INSANE: divine restoration at will; other powers usable once per 5 rounds.

Time Stop

Melissan can use Time Stop, with a frequency dependent on the difficulty: on EASY difficulty she does not use it at all; on NORMAL difficulty she uses it once; on CORE difficulty, once per 30 rounds; on HARD or INSANE difficulty, once per 20 rounds.

In addition, on NORMAL difficulty or above she receives an additional use of Time Stop after the Five are all defeated.

Melissan in close combat

Melissan's +6 spear inflicts slashing damage, destroys undead, damages demons, and dispels illusions. Successful hits inflict 2d10 cold damage (save vs. spell at -4 for 1/2 and reduce the target's saving throws by 1 point for 2 rounds. 15% of hits also stun the target for 3 rounds.

Melissan also gains the following close-combat abilities:

  • Unleash: usable once per 3 rounds as a close-range area of effect (on difficulty CORE and higher), or at will as a single-target attack (on difficulty NORMAL and higher). Victims take 8d12 magic damage, are knocked back, and are rendered unconscious for a few seconds (a save vs. death at -4 halves the damage and negates all other effects). Using Unleash temporarily (i.e., for two rounds) weakens Melissan, reducing her number of attacks by 1, her movement by 50%, and her Strength by 3.
  • Greater Whirlwind (as the fighter High-Level Ability): usable once per 5 rounds on HARD or INSANE, once per 10 rounds on CORE, once on NORMAL and not at all on EASY.
  • A knockback blow with minor damage, usable once per 2.5 rounds on all difficulty settings.

Melissan's spells

Melissan can cast the following spells on all difficulty settings: True Sight (at will), Breach (once per 3 rounds), Pierce Shield (once per 3 rounds), Bigby's Crushing Hand (once), Finger of Death (once per 3 rounds). On NORMAL and higher, she can use Power Word, Kill once per 20 rounds; on CORE and higher, she can use Unholy Word once per 5 rounds.

On HARD or INSANE difficulty, Melissan receives one use of each of the following three high-level abilities (but can only use an ability from this list every 2 rounds): Comet, Dragon's Breath, Storm of Vengeance.

Melissan also has these unique abilities:

  • Symbol of Slow: a symbol effect, that slows its targets for 2 rounds unless they save vs. spell at a -4 penalty. Usable once per 5 rounds, at any difficulty.
  • Bone Blades, a cage of blades placed around a victim that freezes them in place for a few seconds, taking 10d6 piercing and 10d6 slashing damage over that period (save vs. paralysation at -4 for half damage). Afterwards the victim is slowed for the rest of the round and takes a -2 penalty to Dexterity for 5 rounds (save vs. paralysis at -2 to avoid). Bone Blades is usable once per 2 rounds on HARD or INSANE difficulty, once per 3 rounds on CORE difficulty, once per 5 rounds on NORMAL difficulty, and once per 10 rounds on EASY difficulty.
  • Banishment, a variant of Death Spell used to destroy summons, usable at will on all difficulties.

Abilities and Immunities of the Five

Gromnir is included among the Five; Sarevok is not. These notes apply to both incarnations of the Five, unless specifically noted.

Shared immunities

All of the Five are immune to charm, fear, petrification, polymorph, death magic, disintegration, poison, and the intelligence drain ability of mind flayers, and can see through invisibility. When they are originally encountered, they are in addition immune to stun, paralysation, energy drain, imprisonment, and Sarevok's Deathbringer attack; they lose these immunities in Chapter 10 (except that Abazigal retains his immunity to Imprisonment).

Abazigal

In human form, Abazigal is a 30th level fighter with immunity to electricity, 80% resistance to missile damage, and 65% magic resistance; when you first encounter him he is also immune to Time Stop, though he loses this when Melissan resurrects him. He fights with Gram, the Sword of Grief, which is a +5 two-handed sword, but in Abazigal's hands its poison ability is suppressed, and replaced by a 15% chance of draining 3hp, a 10% chance of draining 6hp, and a 75% chance of inflicting one point of electrical damage. He can use Kai five times, Hardiness once and Whirlwind Attack twice. (In Chapter 10, he does not use Kai on EASY difficulty, and does not use Hardiness or Whirlwind Attack on EASY or NORMAL difficulty.)

