Portraits need to be placed in the \portraits folder in the game directory.
This folder needs to be created by you.
I quote directly from other people who have sent in information. When I want
to comment on their strategies, I use the "Ed. Note", or Editor's Note.
What's New in 5.1:
Added Adam Roebuck's Mytos paladin trick. Other small changes.
For a complete Version History, check out the Final Words Section at the end
of the FAQ.
Note: In the FAQ I use the abbreviation IWD to stand in for the full title of
Icewind Dale, HoW for Heart of Winter, BG to abbreviate Baldur's Gate
and BG2 for Baldur's Gate 2.
Table of Contents:
x... What's New in Heart of Winter?
x... My Party
x... Creating a Balanced Party
x... General Strategies
Frequently Asked Questions
x... Gameplay Specific Questions
x... Heart of Winter Questions
x... General Gaming Questions
x... Monster Questions
x... Technical Questions
x... Other Questions
1.1... The Lost Caravan
2... Kuldahar Pass
4... Vale of Shadows
4.1... Kresselack's Tomb
4.2... Post Vale Kuldahar
5... Temple of the Forgotten God
6... Dragon's Eye
7... Severed Hand
8... Dorn's Deep
9... Wyrm's Tooth
10... Lower Dorn's Deep
11... Easthaven (again)
Heart of Winter Walkthrough
2... Barbarian Camp
3... Burial Isle
4... Lonelywood Interlude
6... Sea of Moving Ice
7... Trials of the Luremaster (free downloadable dungeon)
x... Guide to Naming Characters
x... Strange Things
What's New in Heart of Winter?
This section is mostly for people who don't own the expansion and wonder
whether it is worth a purchase. However, there are some other minute changes
that even owners of HoW might not be aware of. (many of these are taken from
* New areas to explore, accessible through Kuldahar. These areas can be
played before or after completing the normal game. You can even play in
"Expansion Only" mode if you don't even want to complete the normal game.
* Now supports 800x600 resolutions, including drop-away side panels (from
* New difficulty mode, Heart of Fury. This is meant for people who think the
game is too easy. What it does is pump up enemies stats (and exp too) to
the point where they become tanks. Ex: All creatures have x3, +80 hit
points. A creature with 20 hit points in regular mode would have 20x3 = 60,
60+80 = 140 hit points.
Note: Your summoned monsters get the same bonuses as all the other
monsters, making summoning spells even MORE powerful in HoF mode.
Note: The amount of EXP you get from monsters goes up with the
difficulty. At HARD you get 150% normal, at INSANE you get 200%
normal. In HoF you get more than that (I have no exact details
on it yet).
* Enemies can now "call for help." (they don't ALWAYS do this) What it means
is that you can't pick enemies off one by one, they'll yell to their
From JE Sawyer:
Places where it definitely is used:
* The expansion areas.
* Most of Dragon's Eye (L1,2,3, and parts of 5)
* The Orc Cave
* Kuldahar Pass
* Parts of Lower Dorn's (Entrance, Artisan's District, Mines, Palace
Level 3, the Great Forge, the Broken Temple)
Places where I believe it is used:
* Temple of the Forgotten God
* Upper Dorn's Deep
* Parts of Wyrm's Tooth
Places where I believe it is not used:
* The Vale of Shadows
* Experience Cap allows characters to reach 30th level.
* New Portraits
* New Character Sounds
* New Gem Bags, Scroll Cases and Potion Bags (similar to things found in BG2)
* New spells:
1st Level: Cause Light Wounds
2nd Level: Cause Moderate Wounds
3rd Level: Cause Disease
3rd Level: Circle of Bones
3rd Level: Exaltation
3rd Level: Holy Smite
3rd Level: Unholy Blight
4th Level: Blood Rage
4th Level: Cause Serious Wounds
4th Level: Cloud of Pestilence
4th Level: Poison
4th Level: Unfailing Endurance
5th Level: Cause Critical Wounds
5th Level: Greater Command
5th Level: Magic Resistance
5th Level: Shield of Lathander
5th Level: Slay Living
5th Level: Undead Ward
6th Level: Blade Barrier
6th Level: Harm
6th Level: Spiritual Wrath
7th Level: Destruction
7th Level: Greater Shield of Lathander
7th Level: Holy Word
7th Level: Unholy Word
2nd Level: Cat's Grace
3rd Level: Lance of Disruption
4th Level: Mordenkainen's Force Missiles
4th Level: Shout
4th Level: Vitriolic Sphere
5th Level: Contact Other Plane
5th Level: Lower Resistance
5th Level: Sunfire
6th Level: Darts of Bone
6th Level: Soul Eater
6th Level: Trollish Fortitude
7th Level: Seven Eyes
7th Level: Suffocate
8th Level: Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting
8th Level: Great Shout
8th Level: Iron Body
8th Level: Power Word: Blind
* New Items
* New "Hotkey" that highlights all significant items in the area (such as
doors, chests and items). Very handy if you can't see where certain levers
are... (Use by pressing ALT)
* Ability to buy more than one item at a time
* Paladins get new abilities:
Smite Evil - Column of holy light that does 1d6 + (1d6 / 3 levels) damage
to evil enemies.
Divine Courage - At 3rd level, immune to fear. (Also immune to disease)
Earlier Spell Access (at level 6 instead of 9)
* Rangers get new abilities:
Tracking - Ranger checks to see what monsters are in the area, and often
where the monsters are. +5% chance per level, +5% per point
Earlier Spell Access (same)
* Druids get new abilities:
Druidic Shape Chance - now available at 5th level, gains a new for every
other level after that. Some HP healed with the change.
Elemental Form - At 11th level, the Druid can transform himself into a
Fire Elemental. At 13th, Earth elemental, at 15th a Water
Immunity to Poison - At 9th level.
Timeless Body - At 15th level, no longer get tired.
* Thieves get new abilities:
Sneak Attack - An alternative to backstabbing (must be switched in the
options menu). Doesn't require being in shadows, merely that
you are behind or to the side of the enemy. The damage is an
extra 1d6 for every 4 levels of experience. Critical hits do
not double the sneak attack damage.
