The Abominable Party-Building Topic

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AuthorTopic: The Abominable Party-Building Topic
Warrior
Member # 1250
Profile #25
So, in short, has this thread refuted the original four-character party originally put forth, of a human tank, two nephil archer-priests, and a human mage priest, using the (advantageous) "disadvantages" to boost level gain?

I, for one, am still up in the air on the strategy of giving "disadvantages" for level gain and giving "advantages" to *slow* level gain.

Also, I'd pretty much agree about mage spells... with a few exceptions (soul capture/simulcrum, create illusions, etc.), they're not that great. Priest spells are great.

Anyhow, just thought I'd chime in... I've been slacking at playing BoA ever since I stalled in Bahssikava... I might just build a party along these lines in the HLPM or just edit one up. There are scenarios coming out that I want to enjoy.
Posts: 93 | Registered: Saturday, June 1 2002 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 3811
Profile #26
Divinely Touched does give some cool abilities but I haven't found them that useful after the first couple levels.

Strong Will is more useful for party fighters than singletons -- it keeps your melee specialists from becoming a threat to your spellcasters. If you get controlled or possessed as a solo, you're essentially invulnerable until the effect passes, sometimes leaving you in a better strategic position and sometimes worse. Mind control has saved my solo chars' lives a couple times.

Fast on Feet is a necessity for a solo. Toughness is very helpful. Elite Warrior or Natural Mage, depending on whether you want to emphasize melee or magic, also help make a commando char.

None of these advantages are really necessary to make a solo char; for more challenge, you could make a character with only vulnerabilities, level fast and still pull it off at torment level. Even the skill concentrations are less important than how you use them. What really matters is tactics.
Posts: 25 | Registered: Sunday, December 21 2003 08:00
Warrior
Member # 1250
Profile #27
Sorry for the practically-double post, but I just had to ask... do many of you use the pre-made classes (Berzerker, Archer, Rebel, etc.) or do you just go with a Custom?
Posts: 93 | Registered: Saturday, June 1 2002 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #28
For once, I'm going to disagree with Creator and Thuryl on tactics!

Mage and Priest spells are very expensive at high levels, add +1 Bonus to the chosen type of spell, and +3 spell points. Intelligence, which is usually cheaper than Mage or Priest spells, gives you +1 Bonus to both types of spells and +3 spell points (and a mage will never be hurting for magic resistance). Thus when you have more than you need for whichever spells you want, Intelligence becomes more efficient.

PS- If Maximilian is doing piss-poor damage, you might want to think about Bladesmaster.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #29
I guess what would be really useful is a quantitative breakdown of what affects what. For example, TM pointed out that raising a point in a given type of magic grants a +1 Bonus to that skill and +3 spell points, while a point in Intelligence grants a +1 Bonus to both types of spells and +3 spell points, in addition to some amount of magic resistance. What does an additional point in Dexterity/Strength/etc. do, and what does it affect? I know that some of this is detailed in the documentation (such as it is), but not really quantitatively. The side of the coin is: when does it become most efficient to start building something else?

(Maybe this is something I could figure out and contribute to the community...)
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5632
Profile #30
It's not that maximillian does poor damage - my warrior generally hits in the low 300s. It's just that my archer does even more. And he does have plenty in blademaster. Incidentally, though, is there some reason blademaster is very powerful that I'm not seeing? I thought it was just equivalent to a point each in melee and pole weapons, meaning its only worthwhile when it becomes cheaper to get all the prereqs in pole weapons and THEN start buying it than to add more points in melee.
Posts: 14 | Registered: Saturday, March 26 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #31
Blademaster isn't more powerful, it's just that it's usually cheaper than your primary weapon skill, so you can get more of it for the same amount of skill points. Archery doesn't get assassination, so I have no idea how you do so much damage with your archer, but more power to you. With assassination, my fighter was getting up to the 450-550 range with Maximillian.

EDIT: So, yeah, lack of assassination may be why your archer does so much more than your melee character. Plus, a tank is useful just to absorb the enemies' attacks, and if it can kill stuff too, that's excellent. If it can do so efficiently, the rest of the party becomes basically unnecessary.

[ Thursday, March 31, 2005 11:04: Message edited by: PoD person ]
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #32
As far as I know...