In dragon form, Abazigal is immune to Timestop and has the usual dragon abilities, including a lightning breath weapon which inflicts 24d10 damage, save vs. breath for 1/2. He has 127% resistance to electricity, 40% resistance to other forms of elemental damage, 65% resistance to magic damage, and 50% resistance to physical damage. In addition, he has several unique powers:

  • Shockwave (dragon-form version, used once per 3.5 rounds): Everyone in the area takes 4d10 electrical damage (save vs. spell at -4 for half damage) and must save vs breath weapon at -4 or suffer 90% casting failure for 2 rounds, vs. spell at -6 or be knocked unconscious for 3 seconds.
  • Shockwave (human-form version, used only in Chapter 10): A chain-lightning effect, inflicting 6d10 electrical damage (save vs. spells at -2 for half) and 5d6 magical damage (no saving throw) and inflicting a -2 AC penalty for 5 rounds. This effect 'inflicts' 5d6 electrical damage upon Abazigal, but this effectively heals him slightly. Used on CORE, HARD or INSANE difficulty. Used once per 3 rounds on HARD or INSANE difficulty, once per 5 rounds on CORE difficulty, and not used on EASY or NORMAL difficulty.
  • Tail Slap (dragon form only, once per 5 rounds): functionally equivalent to Earthquake.
  • Lightning Aura: knocks enemies back, inflicts 6d6 electrical damage (save vs spells at -2 for half) and 3d6 magic damage (no save), with the magic damage being drained to Abazigal and healing him. Used once per 3 rounds on HARD or INSANE difficulty, once per 5 rounds on CORE difficulty, and not used on EASY or NORMAL difficulty.
In either form, Abazigal is a powerful spellcaster, with defensive contingencies and triggers, though in Chapter 10 these are fully used only on difficulty HARD or INSANE, and are not used at all on EASY difficulty.

Balthazar

Balthazar has Free Action; he is initially 90% resistant to magic, magic damage, and elemental damage, and 10% resistant to physical damage, but he can swap the two at will. His various special abilities are fully detailed here. In chapter 10, a hostile Balthazar will avoid using some abilities on easier difficulty settings: on EASY, he doesn't use Shadow Stance, Second Wind, Dragon Fist, or Hand of Murder; on NORMAL, he doesn't use Second Wind or Dragon Fist; on CORE, he doesn't use Second Wind.

Gromnir

Gromnir has immunity to disease, 50% magic damage resistance, 25% magic resistance, and 25% resistance to physical damage. He can use Berserker Rage twice, Hardiness twice, and Whirlwind three times. In chapter 10, he uses Berserker Rage only on NORMAL difficulty and up, and his other powers only on CORE difficulty and up.

Gromnir wields the mace Ice Star (a +4 mace granting 20% fire resistance and +4 cold damage); in his hands, the mace is imbued with magical-disease-causing powers, inflicting a two-round-duration slowing disease on an enemy who fails a save vs. poison at -4, and a wasting disease (3 hp damage per second for ten rounds) on an enemy who fails to save at -6. 25% of hits also inflict a strength-draining disease, causing the victim to lose one point of Strength for 10 rounds (save vs. poison at -2 to negate).

Illasera

Illasera is an 18th level ranger, with 50% magic resistance. She has several unique arrows:

  • Disrupting arrows: destroy illusions, banish summoned creatures, remove all magical effects, inflict a 40% casting failure for 3 rounds, and reduce Magic Resistance by 5% for 5 rounds.
  • Debilitating arrows: drain 10 hp from the target (gained by Illasera), stun the victim for 2 rounds with an additional 2 rounds of slowing (save vs. polymorph at -4 to avoid).
  • Knockback arrows: 2d10 magic damage, knocked back, 2 seconds of unconsciousness, and a -1 THAC0 penalty for 5 rounds (save vs. paralysis at -4 to half the damage and negate all other effects).
In Chapter 10, Illasera mostly refrains from using her disrupting arrows on EASY and NORMAL difficulty.

Illasera has a powerful defensive ability, Ethereality, which she can use once per 4 rounds on CORE difficulty or higher, once per 5 rounds on NORMAL difficulty, and once per 8 rounds on EASY difficulty. For the first round of her ethereality, she is invisible and immune to most forms of attack; for the remaning two rounds sh is improved-invisible, immune to divination, gains 50% physical damage resistance, and gets +4 to AC. On NORMAL difficulty and higher, while ethereal she may cast Cure Critical Wounds once per round.

Sendai

(These notes apply only to the chapter 10 version of Sendai: Ascension doesn't offer a tougher version of the original Sendai.)