Evasion - At 7th level, thieves can evade effects (such as Fireball,
Lightning bolt, etc.), the thief can Save to completely evade
the spell (as opposed to Saving and getting half damage).
You cannot evade your own effects (such as a Mage/Thief
casting fireball right in front of himself).
Crippling Strike - At 5th level, thieves learn how to cripple their
opponents. Crippling only works WITH the Sneak Attack. A
successful cripple causes the victim to suffer a -1 to attack,
at 9th level -2 to attack and damage, at 13th level -3 to
attack and damage, etc. (every 4 levels another -1 to attack
* Bards get new songs:
The Ballad of Three Heroes - Allies gain +1 to hit, damage and Saving.
The Tale of Curran Strongheart - 3rd level. Removes fear.
Tymora's Melody - 5th level. Allies get +1 luck, +3 saving throws, and
+10% to lore and thieving skills.
The Song of Kaudies - 7th level. 50% chance to evade sound-based
The Siren's Yearning - 9th level. Chance of enemies becoming Enthralled
(unable to move for a minute or so, or until they take dmg).
War Chant of Sith - 11th level. Allies get +2 bonus to AC, +10% res. to
slashing, piercing, crushing and missile attacks, plus
regenerate 2 HP per round.
* Spells have been changes somewhat. Some spells are now Alignment (Good,
Evil) specific. Ex: Raise Dead and Cure Critical Wounds cannot be cast by
Evil clerics, Resurrection and Heal can only be cast by Good clerics.
* Opposition schools have been altered. Your old mages won't lose spells
they already know, but they will be unable to learn new spells out of their
From JE Sawyer:
Specialist mages now have 1 or 2 barred schools. If your specialist mages
from IWD already have spells, they will not be taken away. However, they
will be unable to take new spells from the barred schools. Here's how it
* Ranger/Clerics no longer get the Druid spells from level 1. (You must wait
until the Ranger is level 6)
* Many of the random item tables have been changed. I have most of these
changes in the IWD walkthrough (where it says "removed in HoW", or "HoW
* Mithril Plate +2 is now considered "magical" and thusly cannot be worn with
protective rings/cloaks. (If you were wearing it before installing HoW,
you'll still have it on... just don't take it off!)
* Necromancer's Robe is now AC6 rather than AC8.
* Kontik's Ring of Wizardry increases cold damage the wearer takes by 15%
The party I first beat the game with:
Half-Elf Cleric/Ranger (has access to both Druid and Cleric spells this
way, and also gets the "dual wield" which is just
an extra attack when a shield is not equipped)
Human Bard (useful to identify things, and can cast magic!)
Halfling Fighter/Thief (don't bother ever giving points to the Pickpocket
skill, it's useless in IWD)
I actually started the game with a Human Thief instead of the Halfling, but
switched over later. (You can bring in new characters at any time) Then I
just stayed in the area I was at, and leveled my new character up a bit.
What monsters was I fighting? Cold Wights! One of my favorite monsters in
all of Dragon's Eye. Easy to beat, and decent Exp (1500) as well.
Pickpocket is useful especially for the bard who has nothing to do but
pickpocket. I pick a few NPC's pockets and got some nice item especially
from the archdruid himself (I got 2 rings of free movement; I will never be
held by spells or item like wise). (from Mike Gan)
The party I played through IWD with the second time:
Dwarf Fighter (with proficiencies in Axes and Crossbows)
Half-Elf Cleric/Ranger (is actually IMPORTED from my first party, though
not from the end of the game, at level 8/8 with a
lot of cool items)
Elf Fighter/Mage (I'd found a cool weapon my first go through of the
game that could only be used by Fighter/Mages
And they were all EVIL (except the Cleric/Ranger)! I was really surprised by
how many items in IWD couldn't be used by GOOD characters, so I had to have
some EVIL characters. And for more role-playing fun, I said all the "jerk"
responses in the dialogs. After this maybe I'll go through with a party of
Creating a Balanced Party
One of the most important decisions that you have to make comes before you
ever start the game. What will your party look like? Naturally I would
recommend the party I used to beat the game (see My Party above) as it worked
well, but I know that that party isn't for everyone. So here we now have a
section on creating that balanced party that you can use to smite your
Decision 1: How many characters to have in the party?
You can have anywhere from 1 to 6 characters in your party. Naturally
going through the game with just one character would be extraordinarily
difficult. The minimum number of characters that I think would keep the
game playable is 4. 3 could probably be done, but you're pushing it.
Four characters allows you to cover all the bases (one fighter, mage,
cleric, and thief type characters), with the obvious advantage that they
will get more experience per battle, as there are less people to share the
experience with. (Whenever you defeat a creature, each character gets the
exp that that creature was worth divided by how many characters you have
in your party. So if you just beat a 2000 exp monster, and had 4 people,
then each person gets 500 exp, but if you have 6 people then they only get
That being said, if you are a newcomer to AD&D games, such as Icewind Dale
and Baldur's Gate, then I would recommend that you go with the full 6
member party. Even if you are pretty good at Baldur's Gate, you may still
want to go with the full 6 member party.
But if you enjoy a challenge, try 4 (or 3).
And if you're suicidal, try just one character.
Decision 2: What classes should be in my party?
You need to balance your party in IWD. All melee parties will do pretty
poorly in IWD, as they get slaughtered by nasty enemies. Magic heavy
parties do poorly as well as you don't have enough standing between you and
certain death. As such, careful balance is in order.
Let's take a look at the party I used to beat the game:
At level 1 this party has 4 melee fighter types, two thief types (the Bard
can only Pick Pockets, but this frees the Fighter/Thief from having to use
any skill points on Pickpockets), two mage types (the bard gets spells on
level 2), and one Cleric type. The only weakness at the beginning is that
the Conjurer only gets 6 HP to start out with.
What you need:
And enough Hp's to not get killed in every battle
Everything past that is extremely helpful, but not specifically NEEDED.
