50 Alchemy at Level 1

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50 Alchemy at Level 1

Postby SentinelBasch » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:34 am


First, thank you all for a great game! I am really enjoying it.

I am starting a new character on the HD version, and am trying to get my alchemy skill to 50 in Matras, to make some permanent attribute potions at Level 1. I'm sure this is easy in the expansions, but I am wanting to stay in the base game for a little while on this run.

The most I can start with and/or train to is 20. From there I can equip the staff and the butterfly sword (or two butterfly swords) and enchant to +12. I can then do the leather cape, the frayed cap and the padded leggings to add another +12, bringing me to 44 alchemy. Even with the +3 book from the starter dungeon (which I would rather save), that would only bring me to 47.

I marked the storehouse and recalled to it several times after 7 days, but couldn't find any items to enchant further.

Do I have to make a run to Vastares to get to 50 or am I missing something?

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Re: 50 Alchemy at Level 1

Postby Elendil / Redshift » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:36 am

Glad you are enjoying the game!

I see you are not a beginner. :D Unfortunately, I can't help you, I have no idea if what you are interested in is possible or not.

But you don't need to save any skill books in the updated game. The skill limit has been raised to 500.
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Re: 50 Alchemy at Level 1

Postby SentinelBasch » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:46 pm

Thank you very much for the response!

I'll keep that in mind about the skill books. That would still leave me with 3 alchemy to go. Maybe tonight I'll try killing some archers and robbers to see if they drop any other enchantable gear I could use. 400 XP just goes so quickly. :D

In a worst case I know reaching 50 alchemy (or 75 alchemy for that matter) would be very easy in Vastares, but I usually like to take my time and not rush into other areas prematurely.

Thanks again!
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Re: 50 Alchemy at Level 1

Postby SentinelBasch » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:41 am

I come back home tonight and see that The Quest was updated, and then I see HOL2! :D Maybe I just wasn't meant to figure this out before tonight. I grabbed it up and I guess I'll delve in further and see if permanent gush made its way here yet, and if so, here's hoping I have a chance of making one at 50 alchemy.

I did spam a highwayman for a bit and he dropped various books, but no alchemy one yet.
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Re: 50 Alchemy at Level 1

Postby SentinelBasch » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:17 pm

Well, I made several robot oil in Matras, and found out I can't sell them, because they are miscellaneous items. I guess I can only sell them in HOL. I guess you can only use them in HOL, too, they're not even showing up as a potion in my menu. :cry:

Also, it appears that permanent gush potions didn't make their way into HOLII, as they are not showing up as an option to make in the alchemy window. I guess I'll work with the standard ones for now, at least until HOLIII.

Getting close to 50 alchemy!
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Re: 50 Alchemy at Level 1

Postby Catacomber » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:20 am

I answered your questions where you asked in the Zarista Games HOLII thread but I'll repeat them here. It's very important to remember that HOLII HD is very different in many ways and in some very major ways from the Classic version.

It had different testers who had different ideas of what should and should not make its way into the game.

While the old guides are still in many cases useful, they can also be misleading. So it's better to play the HD versions of the expansions as though you'd never played them before and ask if you have a question, as you did.

I may have scattered some Permanent Gush around but it was considered by at least one tester to be too strong for HOLII so you can't make it. Maybe in the next expansion. In fact, I can confirm there is at least one Permanent Gush lying around in the HD version because I have one in my backpack. : ) If it was on the ground, it will respawn.

Robot Oil is a miscellaneous item. It can't be made and isn't normally available in shops.
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Re: 50 Alchemy at Level 1

Postby SentinelBasch » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:25 am

Thanks again! I did figure out how to start making permanent attribute potions at Level 1 and before going to Vastares, so for those who might be interested, please see below. Please note this is for the current version of The Quest, and not the classic version, but the process may be similar. It is not for the impatient. :)

Starting character: I chose a Derth, but this should work with any race, as long as they have at least 10 intelligence.

Any primary skill setup will also work, although if you include block and attack magic, it might make this slightly easier. My setup is block, light weapon, heavy armor, attack magic, environment magic, and alchemy. Starting out with alchemy as a primary skill is helpful, but not necessary. You can still reach 20 base alchemy in Matras regardless, as long as you have 10 intelligence (the max base value you can have of any skill is 2x the controlling attribute - for alchemy, it's intelligence). You can use books to exceed these values, but it is not necessary in this guide.

Start the game and make your way into the nearby city of Matras. If you start as a Derth, you will have to fight a bat to get there - 25 XP. Once in Matras, you will be alternating between playing cards and creating potions to make as much money as possible. To make a permanent attribute potion, you will need at least 50 alchemy to have a chance (you will still occasionally fail at this level). In Matras, your goal is to reach 44 alchemy. You can enchant gear with Ithulde at the magic shop, at a cost of 100 gold per 1 point of alchemy.

Base Alchemy: 20 (You can train with the alchemist to reach this)
Frayed Cap (from tailor): Enchant for +3 alchemy
Padded Leggings (from tailor): Enchant for +3 alchemy
Leather Cape (from tailor): Enchant for +6 alchemy
Butterfly Shortword (from blacksmith): Enchant for +6 alchemy
Butterfly Shortword (from blacksmith): Enchant for +6 alchemy

You can use a Staff in the primary slot instead of a Butterfly Shortword, but it's more expensive. Save before entering the shops for the 1st time each day. If you don't find the equipment you want, load and try again. Shops change their inventory every 24 hours.

It's highly recommended that you get the Mark, Recall, and Stone Skin spells. All are available from Ithulde in the magic shop. As a Derth, you start with the Cure Light Wounds and Burning Hand spells, but if you don't have them, they are recommended as well. You can also get some heavy armor to fill out the other gear slots, if desired.