Sendai is a 20th/20th level cleric/mage, with innate (drow) magic resistance of 84% and a 4-point bonus to casting speed. She wears a ring that she can use to teleport across the battlefield once per round (which she uses on difficulty CORE+) and carries scrolls of Improved Alacrity (used only on difficulty CORE+), Greater Restoration, and Freedom, as well as a potion of Heal. In combat she uses a +6 flail: one quarter of hits slow the target for 30 seconds and reduce their Strength to 3 for 10 seconds (save vs. spell at -2 to avoid the former, save vs spell to avoid the latter). Remaining hits poison the target for 10 seconds (save vs. breath to avoid).

Sendai's use of her spells is tied to the difficulty slider. On CORE, she does not use Implosion; on NORMAL, she also does not use Time Stop, Creeping Doom, Harm, her Improved Alacrity scroll, and her initial Spell Sequencer; on EASY, she also does not use Power Word Kill or her initial Spell Sequencer, and will not attempt to recover Imprisoned allies.

Yaga-Shura

Yaga-Shura begins with 127% resistance to fire, 50% resistance to cold, and 99% resistance to all other forms of damage. If Nyalee's ritual has been performed, he loses these resistances (except fire) at a rate of 2% per round, until he has lost a total of 30% (so that he has 20% resistance to cold, 127% resistance to fire, and 70% resistance to everything else). In Chapter 10, he retains this behaviour on HARD difficulty or higher; on CORE, NORMAL or EASY, he begins at his 'final' resistance.

Yaga-Shura can cast Fire Storm once per encounter, Sunray once per five rounds, and Aura of Flaming Death once per 10 rounds. Once per five rounds, he can call down a Lava Bomb over a wide area, which inflicts 1d10 crushing damage and 8d10 (save vs. breath for 1/2) fire damage. Anyone affected is knocked back and must save vs. paralysation at -10 or be rendered unconscious for a few seconds. In Chapter 10, Yaga-Shura uses Lava Bombs only on CORE difficulty and above, and does not use his other spell-like abilities on EASY.

Yaga-Shura dual-wields two hammers: a Runehammer +4 (which can be resized for use by the party) and an unnamed +5 hammer too large for humans to use. Blows from this weapon have a 50% chance of dazing the target for three rounds: dazed party members are slowed and suffer a -1 penalty to Strength and Constitution. 10% of hits are with such force that the target is flung backwards and knocked momentarily unconscious.

Balthazar's Abilities

Balthazar has the following abilities (this applies whether you fight him in 'Tougher Balthazar', confront him in chapter 10, or recruit him).

Dragon Fist

Range: Touch
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 0
Area of Effect: Creature hit
Saving Throw: None

By channeling ki energy into a blow, Balthazar rips through his opponent's magical defenses. The Dragon Fist has a 25% chance of destroying all combat protections and boosts below 9th level, a 25% chance of destroying all antimagic effects below 9th level, and a 50% chance of destroying both. It also slows its target (causing a -4 penalty to AC and attack rolls) for two rounds.

This power can be used once per three rounds.

Faster Than the Eye

Range: Sight
Duration: Instant
Casting Time: 0
Area of Effect: Balthazar
Saving Throw: None

In the blink of an eye, Balthazar transports himself anywhere in sight.

This power can be used once per two rounds.

Flip Resistances

Range: 0
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: Balthazar
Saving Throw: None

With this ability, Balthazar inverts his innate resistances. His normal 10% resistance to physical damage increases to 90%; his normal 90% resistance to magic, magic damage and elemental damage drops to 10%. A second use of the power restores his normal resistances.

Balthazar may flip his resistances at will.

Hand of Murder

Range: 0
Duration: 1 round
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: Balthazar
Saving Throw: Special

Through combining his Ki with his Bhaalspawn essence, all of Balthazar's attacks for one round are automatic critical hits. For the first three second after he activates the power, anyone hit drops dead (save vs. spells to negate).

This power can be used once per three rounds.

Lunar Malison

Range: 30 ft.
Duration: special
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Special

The creature affected by Lunar Malison suffers a -4 penalty to all saving throws for a period of 40 rounds. Additionally, they must save vs. spells at a -2 penalty or be slowed (taking a -4 penalty to AC and attack rolls) for 2 rounds.

Balthazar receives one use of this ability whenever he enters the Lunar Stance.