Naturally you get the HP's from Fighters. A thief and a Cleric alone will
get killed easily, so add a few Fighters to the mix, and/or multi-class the
thief and cleric.
Adding in Magic is a really good idea as it supplements your melee power.
Therefore my recommended party looks very much like the party I first used,
with the six party members.
If I were to play with only three characters, this is how I would do it:
Cleric/Ranger (I love these)
ERSKINE makes this recommendation about which type of Mage to play:
If you make your wizard a specialty Conjurer then you can use all the
spells currently in the game! Conjurers in Icewind Dale (IWD) have
an opposition school of Divination, but all wizards can learn/cast
"lesser divinations" of up to and including 3rd level (maybe 4th, but I
don't think so)-- there are no divinations in IWD above second level, so
a conjurer can cast all spells in the game and gains the bonus spells
for being a specialist-- I do not think IWD uses any of the disadvantages
of being a specialist like in AD&D.
Alignment Note: There are various items in the game that can only be used
by Good or Evil characters, so try to have a mix of
alignments. Maybe 2 Good, 2 Neutral and 2 Evil. Also
your reputation is based on the Alignment of the character
in the first slot, Lawful Good being the best, Chaotic
Evil being the worst.
The "All-Fighter" Party:
This is a "powergamer" type of party, that takes advantage of the Human's
Create a party of six (or how ever many people you want) fighters. While
creating each of them, keep in mind what you would like them to dual class
over to later. So, when you are creating your Fighter who will dual to
Cleric, you need to get not only good Fighter stats, but also good Wisdom.
The same would go for your Fighter who will be Thief, needing good
Dexterity, Fighter who will be Mage needs good Intelligence, etc. Now
when they reach level two, instantly dual class them over to their new
class. What this accomplishes is creating better versions of
Clerics/Thieves/Mages/etc., at a low cost of experience. (2000 exp for the
Fighter level 2)
Fighter (stays a fighter)
Fighter (stays a fighter)
Ranger dualled to Cleric at level 2
Fighter dualled to Thief at level 2
Fighter dualled to Mage at level 2
+1 more character if desired (I'd take a Bard)
ERSKINE's party making strategies:
My thoughts on party composition --
at least two Fighters--- great hit points, great THAC0's, wear almost any
armor, 5 levels of weapon specialization, and they
usually have the best strength with which to carry
your heavy items without being encumbered
one Mage --- make it a conjurer (use all the spells, memorize 1 extra spell
per spell level) they can use almost all of the wands, and
their spells rock at high levels
one Druid--- I think their spells are better (like Creeping Doom, Fire
seeds, Static Charge), the loss of turning undead is not that
much of a problem-- I hate chasing down skeletons and wights
that ran away, and they can even use some good armor and
shields later in the game (Umber Hulk plate and Rhino Beetle
Shields) (Ed. Note: You're almost at the END of the game
before you get THOSE items! Though they are quite good)
a multi-classed thief--- true thieves in IWD are a little bit lacking, make
your thief a thief/mage or a fighter/thief for
better effect (you can still reach lvl 14/12 with
a thief/mage or 14/11 with a thief/fighter)
Your 6th character can be what ever you like--- if you love mages add
another one, or try out a Paladin or even a cleric
I would avoid Rangers-- they are great in AD&D but they have some limitations
in IWD: there are not a lot of animals to charm, only 2 levels of weapon
specialization, more xp's to level up and if you want to hide in shadows
then you are limited in your choice of armor. Two weapons can be
useful, and so can the racial enemy, but I don't think that makes up for
their deficiencies. Also, their druid spells are rather weak when you
finally get them.
Ed. Note: Which is why I like Cleric/Rangers. Complements the Ranger
Paladins are a better choice--they can lay on hands, better saving
throws, cast protection from evil, are immune to disease, and can cure
disease, and can cast cleric spells (although the spells are only a
minor help late in the game).
I haven't played with bards yet so I can only speculate, but there are
some cool items that only they can use, and they can cast spells and
sing for your party so they could be very helpful--- also I think that
there are some places in the game where bards can do things that other
classes can't (Talking to the Sea-Elf in Easthaven, the bard can sing to
her for extra xp's).
When choosing a race for your class stick mostly to elves, half-elves and
humans. However, Dwarven fighters can have a 19 constitution and their
hit points can really get up there, also dwarves are very resistant to
poison, and have some resistance to magic. Elves and Half-Elves have a
resistance to sleep and charm related spells (90% for elves and 30% for
Half-Elves--if they followed AD&D rules on this) Personally, I have
never had much use for gnomes and halflings (big noses and hairy feet,
Note, the resistances are implemented as Saving Throw Bonuses
Gnome +5 vs Rod/Staff/Wand and Spells
Dwarf +5 vs Paralyze/Poison/Death, Rod/Staff/Wand and Spells
Halfling +5 vs Paralyze/Poison/Death, Rod/Staff/Wand and Spells
Different classes also have different saving throw bonuses.
My 1st party -- Human Male Fighter
Half Elven Female Ranger
Human Male Fighter
Elven Female Mage/Thief
Dwarven Female Cleric (just for fun)
Elven Male Conjurer
this party got the job done, but this is where I learned of some
problems with the classes-
My new party -- Human Male Fighter
Human Male Paladin
Dwarven Male Fighter
Elven Female Mage/Thief
Elven Male Druid
Human Female Conjurer
Ed. Note: With the Druid above, I'd start with a Fighter, then at level 2
dual over to a Druid. This way, once your Druid hits level 3,
then they can wear normal armors and weapons.
Souma's Party Making Strategies:
My first time through I played with 6 characters (Human Paladin, Dwarven
Fighter/Thief, Human Cleric, Human Ranger, Elven Fighter/Mage and Half-Elf
Bard) and had a pretty rough old time as I got to grips with the way the game
works. All in all, it wasn't too tough. My second time 4 (Human Fighter, Elf
Thief, Half-Elf Druid and Half-Elf Mage) and I had great fun using all those
abilities that a fighter heavy party lets rust as they pound through a
dungeon (it's a lot different when only 1 party member can use the big
missile weapons like longbows and crossbows!). For my third time through, I'm
testing what I suspect to be the "ultimate" party. I'll cover them one at a
time (there are only 3).
