my own n00b submission: http://www.silverchat.com/~silver/img/e ... arrett.jpg
I wasn't actually going for a speed-run, I was purely going for minimal experience, so I sneaked to Blackwater first so I could grab the burglar's gloves and pick up a copy of poison spray. THEN I got the three eastern keys and the amulet. my quest journal (not shown) is, incidentally, empty - I never read any of the sealed letters, never talked to Maddock, my brother or Erudar or the giant chief (yes, giants were chasing me out of their village, but it was night time when I was there, so I did not have to run far) and never even saw Lilith.
poison spray allowed me to kill the only 4 monsters I killed without gaining experience (two goblin warlords, dimensional eye, and raptor, of course), and the gloves lowered the experience I got from the only place I got experience that wasn't forced: the two unbreakable doors in the crypt leading to my amulet - where I got 8 experience for the crypt front door, and 28 for the crypt security door.
the forced experience was 150 to get into the UR, 250 for opening my vault, 1250 for using the four keys.
I spent 1201 gold: 1000 on poison spray, 100 to get into Blackwater, 70 on a mercury (I boosted the ectoplasm in Shadowmirk, naturally), 6 on three stones, and 25 to ID the copy of Embrace the Night next to the burglar's gloves. Using the gloves I could pick my way into the free potion of ogre strength in Aridell, and into the room with the note about how to get into the UR, both without gaining experience (but ended up bashing the door in Shadowmirk, which took a longish amount of time). the three stones were so I could take the back way into Grimmhold (there's a barrel in the way, in a lit place with archers. but a gunpowder keg next to it), get through the boom room (after carefully leading all the goblins out of it so that they wouldn't die!), and pop the switch over the super-duper fire trap in the citadel.
in the bottom two pictures we see two version of the minimal experience to get the good ending: either stay at level 1 and have a 16% chance of getting 68+2500 experience, or actually take the level up (boo!) and spend 5 points (3 new ones, 2 leftover from initial build) on pick locks and 3 on dexterity to go to a 41% chance of getting 18+2500 experience.
so there are basically two ways (only) to get less experience: get more dexterity and/or intelligence in initial build (do they have an equal effect on lock picking?), and/or luck into a copy of the lock picking book (I tried to get that for a LONG time before deciding stores weren't stocking it and chests weren't holding it while I was level 1. but it might be a fixed loot somewhere not too obnoxious to get to). but, even then, you can only shave up to 36 experience off my score (or 54 for the good ending, or 104 for the good ending while level 1, which has more style points)
from a speed-run perspective, I clearly over-looted by 532 gold, but I thought I would get to buy a copy of the lock picking book, and, in any case, a speed runner would not have spent so much time waiting for nightfall, preferring instead to quaff haste potions and run through places in daylight.
oh, I never quaffed a single potion. I sold them all except one of my initial healing potions (which I had to use to open a door, of course). I never lit any lights (I only have so many torches because I was doing the opposite in places I wanted to sneak about). I only used unarmed combat to bash one barrel (in Vela, to get to the goblin lord) and a door in Shadowmirk (and maybe one other door I forgot). I never wielded a weapon (except the aforementioned stones), or wore any armor (except the aforementioned gloves, which I only put on when I needed to pick a lock). the only spell I knew was poison spray, which I used on only the four forced kills.
it was tricky in a couple places, but fun.