Lunar Stance

Range: 0
Duration: 3 hours
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: Balthazar
Saving Throw: None

By entering the Lunar Stance, Balthazar calls on the power of the moon to enhance his mystical abilities. While in the Lunar Stance, Balthazar is immune to energy drain, Imprisonment and Time Stop, and receives one use of the Lunar Malison ability. Upon entering the Lunar Stance, all enemies adjacent to Balthazar are blinded for four rounds (save vs. spells to avoid).

Balthazar can have only one stance active at a time: entering the Lunar Stance cancels all other stances. The Lunar Stance can be removed by effects such as Breach.

Second Wind

This Contingency-like power activates automatically when Balthazar is gravely injured (reduced to 20% or fewer Hit Points). It immediately restores him to full health.

Balthazar can have only one stance active at a time: entering the Shadow Stance cancels all other stances. The Shadow Stance can be removed by effects such as Oracle or True Sight.

Shadow Stance

Range: 0
Duration: 3 hours
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: Balthazar
Saving Throw: None

By entering the Shadow Stance, Balthazar calls on the power of the Plane of Shadow to enhance his mystical abilities. While in the Shadow Stance, Balthazar is protected by Improved Invisibility (and is completely invisible for the first 15 seconds, or until he attacks). In addition to the already-significant defensive advantages of Improved Invisibility, the cloak of shadows grants Balthazar an additional +6 bonus to Armor Class.

Balthazar can have only one stance active at a time: entering the Shadow Stance cancels all other stances. The Shadow Stance can be removed by effects such as Oracle or True Sight.

Shadowless Kick

Range: Touch
Duration: 4 seconds
Casting Time: 0
Area of Effect: Creature kicked
Saving Throw: None

With a powerful kick, Balthazar knocks his opponent away, sending them flying; they take 4d8 damage from the impact and are knocked unconscious for a few seconds.

This power can be used once per two rounds.

Solar Stance

Range: 0
Duration: 3 hours
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: Balthazar, plus any creatures within 30ft
Saving Throw: None

By entering the Solar Stance, Balthazar calls on the power of the sun to enhance his mystical abilities. He gains 127% resistance to fire (even when using Flip Resistance) and all of his attacks deal an additional 1d10 fire damage; this damage actually heals Balthazar. Upon entering the Solar Stance, Balthazar releases a blast of flame which deals 12d6 fire damage (save vs. spell for 1/2) and 1d8 crushing damage to all with 30ft, blasting any nearby creatures away from him.

Balthazar can have only one stance active at a time: entering the Solar Stance cancels all other stances. The Solar Stance can be removed by effects such as Breach.

Tiger Strike

Range: 0
Duration: 2 rounds
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: Balthazar
Saving Throw: None

While Tiger Strike is active, Balthazar has a 50% chance per hit of a critical hit; in addition, any hit sends its victim flying backwards, stunning them for 1 round.

This power can be used once per four rounds.

Redeeming Balthazar

First, the bottom line on your chance of success:

  • Any good-aligned character has the potential to recruit Balthazar.
  • A neutral-aligned character can recruit Balthazar provided they have at least one of: Reputation 19+; Wisdom 16+; Charisma 16+.
  • There is a very narrow path by which an evil character with Wisdom 19+ can recruit Balthazar. Evil characters with lower wisdom cannot recruit him, but may be able to convince him to commit ritual suicide rather than fighting.

Whether you actually recruit him is another matter: there are many different routes through the conversation, and in only some can you gain his trust. In general, the following things help: Good alignment, high (19+) reputation, high (16+) Wisdom or Charisma. Having a Wisdom of 19+ is even better. The more of these things you have, the more safety margin you have; with few of them, the path to success is quite narrow.

Some hints:

  1. Balthazar is Lawful Good, yet his mercenaries and monks are not behaving like the servants of a Lawful Good ruler. Balthazar is pretty guilty about this, and any character can use this to influence him.
  2. Sufficiently heroic characters can point out their own heroism and shame Balthazar into following suit.
  3. Sufficiently charismatic characters can persuade Balthazar that there are other options he hasn't considered.
  4. Wise characters can point out factual information Balthazar is unaware of or ignoring: most importantly, the true nature of the prophecy of Alaundo as revealed by the Solar, and Melissan's true plans.

Bhaalspawn Powers

These powers come in pairs. One power from each pair is granted to the player after each pocket-plane challenge (except the fourth). Which power is granted depends not on the player's alignment but on the nature of their choices in conversation with the Solar.