I've taken a Halfling Fighter/Thief as my front character. This gives me all
the thiefly skills you need from the get go (you do not want to be hit by
traps with a small party!) and a sturdy fighter. I also look forward to
casting Haste spells on her without fear of her becoming exhausted (due to
the halfling/gnome only helmet, Helm of the Trusted Defender). As her max Str
is only 17 though, I will be using up Giant Strength Potions as I find them
to make her into a killing machine (especially when she backstabs!). Once you
reach Kuldahar you can equip her with Plate Armor, a +2 Ring of Protection
(from Oswald), the Helm of the Trusted Defender and a shield (magical if you
get one) for a total of about -7 AC. That's just awesome and the monsters
will have no idea of how to hurt you for a long time (short of a lucky 20 on
the hit roll). I've specialized her in Bows and Large Swords and recommend
specializing in Axe (so as to take advantage of the Battleaxe +2 Defender and
Throwing Axe +2) or Small Swords (to get another weapon you can backstab
with) after that.
For my second character I've picked a Human Ranger with the intention of
dual classing to cleric once I reach level 9 (thus allowing me to reach
level 14 and have access to all cleric/druid spells in the game). I picked
specialization in Missile Weapons and Mace and have been running around with
Slings and Morning Stars. As I leveled I also specialized in Hammers so as
to be able to use Conlan's Hammer to the best of her ability. I picked
Skeletal Undead as her racial enemy and have been going through them like
holes in swiss cheese. With the extra attack that Rangers get with any
single-handed weapon and no shield, my Ranger really lays on the hurt in
close combat and has been known to kill as much as both the other characters
put together. If I can remember it, I'll also be looking forward to using
the Charm Animal special ability on as many Winter Wolves as I can (sneak up
on them, use the skill and maybe they won't even get to ice breath me). When
I dual to Cleric, I will be able to use both Druid and Cleric spells making
her an awesome powerhouse of enhancement, healing and attack spells. I've
found that I really haven't needed a cleric so far (right up to the end of
the Dragon's Eye)...
For my third character I've picked a Human Fighter with the intention of
dual classing to Mage (Conjurer if I can) once I reach level 9 (thus
allowing my to reach level 14 and have access to the highest mage level in
the game). I started off with specialisation in crossbow and large swords
and then increased that to mastery in both. I find that a mage is not really
necessary early in the game, and you should be able to go mage some time
around about the Elven Hand. Big hit points, massive strength, lots of
attacks, great armor, all the mage spells in the game. That's pretty
Note that with my characters I maximised their Strength, Constitution and
Dexterity first and then gave the Fighter/Thief max Charisma, the
Ranger>Cleric max Wisdom and the Fighter>Mage max Intelligence. It's very
munchkin behaviour, but IWD is a very munchkin game I think.
The benefits of this 3 character group should be made clear. Firstly, your
characters level up a lot faster, a couple of extra levels at every point in
the game makes a substantial difference. Secondly, the fewer characters you
have, the easier it is to focus your attacks and reducing the number of
monsters that can get to you in hand to hand. Thirdly, you have half the
number of characters to spread the best equipment over so each character
tends to be better equipped. Fourthly, you can sell off half the magical
stuff you'd normally have to keep, allowing you to buy stuff from the stores
earlier. Finally, because you have no magic users in the first half of the
game, you don't have to rest much (you can't either. Quaff healing potions
or get healed by a cleric or rest for weeks to get those hit points back.
Lucky you've got heaps of money eh?)
The main drawback of this party is in the early game when you have no lore
skill to speak of (10-20 lore on the 18 Wisdom ranger is just not enough!)
so you spend a fair chunk of money paying other people to identifying things
(or use up about 3 +4 Int potions in one go to get 25 Int for 50-60 lore and
you still won't identify everything). The fact that you don't have any
spells to speak off until you reach the elven hand is actually not as big a
deal as I thought it would be (although if you missed pickpocketing for
those two rings of free action you would be in deep trouble with clerics
that like casting hold person).
Let them come to you. When you first see an enemy, your first instinct may
be to run over to it and slaughter it. Well don't. Let it come to you,
and attack it there. This way if there are 50 more of these creatures,
they won't see you and won't attack. You can then pick off each creature
one at a time. This is especially useful in dungeons where the enemies may
be more difficult. So when you first see an enemy (let's say that it's a
Umber Hulk), turn off the AI (it's the left button in the bottom right
corner of the screen), and let him come up to you. You should also have
your archers/mages hit the enemy with everything they can, but don't move
any closer to the enemy! The last thing that you want is to fight TWO
Umber Hulks at the same time!
Secondly, KEEP YOUR PARTY TOGETHER! This is extremely important in IWD,
much more so than in Baldur's Gate. Think of it like the army. Those who
broke formation and ran out to meet the enemy were the first to die. So
keep your people together in a "turtle" formation.
E - Enemy
X - Fighter-type
A - Ranged-type (Mage & Archer)
E X A
E X A
The idea is to treat your party as a whole, rather than separate people.
Also realize that some monsters (like Yxunomei) require that you hit
them with Magic Weapons only. You should never use Magic Arrows on a
normal creature; you should save the special arrows for enemies that need
them, such as Imbued Wights, Iron Golems, etc.
Area spells can take out a lot of enemies without them even knowing that
you are there. Suppose for a moment, that you are walking along, and a
Giant comes to attack you. You immediately stop, wait for him to come to
you and kill him. Well, where there is one Giant there are probably more,
so you launch a fireball in the direction that the Giant came from, and
immediately hear the screams of dying Giants.
Leo Wang has this to add:
Take a character with the Hide in Shadows ability or a way to cast
Invisibility and scout out the area before doing any area-effect spells.