Before you leave Matras, do the following:

1. MAKE A SEPARATE SAVE! This is very important in case something goes wrong or you end up somewhere you don't want to be.
2. Cast the Mark spell in or near Matras.
3. Equip your shield.
4. Make 2-3 homemade restore mana potions, or buy them at the alchemist shop.

Your next destination is the Dungeon of Blood. To get there, head out the south entrance of Matras. Check your map and you should be in the Garden of Matras. Keep heading south to the next map area and you will be in the Passageway. Keep heading south until you reach the top row of the Bushland area. You will encounter a Young Archer. As long as you have your shield equipped, you should be able to handle her hits without an issue, and can just ignore her. You can always save after each step and assess the damage, reloading as needed.

From the top row of the Bushland, head east into the Forest of Blood. Keep heading east on this map until you can turn south and see an NPC character in the distance. Head to this NPC and ignore the thief enemies in the process. You should also be able to handle their blows, but if your health drops too low, cast Cure Light Wounds. Talk to the NPC and accept his quest. He will give you a key which is required to proceed with this guide. Turn to the east and face the ladder. Before going to the ladder, MAKE ANOTHER SEPARATE SAVE.

Climb down the ladder. Move forward and open the gate. Cast Stone Skin and the (2) thief enemies will engage you. With the setup I mentioned earlier, it will only take (2) Burning Hand spells to eliminate both of them. This spell will hit all enemies that are directly in front of you, so if one of them moves away, just attack until they are both in front of you again.

Once they are defeated, move forward and turn right. Open the door using the key that you just obtained, and press the attack icon to move the (2) new thief enemies forward. The highwayman hits a bit hard at this level, but with the shield and Stone Skin spell you should be fine (again, heal if you need to). The highwayman should go down with (3) Burning Hand spells, and the other with (2). This is all the enemies you have to defeat, and this should put you at 305 XP/400 XP needed for Level 2. If you didn't have to fight a bat as a Derth, then you will be at 280 XP/400 XP.

Once they are defeated, move forward to the golden shelf directly in front of you. This shelf will have (1) item from a very long list. Many of the items are really great for this point in the game, but at this point you are looking for a piece of gear that is at least moderately enchantable, that is equippable in a slot where you do not currently have enchanted gear (the body armor and hand armor are both good choices). I ended up with a High-quality Quilted Armor. It has 400 enchant storage - you can only enchant to 150 with Ithulde so the other will be wasted, but this is enough for now. If you do not obtain an appropriate piece of gear, reload your separate save from before you entered the dungeon and try again.

Loot the other items in this room, but before you leave, cast Mark while standing directly next to the golden shelf. This will let you cast Recall to this point later on. Dungeon items respawn every (7) days, but they are set as soon as you enter the dungeon, so being able to warp directly here will save you a lot of time in case it's an item you don't want.

Recall back to Matras, return to Ithulde and enchant your new item. As long as it is at least moderately enchantable, you should be able to add at least +6 alchemy, which puts you directly at 50 alchemy, the minimum required to make permanent attribute potions, which will add +1 to the attribute of your choice (if you want to boost dexterity or personality, you will have to advance a bit further in the game before three full ingredients will be available).

The potion will show as "? Unknown" in the mix list. At 50 alchemy (or 54 where I ended up at), you are likely to fail several times, so save before each attempt. You can check this great guide for more information on which ingredients you need:


Permanent attribute potions also sell for a pretty good amount of money. The easiest one to make in Matras is the permanent strength potion. You can buy Power Berries, Lady's Slippers, and Old Kings Follies in high quantity from the Matras alchemist. At 14 Appraise, I can buy these ingredients for 30 gold, and sell the potion for 257 gold.

Note: You can only use (1) permanent attribute potion at each level. If you advance a level without using one, then you've missed out. It's not critical if you miss out, but those extra stats can help a bit over the long run (or if you are a min-maxer like I am). As Catacomber mentioned above, in the HOL2 expansion there is at least (1) permanent gush potion in the field somewhere, so if you find it, you can boost multiple stats at once. I don't recommend you try to find it at Level 1, unless you're a masochist. :D

Money-making tips:

1. The card game in the tavern is your friend. You can bet up to 50 gold each time. I recommend the necromancer deck. Taking the time to learn your cards and the cards from other decks will make the process a bit faster. It helps a lot holding your powerful necromancer cards until you can use (2) of them effectively (if you have a card to double their effects, even better!) To see if your opponent has any healing cards, you can get them down to 19 HP, at which point they will typically use a healing card if they have one. Also, be mindful if your opponent has any damage-reducing cards and plan accordingly - it's usually better to wait until those cards have expired before using any powerful cards. Also, if your opponent has a card in play that regenerates their health per turn, it goes into effect after you play your card (so if your opponent has 15 HP and regenerates 1 HP per turn, using a card that damages their HP by 15 will still defeat them, barring any damage-reducing cards). Finally, if a card damages both you and your opponent and using it would reduce both of your HP levels to 0, you will usually win if you use it.

2. You can mix some potions as you raise your alchemy to get a bit of a break from cards. You can mix a Crimini Vulgaris and a Power Berry to get Resist Magic potions (sell for ~51 gold), and you can mix Lady's Slipper flower and Old Kings Folly flower to get Fortify Strength potions (sell for ~51 gold). You can mix (2) Toadstools together to get Cure Plague Disease potions (sell for ~77 gold). All of these ingredients are available in variously high quantities at the Matras alchemist (again, you can save before talking to him for the 1st time each day and reload to get the quantities you want).

Have fun!
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