Mass Healing (good power; granted after first challenge)

Range: Visual range of the caster
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: 15-ft. radius
Saving Throw: None

When using this ability, the Bhaalspawn must picture the faces of his/her fellow party members clearly and focus on the unity of the group. Upon completion, all party members within a 15-ft. radius of the caster are healed 2d8 + 2/level Hit Points. Other conditions suffered by the party are cured as well: fatigue, poison, disease, blindness, and deafness.

Regeneration (evil power; granted after first challenge)

Range: Touch
Duration: 1 round/2 levels
Casting Time: 7
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None

This powerful spell enables the priest to imbue one creature with the ability to regenerate. This regeneration will heal any wounds and even regenerate lost limbs. The creature affected will regain 3 Hit Points per second. The effect lasts for 1 round per 2 levels of the caster or until dispelled. For example, a 14th-level priest would regenerate 18 Hit Points per round for 7 rounds.

Divine Gift (good power; granted after second challenge)

Range: 0
Duration: 1 turn
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

The Bhaalspawn calls upon the might of his/her blood to grant him/her power for a short period. When he/she does this, his/her Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity all are raised to 25.

Dark Taint (evil power; granted after second challenge)

Range: 20 ft.
Duration: 1 turn
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: Neg.

Through this spell, the Bhaalspawn can expel the taint of their evil sire onto a victim, poisoning those who fail their Save vs. Death. The effects depend upon the caster's level and are detailed below:
7 9th: 2d8 + 2/round, slowed for 2 rounds, save at -2
10 12th: 3d8 + 3/round, slowed for 2 rounds, save at -2
13 14th: 4d8 + 4/round, slowed for 2 rounds, save at -2
15 16th: 6d8 + 5/round, slowed for 4 rounds, save at -2
17 21st: 8d8 + 6/round, slowed for 4 rounds, save at -4
25th+: 8d8 + 6/round, slowed for 6 rounds, save at -4, affects group of targets

Immunity to Energy Drain (good power; granted after third challenge)

This passive ability grants the Bhaalspawn immunity to level-draining effects.

Hand of Murder (evil power; granted after third challenge)

Range: 0
Duration: 1 rounds/5 levels
Casting Time: 1
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

When this power is called upon by the Bhaalspawn, he/she immediately does extra damage with each hit to his/her target with any melee weapon he/she wishes, whether it be fist or sword. his/her dark energies travel through his/her weapon to assault his/her victim, allowing him/her to absorb that damage as healing to him/herself.

The effects vary by level as follows:
10th 14th: 2 rounds, 4 extra damage, 4 HP healed
15th 19th: 3 rounds, 6 extra damage, 6 HP healed
20th 24th: 4 rounds, 8 extra damage, 8 HP healed
25th 29th: 5 rounds, 10 extra damage, 10 HP healed
30th+: 6 rounds, 12 extra damage, 12 HP healed

Resurrection (good power; granted after last challenge)

Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Casting Time: 9
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None

Like the 5th-level spell Raise Dead, Resurrection will return a character back to life. However, Resurrection also heals the character so that they are ready for the adventuring life right away.

Damage Resistance (evil power; granted after last challenge)

This passive ability grants the Bhaalspawn 25% resistance to all forms of physical damage.

Slayer form

By default, the Slayer powers look like this. You can customise some features of them: notably, the regeneration rates, whether hit points are cumulative, the reputation loss, and the XP thresholds to gain them; see under customisation for details.

Basic Slayer Change (available up to 2,000,000 XP)


When you use this ability, you take on the form of the brutal essence of Bhaal: a violent, powerful creature made of teeth and claws. Using this ability reduces your reputation by one point, as even those who do not witness the event can sense the corruption caused by giving yourself over to instinct.

The Slayer form grants the following benefits:

- Strength and Dexterity set to 25
- Effective AC set to -9
- Magic Resistance set to 40%
- Saving Throws set to 2
- Attacks per round set to 4 (1d8 crushing, 2 cold)
- THAC0 set to 0
- + 100 Hit Points
- Immunity to imprisonment, level drain, stun, fear, charm, confusion, sleep, and missile attacks

The Slayer can be difficult to control: after the first round, you have a 10% cumulative chance per round of losing control of yourself for a round.

Improved Slayer Change (available at 2,000,000-4,000,000 XP)


When you use this ability, you take on the form of the brutal essence of Bhaal: a violent, powerful creature made of teeth and claws. Using this ability reduces your reputation by one point, as even those who do not witness the event can sense the corruption caused by giving yourself over to instinct.