Example of where random fireballing can result in a bad situation: Mother
Egenia in the Troll Caves. The only place where scouting with an
invisible character won't work is Lower Dorn's Deep (the area immediately
after the Wyrm Tooth area, not the other areas of Lower Dorn's Deep), as
Tarnished Sentries can see invisible characters apparently.
Composite Long Bows can hit monsters outside of your "fog of war" area
sometimes. A good place for an example of this in action: The Orc caves
in the beginning--let your characters kill the two orcs in the beginning
by themselves without moving from the entrance (i.e. everyone's got a
ranged attack, so they don't need to move); if the first two characters
have Composite Long Bows, they will automatically pick off the third orc
in the black area without the orc fighting back.
Useful spells and tough Enemies
When fighting 2 or more difficult enemies use the Dire Charm spell (or
Domination, or Charm Animal, etc.) to quickly turn the odds in your favor.
If you have 2 magic users who can cast charm in the first round of a fight,
not only does the enemy lose two characters, you gain them temporarily (so
the odds change from 10 enemies vs. 6 of you to 8 enemies and 8 of you).
Once they are charmed, pull back your big bruisers from the front lines and
replace them by the newly acquired members while continually pelting the
remaining enemies with ranged weapons. If any charmed characters survive
the encounter, simply force-attack them to get rid of them.
Also, the spell Entangle is pretty useful to stop any melee intensive enemy
from hitting your party. Once entangled, they can't move and you can get
rid of them easily and safely with ranged weapons. The spell Web is also
good since a webbed creature can't even attack with a ranged weapon, but
the spell can last for several rounds and could eventually web some of your
own party members from round to round if they get in the affected area.
You can, of course, use Free Action (either by Item or by Spell) to keep
your party from being affected by these webs.
Monsters summoning and the Elemental Summons, are great spells. Although
the early summoned monsters do not do a lot of damage, their primary
purpose resides in the cannon fodder that they become. While they keep the
enemy busy, you can pick them off one by one with ranged weapons or spells
(saving all your potions, and more potent spells for later more powerful
enemies). Even the powerful Elementals best usage is to soak up the damage
Fireballs and those other major area effect spells should be used only to
weaken the enemy or for luring them to you and thus, do not memorize a lot
of these (memorize others, such as Fire Arrow instead). These major area
effect spells, when not cast at the right place, can literally damage your
whole party so unless you know exactly where to cast them, don't use them.
Keep them instead for when an area is completely filled with a group of
weaker enemies to get rid of them quickly and with minimal damage (happens
when you quickloads or loads a lot of times in the same map).
Jeremy Treanor has this to add:
I have a suggestion that wasn't mentioned in your general strategies. It
involves using a druid (or cleric? not sure if they get it) and having
them cast protection from fire on all the members of your party. This
spell lasts long enough that your mage who should know fireball becomes a
portable explosive. Basically, have your other characters surrounding the
mage as best they can when a group starts to surround you and launch a
fireball at your feet. This is especially useful in the aquarium and the
areas where you encounter snow and ice trolls.
Memorize a lot of Dispel Magic spells. Dispel Magic negates any magic
affecting your party (fear, horror, paralysis, entangle, slow, etc...)
while it can also be used to dispel the enemy magics that they use (haste,
minor globe of invulnerability, protection from normal missiles, etc...).
Dispel Magic is an Area Effect Spell, so don't forget that casting dispel
magic will negate both magics affecting your party and the enemy so knowing
when to cast what spell when is crucial in an important battle. Usually,
though, it is preferable to dispel everyone's magics than having one or
more of your party members being paralysed, charmed, running in fear,
Save a Lot:
There are 3 times when you should definitely save the game. When you win a
battle, before you go to sleep, and everywhere else. You never know when
you will go to a new area, have your best warrior charmed, and have half
your party killed. So save often. Also don't just save over the same slot
over and over, use at least 10 slots. This also means you should probably
avoid the Quick Save. Well... not avoid, just don't use it exclusively.
What I would do is to create an "Archive Save" whenever you enter a new
major area. So when you start the Vale of Shadows create a "Vale of
Shadows Beginning Save" so if you screw up, you can start over from the
start of the Vale.
That said, I have heard reports where game performance drags when someone
saves in TOO MANY DIFFERENT slots. I'm not sure how many it takes to drag
down performance, but I think you'll be safe between 10-15 saves.
Since at 18 INT you have only an 85% chance to successfully scribe a spell
from a scroll into your spellbook, I would recommend using Potions to
temporarily increase your INT to raise your success rate. The Potion of
Genius works great, but any potion that raises your INT is good. So, what
I usually did was this: I would wait until I had about 4 spells that
needed to be scribed, then I would use a potion and learn them all at once.
Unless, of course, I got a really really useful spell then I would learn it
as soon as I got it.
Alternatively you could just SAVE before you scribe any spell. If you fail
to learn it, then you can just reload and try again. I don't like this
method as much, but it's just as effective.
Don't have all your characters specialize in the same weapons. That is not
only boring, but counterproductive as well. If everyone in your party is
specialized in Long Swords, and you find a really cool axe, you are out of
luck! There is quite the penalty for using weapons that you aren't
familiar with. So I would recommend something like this:
Character 1: Long Swords and Great Swords
Character 2: Axes and Crossbows
Character 3: Halberds and Great Swords
and so forth...
If you have an Elf, specialize in Large Swords and Bows and if you have a
Halfling choose Missile and give them a Sling as they get a +1 THACO Bonus
and they can have 19 DEX giving them an extra point of Missile Damage.
Souma's Pickpocketing Advice
In Easthaven, the priest Everard has 2 Healing Potions you can pick pocket
from him. In Kuldahar, you can pick pocket a number of valuable items. The
archdruid Arundel has a Ring of Free Action that you can pick pocket. The
mage Orrick has a Ring of Free Action and a Necklace of Metaspell Influence
(gives an extra level 2 mage spell!) that can be pickpocketed. Oswald
Fiddlebender has a Necklace of Missiles (three or less charges of a 6d6
damage fireball usable by anyone), a Ring of Protection +2, 2 Oils of Fiery
Burning and a Firebreath Potion. On a side note, if you kill Oswald
Fiddlebender (-4 Reputation and important townsfolk become hostile) you get
Boots of Grounding (50% electricity resistance), a Golden Girdle (+3 AC vs
slashing), an Oil of Fiery Burning, a Fire Resistance Potion and some loose
change. Not too shabby. There may be some places later in the game where
you can get things by pick pocketing, but I can't recall them at this time.
