Intro Greetings! This is a response to this thread I made over 1.5 years ago and played last year. I'm finally reporting my results, and the 'winning run' was different from what I originally planned. For example, aside from Burne, we didn't use the level 8+ NPCs frequently since they absorbed too much EXP. A friend and I did a party with Co8 NC, Rudy's Item Mod, and T+ over the course of about 4 months of real time. We squatted at level 3 for most the game and had plans to take on Iuz at the end, but after beating the Fire Node Balor at level 3, I decided further playing was not worth it. (We basically beat the game at level 3 and had enough EXP to level our team into Iuz fightin' position; therefore, there was no great point in continuing.) We also played in a pseudo-Iron Man (PIM) setting with a finite number of lives/reloads, with certain conditions (usually plot progress or boss beating) granting extra lives. Party Roster Our party was a LN Human Male Rogue1/Wizard2 (social skills and Appraise) and LN Human Female Druid3 (summons, heals, and buffs) with a rotating cast of helpers. (All helpers stayed at level 3 or their starter level, whichever was higher, until they were 'mature,' due to maximizing EXP gain. Mature level 3 characters ended with enough EXP to make them level 20 or higher.) We farmed a lot of EXP in the temple and moathouse. We had, probably amongst others: -Burne: AoE spells and magic missile for the win. Once mature, he became a Wizard12 for craft feats. -Oohlgrist: Barbarian1/Fighter2. He destroyed things with a +1 Holy Ranseur. Once mature, he gained levels in Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, Assassin, and others. Anything that boosted accuracy or/and damage was seriously considered as a class level, and favored class penalties meant nothing when he never expected to level again. -LG Human Cleric of Heironeous (Cleric7): Crafter of LG weapons and maybe other things. -Other crafters: Because we didn't take Craft Wondrous at Druid3, which would have helped tremendously! -Research assistants: We leveled Spugnoir and custom Wizard(s) and had them make scrolls for Burne and the main Wizard to be able to cast all Wizard spells in the game, or at least until we got bored with this. -Thrommel: We borrowed him for the Balor fight, but leveled him to 11 before that. Fighter10/Barbarian1 for rage, +1 BAB, and another iterative attack helped. The Balor Fight We cleared everything in the game we could before this point aside from Zuggy and the Balor. We pre-buffed heavily. We had whatever summons we could spare. The Druid cast soften earth and stone on the Balor and it failed its save! Alleluia! That gave us d2 rounds to run in and destroy it! And we did, with some damage to our party. Princey was the main tank since he was the most disposable and wielded the Sword of Always Hitting and Power Attacking for Full. Even then, we didn't beat it until after it acted and attacked. We learned that debuffing it further (like with solid fog) wasn't worth it..