The Slayer form has increased in power with your own, and now grants the following benefits:

- Strength and Dexterity set to 25
- Effective AC set to -9
- Magic Resistance set to 50%
- Resistance to physical damage set to 15%
- Resistance to elemental damage set to 30%
- Saving Throws set to 2
- Attacks per round set to 4 (2d6 crushing, 4 cold)
- THAC0 set to -4
- + 150 Hit Points
- Regenerate 2 Hit Points per second
- Immunity to imprisonment, level drain, stun, fear, charm, confusion, sleep, and missile attacks
- Chance of losing control: 10%, plus a cumulative 5% per round

Ultimate Slayer Change (available at 4,000,000+ XP)


When you use this ability, you take on the form of the brutal essence of Bhaal: a violent, powerful creature made of teeth and claws. Using this ability reduces your reputation by two points, as even those who do not witness the event can sense the corruption caused by giving yourself over to instinct.

The Slayer form has increased in power with your own, and now grants the following benefits:

- Strength and Dexterity set to 25
- Effective AC set to -9
- Magic Resistance set to 60%
- Resistance to physical damage set to 30%
- Resistance to elemental damage set to 40%
- Saving Throws set to 2
- Attacks per round set to 4 (2d8 crushing, 8 cold)
- Attacks have a 10% chance of casting Dispel Magic and of lowering Magic Resistance
- THAC0 set to -8
- + 200 Hit Points
- Regenerate 3 Hit Points per second
- Immunity to imprisonment, level drain, stun, fear, charm, confusion, sleep, disease, poison, and missile attacks
- Free action
- Chance of losing control: a cumulative 5% per two rounds

Ravager Change (available at 6,000,000+ XP)


You now have the ability to take on the form either of the Slayer, or of the Ravager - a terrible manifestation of Bhaal. Using this ability reduces your reputation by two points for the Slayer, or a full three points for the Ravager.

As the Ravager, you get the following additional benefits:

- Magic Resistance set to 75%
- Resistance to physical damage set to 50%
- Resistance to elemental damage set to 50%
- Resistance to magic damage set to 50%
- Attacks per round set to 5 (3d8 crushing, 8 cold)
- Chance of dispelling on hit increases to 20%
- THAC0 set to -12
- + 250 hit points
- Regenerate 5 Hit Points per second
- Chance of losing control increases to 40% plus a cumulative 10% chance per round

Pool Powers

These powers can be gained either by the player character or by Imoen, by touching the essence pools in the Throne of Bhaal. They are organised by the pools from which they are obtained: bottom left, bottom right, top.

Immunity to Death Magic (bottom left pool)

This passive ability gives the Bhaalspawn immunity to death and vorpal effects.

Unleash (bottom left pool)

Range: 5ft
Casting Time: 1
Duration: Instant
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: 1/2 plus special

The "Unleash" ability releases your inner power upon a target that is within melee range, hitting them for 20d12 magic damage (half on a successful save vs. Death at -4) and sending them flying back and perhaps unconscious for a short period. This ability may only be used once ever thirty seconds... and after using it the Bhaalspawn will be incredibly fatigued, and have a 25% miscast chance on all spells, for 2 rounds. Due to the amount of divine essence used, the Slayer form will also not be available for thirty seconds.

Control Demon (bottom right pool)

Range: sight
Casting time: 1
Duration: special
Area of Effect: 1 demon
Saving Throw: none

This ability allows the Bhaalspawn to attempt to wrest control of a demon away from Melissan and make them an ally. The Bhaalspawn engages the demon in mental combat for 3 seconds, at the end of which the demon has a 75% chance of becoming an ally. (There is no further saving throw, nor is magic resistance checked.) The demon is not under the Bhaalspawn's direct control, however. This ability may be used once every 3 rounds.

Extradimensional Immunity (bottom right pool)

This passive ability gives the Bhaalspawn immunity to Maze and Imprisonment effects.

Teleport (bottom right pool)

Range: Infinite
Casting Time: 0
Duration: Instant
Area of Effect: Caster
Saving Throw: None

The Bhaalspawn may now move freely through space and the planes. This teleportation power is useable once per round.

Focus (top pool)

Range: 0
Casting Time: 1
Duration: 5 rounds
Area of Effect: Caster
Saving Throw: None

This ability allows the Bhaalspawn to focus his/her energy within him/her to resist spell effects from without. For a 30-second duration, the Bhaalspawn becomes immune to the spells Flesh to Stone, Disintegration and Time Stop. All minor spells of 1st through 3rd level will also not affect the Bhaalspawn. This ability is useable once per minute.