In any case, the best of the items you can pick pocket is the Ring of Free
Action, a brilliant item that I've never found any other way. It allows all
sorts of cheeky tactics with Web spells and grants your main fighters
immunity from irritating hold person spells (it negates boots of speed
however, so it's not smart to combine the two). There are Free Action
potions and Free Action spells, but they don't give the 24 hrs a day
protection of the ring. In short, it is well worth the cost of investing up
to 40% in pick pockets (or taking a bard) so that you can grab these nice
Gameplay Specific Questions:
Q: What do I do with the Caravan Contract? Neither Pomab nor Hrothgar seem
to care about it.
A: Give it to the Fishmonger (he lives between Hrothgar's house and the
Tavern) for some experience.
Q: What's with that weird Aqua-Elf in the SW corner of Easthaven?
A: That "Aqua Elf" is part of a mini-subquest. There's a man a bit
further north of her, standing by the lake just mumbling to himself.
Talk to him to learn about her, then talk to her about it, and she gives
you a broken sword to give to him
Q: How do I get to Kuldahar?
A: Head east, cross the bridge, and leave the area to the east.
Q: There's this one locked door here that I can't open. How do I open it?
A: This door is where you would go to get to the Heart of Winter areas
(if you had Heart of Winter installed, that is). Heart of Winter is an
expansion pack to Icewind Dale, and can be purchased at a store near you.
Q: Where do I find Mirek's Family Heirloom?
A: In the Vale of Shadows, on the Yeti Chieftan. It's a necklace. You can
find the Yeti Chieftan just south of the Giant Statue in the center of
the Vale. Return it to Mirek for some experience (Mirek is the
frightened townsperson who first ran from the Yeti, I found him near the
Vale of Shadows
Q: I'm in the final crypt in the Vale of Shadows. I have the gate key and
the sanctum key but neither seems to open the gate that is in the middle
of the crypt (the one with the blue pools of skeleton goo.) How do I get
this gate open?
A: Go through the doors to the left, and search the coffin there to get the
Priest's Key. Take that key, and open the doors to the right. Search
this coffin to pick up Myrkul's Holy Symbol. Now with the Holy Symbol,
you can now open the big double doors.
Q: I am at this big GEAR DOOR, and I can't figure out how to open it. Is
there a switch that I need to find?
A: Yes there is! Just to the south of the door is a triangle with three
pillars, check the pillar on the lower right (that is, the one farthest
from the door), and on the left side of the pillar is the switch. Switch
it to open.
Q: OK, I found the switch on the Column, but it says that it is locked? Now
A: The "key" for the switch is the Black Wolf Talisman, which can be found
on a skeleton which can be found by heading almost directly south from
the column. This leads to an "L" shaped room, there is a door in the
southern end of this room that leads to the room with the skeleton in it.
Getting into this room requires the use of the Plain Key, which is found
through the Northeast passage in a similar L shaped room.
Q: I went through the Crypt in the vale, and found this skeletal knight
(Kresselack) who asked me to find and eliminate a Priestess. Where is
A: You can only do this once you have agreed to kill her. You must go out
of the crypt, and back into the vale. Now, on this screen you want to
head into the cave in the bottom-middle of the area (just south of the
Statue in the center of the area). This is a Yeti cave, rather than a
crypt. Go inside, and she'll be there.
After killing the frostmaiden priestess go back to the tavern and talk to
the barkeeper. He will say that he wants to throw away her items, and if
you say the right things he will pass them on to you. I got an ice
mantle which is very nice item with +30 to ice/fire resistance. Plus
some other stuff as well. (from Mike Gan)
Q: So, how do I open Kresselack's coffin? I can't KNOCK it, BASH it, or
A: Just kill the Priestess and then talk to Kresselack again. Then it will
be automatically opened for you.
Temple of the Lost God
Q: I got to the end of this area, but found nothing. Where is the Gem?
A: Not here, someone has beaten you to it. Head back to Arundel for more
Q: I'm in Dragon's Eye, and there are these weird Peaceful Monks here, and
they don't let me go in all these doors. What's their deal?
A: If you wander around there enough you'll start picking up clues about
them. Go check out their carpet, or the books in their library to learn
that they are up to no good. Make sure you're ready for a fight though,
these Monks are nasty, and they like to summon more monsters as well.
Q: OK, I cleared the Monks area out, so where's the Heartstone Gem?
A: It's on a later level in Dragon's Eye. Head to the next level via the
passage in the SE of the area. When you find the BOSS, you'll find the
Q: I cannot seem to damage this BOSS (Yxunomei) at all! How do I kill her?
A: With magical weapons. I'm not entirely clear on what it requires to kill
her since Erevain's Broadsword didn't hurt her, and Conlan's Hammer does.
(Both are +2 weapons) To get Conlan's Hammer, once Sheemish has been
rescued, go back to Kuldahar, visit the Smithy and talk to Sheemish to
get the key to the chest that contains the Hammer.
Adonis has some insight on this:
[Yxunomei] has to be hit by +3 weapons or better. The +2 arrows hit
her because they are launched by +1 bows, total +3. Conlan's hammer
hits her because it is capable of hitting anything that requires a
magic weapon to hit regardless of it's plus factor. This is why
Erevain's broadsword can't hit her; it's only plus 2.
Q: I fought the Big Evil Snake Goddess (Yxunomei), but was unable to kill
her so I went back to the previous level to rest up. But when I
returned, she wasn't where she should be! Where'd she go?
A: She can be found in the very NW corner of this area. However, this
doesn't happen if you have the latest patch installed.
Q: I returned to Kuldahar after Dragon's Eye, but now Arundel is dead. What
do I do now?
A: What you have seen is the false Arundel on the main floor disappear. Go
upstairs to find the real Arundel to get to the next area.
Shattered Hand (aka Severed Hand)
Q: Where is the Severed Hand? I can't find it on my map.
A: You have to scroll the map down to find the Severed Hand. This can be
done either by clicking and dragging the mouse, or by using the arrow
buttons in the top right corner.
Q: This Elf in the Arboretum has asked for animals, or seeds, where can I
A: You don't find these in the Hand, but don't worry, you will bump into
these things eventually. You will find the Pure Water in Wyrm's Tooth
(near the frozen aquarium) in the frost giant's cave. The animals and
seeds can both be found in Lower Dorn's Deep from Nym.
Q: In the Shattered Hand, I need to find Larrel... where is he?
A: As you go up the tower, it eventually splits into five smaller towers, or
fingers. You want to go in the far right tower, up that until you get
the option of going to a passage to the left. Go across the skybridge,
and over to another tower. Go up the stairs here, up the next stairs and
you'll be in the Astrolabe, with Larrel.
Q: In the library in the Shattered Hand, are any of these books important?
A: As far as I know, only the book on the Mythal has any significance, which
you give to Orrick back in Kuldahar.
Q: OK... Larrel seems to want me to fix the Astrolabe, how do I do that?
A: By giving his companion machinery pieces. The first is found in the War
Room, the second on Kaylessa (she'll let you fight for it when you "free"
her subordinates on the levels above her), the third is found in the
southern tower, in a chest guarded by some Shadow Clerics, the fourth is
found several levels below: to get there you have to take the Lift down
(the Lift can be found one level below the level where the five towers
split off) and then go down the stairs, search the area to find it. Give
all four pieces to the Mage there, then when the machine is finished,
talk to Larrel and he'll be a bit more forthcoming.
Q: In the Dorn's Deep cavern (with all the pretty mushrooms), where do I go?
A: Your eventual goal is the main Dwarven Complex, which is in the lower
right of the area. Go to the center of the area to the giant statues,
and go right from those. Since that leads to the next areas in the game,
you'll probably want to explore the other areas first.
Q: Also in Dorn's Deep Cavern, I can see another building in the very top
right of the map, but I can't find a way to get there. So, how DO you
get up that way?
A: Go all the way back to the beginning. Now there is a small path that
leads all the way to the right, along the side of the wall. It's kinda
hard to see at first, but it's there. Along the way there is a cave with
some Orog's (but nothing else, really). Go into the building in the Top
Right, and talk to Bandoth. You won't ever really get anything of
interest out of him, EXCEPT that you can BARTER with him for some really
cool spells! (and potions too, but you can get those anywhere) Be
careful while talking to him, as he might attack you. (and if you beat
him you get neither experience nor any items!)
Q: Can I do anything with the bottle of Razorvine Extract? Or were the
developers just having fun?
A: You can find the Bottle on a corpse in the Ettin's Lair (the big cave in
the bottom part of the area), and it calls itself then "Razorvine Extract
-- Property of Mourns-for-Trees." If you never played Torment, that
won't really make sense to you.
The container of Razor-vine extract is part of a mini-quest. If you
talk to Bandoth (in the tower in the NE of Upper Dorn's he will ask you
to find his apprentice and return the extract. (from ERSKINE)
However, you MUST talk to Bandoth before retrieving the Razorvine Extract
else this quest is really buggy. (Once he attacked me, and another time
he simply didn't bring up the quest) (partially from Scott Werner)
Q: In Dorn's Deep, I met an Umber Hulk named Saablik Tan who asked me to
retrieve a badge for him. Where do I find it?
A: Go right, and south to find an Orog who will talk to you. Kill him and
take the badge. Return it to Saablik for experience. Also, you're going
to need to gather 6 of these badges.
Q: In Dorn's Deep, I found a secret door in a Dwarven Round Table Room,
which lead to a big circular trap thing. I've wandered around it with my
Thief, but can't disarm the traps. What do I do??
A: This is a puzzle! If you look at the three statues it will show you what
you are supposed to do. Anyway, here's the solution. The idea here is
to disarm the three rings of the trap. So, moving around the edges,
careful not to step on any of the RUNED squares, move to the top right
and step on the tile that looks like an ANVIL & HAMMER. You have now
unlocked the outer ring. Now move around to the bottom, careful not to
touch any of the inner ring tiles, and step on the tile with the TWO
CROSSED SWORDS. Finally move around to the upper left and step on the
tile with the two INTERLOCKING CIRCLES to disarm the entire trap. Now go
back to the conference room, and the Dwarf Statue just to the right of
the secret passage will have his Hammer down, click on the hammer, and
then go back through the secret passage. There will now be a set of
Q: I killed the Lich, but he keeps coming back. How do I finally get rid of
A: You have to get rid of his life force. In the Hall of Heroes, in one of
the left crypts you will find Terrikan's Phylactery, this is the essence
of the Lich, and is needed to destroy him. Now take this item to
Jamoth's crypt, which is the second one from the entrance on the right
side. The phylactery will vanish, and so too will the Lich.
Q: I found Evayne's Diary (Larrel's Daughter) is there anything that I
should do with it?
A: Yes, take it to Larrel, and get yourself some Experience! Sure it means
going all the way back to the Shattered Hand, but what else were you
going to do with it? He doesn't actually TAKE the journal, so just leave
it there when you're done.
Q: And then how do I get through those big double doors in the Hall of
A: Go back to the spirit you talked to about Terrikan, and you'll get some
experience. (He's moved to the bottom of the stairs) Now check the
caldron on the statue to open a small compartment. Check inside for the
key to the doors.
Q: Is there anywhere to REST in Dorn's Deep? Seems like it won't let me
A: After the Dwarven Conference Room, you won't be able to rest until you
hit the glacier. Which means that you have to do the entire Lich thing
You can, actually, rest in the Forge Room (where the Ghost is). There is
a chance of monsters here, though.
Q: I'm now in the Glacier area, where now?
A: Go south and you'll find a broken bridge. That is your overall goal for
this area, to repair that bridge. Head into that large building
(Aquarium, I suppose) and talk to the Ice Salamanders there. They won't
attack, and think that you were sent by the BOSS. Whatever. Head down
the stairs that are located just to the left of the entrance to find the
Q: In the Aquarium, I keep getting damaged! Who is attacking me?
A: In the frozen aquarium you are getting damaged by walking too
close to the frost salamanders, if you try to walk around them as much
as possible then you will cut down the damage, but occasionally you
can't avoid passing close to them. (from ERSKINE)
Q: I met a woman named Vera in the western part of this area, who is she,
and what's she doing here?
A: Vera was instrumental in the slave revolt, and is now hiding out from the
Salamanders. Talk to her if you want, then drop down the stairs and tell
Garth about her (he's one of the slaves at the far right) for some
Q: How do I get the slaves out? Do I have to fight all those Salamanders?
A: No, you don't have to fight them, as long as they still think that you
are working for the BOSS. Before doing this, be sure to get the Book on
Suspension (to fix the bridge with) from Soth (see the next question for
more information). Anyway, talk to Gareth, and he'll reveal that they
have found a new way out, but that they need a key. Then go back to
Kerish (the Salamander leader, located at the far right in the Aquarium)
and ask for the key. He'll give it to you if you say that you'll keep
the slaves from escaping. Give the key to Gareth and all the slaves will
be free, and you get some experience for your trouble. If you go back
upstairs after freeing the slaves, you will be attacked. Oh, and if you
go back to Vera and talk to her after the slaves are freed, you get more
If you want, you can follow the slaves out. It leads to a new area. To
get back to the main map, go up and right, to go back to Wyrm's Tooth go
down and left, and to go to the next chapter, go down and right (but we
still have things to do in this chapter).
Q: So, how do I fix that bridge?
A: Once you're on the lower level of the Aquarium (it's really a temple, but
since it has fish in it, I call it an Aquarium), talk to Soth at the far
left. Ask him about the books, and ask for a book on bridges. I suppose
that you can only do this after you've SEEN the broken bridge. He'll
give you a book on suspension and the like, and you also get some
experience. Walk back to the bridge, and when you get near it, it will
automatically get repaired, and you get some experience.
Q: What do I need to accomplish in this cave?
A: Just head west until you run into some Frost Giants. One of them is the
BOSS of this area, Joril. Kill him and take his pendant, which is the
second part of the six part key. That's all you need to do in this cave,
although there are a lot of other cool things in here... such as a lot
more Frost Giants! (and their treasures!) There are also some slaves to
be freed, and some dragons to be slain (ok, they are only small wyrms,
but still, also search where the Wyrms were for a couple of treasures).
When you're done with this, leave the cave, and go back to the earlier
area (it's reached from the top right of this map), and then take the
lower right passage to reach the next chapter.
Scott Werner has another method of getting Joril's Badge:
I actually managed to talk Joril out of his pendant. My paladin (18
charisma) convinced him that the BOSS was disappointed in him and
insinuated if he didn't hand over the pendant to us that he'd be killed
(if not by us, then by someone more powerful later on). I received
experience for talking him out of the pendant, experience for
retrieving the pendant, and experience for later killing him.
Q: What do I do with the Barrel of Pure Water that I found when I defeated
the follower of Auril?
A: Take it to the Arboretum in the Shattered Hand, and give it to its Elven
Caretaker, Valestis, of course! You get experience for this.
Lower Dorn's Deep (fire Salamander area)
Q: How do I get into the Watchtower in the SE (lower right) of this area?
A: Go across the bridge into the top right of this area, and there will be
a gnomish girl named FENGLA, who will give you the key to the watchtower.
Now go inside, and kill all the archers here (they all have about 40
Arrows of Piercing so ... beware). When you clear out all the archers,
Fengla reappears, thanks you, and you get some experience, as well as the
satisfaction in knowing that you have helped some gnomes out. Whee.
Q: So what do I do here?
A: Go into the door at the very top of the map (it's sorta in the middle,
and has a Blue Thing above it) here to get into the Boarded Up City. I
would assume that this was a Deep Gnome city before it was taken over by
this Umber Hulk horde. We want to go north into the weird Green
Building. Once inside, head right and up to find Malavon. Be careful
with this one, it's one of the more difficult battles in the game. Once
Malavon is gone take the third Emblem (of six).
ERSKINE had this to add:
In the deep gnome area with the green dome--- on the left side, about
2/3 of the way north there is a building that you can enter and find a
corpse-- if you search the corpse it appears to be just a normal long
sword he was carrying-- but it is actually "PALE JUSTICE" a sort of
"Holy Avenger"-- it just doesn't appear to be magical but it is
actually extremely powerful, and you can sell it for a whole 15-30 gp
(I guess the merchants are really as dumb as we think).
Ed. Note: You don't actually ENTER the building as you would, say to
go into a shop. You merely go THROUGH the building, like a
Also one of the designers (JE Sawyer) has pointed out that
since the Pale Justice looks and acts like a normal sword to
anyone but a Paladin, that is why it sells so poorly.
Q: What's with those weird drawings of EYES on the ground?
A: They're traps.
Q: In the Boarded Up City, is there anything to do besides going into the
large green obvious building?
A: There are a couple of barrels with some treasure (I got spells) in about
the center of the area, just south of the green building. Beyond that,
just some Umber Hulks to go through, and a big green building to go into.
Q: What do I do with these Seeds that I found in Malavon's room?
A: Take them to the Arboretum in the Severed Hand, of course!
Q: What is with this garden-type room? There seems to be a never ending
stream of monsters here!
A: You have to take out the "screamers" (the stationary mushrooms) in order
to stop new monsters from coming in.
Q: OK, I've taken out Malavon, now where?
A: To take out Ilmadia, of course! From the Boarded City (the area which
has Malavon's massive green laboratory), go south through the RIGHT
passage to get to the garden. From the garden take the South East (lower