Strength:
+1 level of melee damage
+40 pounds of maximum load

Dexterity:
+1 level of ranged damage every 2 ranks
+5% to hit
+5% evasion

Intelligence:
+3 spell points
+1 Bonus on mage spells
+1 Bonus on priest spells
+5% resist mental every 2 ranks

Endurance:
+level hit points (not sure about this one)
+5% resist poison

Melee Weapons:
+1 level of melee damage with melee
+5% to hit with melee

Pole Weapons:
+1 level of melee damage with melee
+5% to hit with pole

Bows:
+1 level of ranged damage with bows
+5% to hit with bow

Thrown Weapons:
+1 level of ranged damage with thrown
+5% to hit with thrown

Hardiness:
-1 to all damage taken
+1% resist fire
+1% resist cold
+1% resist magic
+5% resist poison every 2 ranks
+5% resist fire every 4 ranks
+5% resist cold every 4 ranks
+5% resist magic every 4 ranks

Defense:
-1 encumbrance
+5% evasion

Assassination:
+3% (?) chance to double melee damage

Mage Spells:
+3 spell points
+1 Bonus to mage spells
+5% resist magic
+5% resist mental every 2 ranks

Priest Spells:
+3 spell points
+1 Bonus to priest spells
+5% resist mental every 2 ranks

Luck:
+5% resist fire
+5% resist cold
+5% resist magic
+5% resist poison
+5% resist acid
+5% to hit
+5% evasion
(I'm not sure if there's a lifesaver effect or not.)

Quick Strike:
+?% +1 AP

Parry:
?

Blademaster:
+5% to hit in melee
+1 level damage in melee

Anatomy:
+1 level damage to humanoids?

Gymnastics:
+5?% evasion

Magery:
+1 Bonus to mage spells
+1 Bonus to priest spells
+5% resist magic
+5% resist mental

Resistance:
+5% resist fire
+5% resist cold
+5% resist magic
+5% resist mental

Lethal Blow:
+(bizarrely determined)% to triple melee

Riposte:
+(bizarrely determined)% to riposte

Sharpshooter:
+1 level damage at range
+5% to hit at range

Dread Curse:
-1 to all statistics

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #33
I think pole weapons should be +1 level of melee damage with pole. Otherwise, this is great.
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #34
Luck actually looks like a pretty good deal, what with all those resistances. Do they in reality help that much though?

[ Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:30: Message edited by: andrew miller ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #35
quote:
Originally written by Guardian of Eternity:

So, in short, has this thread refuted the original four-character party originally put forth, of a human tank, two nephil archer-priests, and a human mage priest, using the (advantageous) "disadvantages" to boost level gain?
I wouldn't say "refuted". There are other party designs that can dish out much, much more damage in certain situations, but I can tell you from experience that my design is a very solid defensive party. (I'd like to see a fighter-based party beat Galthrax in Bahssikava without relying on invulnerability or Divine Aid. Okay, so you can probably do it with Cloud of Blades if you can dance around the antimagic, but I don't allow myself that spell because it's unbalancing.)

quote:
Sorry for the practically-double post, but I just had to ask... do many of you use the pre-made classes (Berzerker, Archer, Rebel, etc.) or do you just go with a Custom?
The default classes can be used to effectively start with a handful of extra skill points if you're clever and if you really find most of their skills at least somewhat useful, but I don't really think it's worth the trouble. One big disadvantage at low levels is that it's impossible to start any class with large amounts of both mage spells and priest spells.

quote:
TM's big list o' skills
Dexterity, Quick Strike and Gymnastics all seem to give some kind of bonus to "initiative" -- that is, to who goes first in a round. My personal theory is that each level in one of these is equivalent to one level of hasting in terms of its effects on initiative, but I haven't tested that.

Also, I'm pretty sure Gymnastics gives a bonus to hit as well as to evasion. And I thought Hardiness only affected physical damage. Luck does indeed have a lifesaver effect but I'm not sure how its chance of working is worked out.

quote:
Luck actually looks like a pretty good deal, what with all those resistances. Do they in reality help that much though?
Well, in reality they don't do much that Radiant Shield at sufficiently high levels can't do.

[ Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:46: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #36
Radiant Shield ain't bad, but it costs a bundle. 10-20 luck should be easily attainable at higher levels, and basically makes your party immune to magic from any source. And the evasion, combined with high defense, could make dodging enemy attacks feasible.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #37
Radiant Shield is only 10 SP, and you only need to cast it once per battle. 3 or 4 extra intelligence is a hell of a lot cheaper than 10 or 20 luck.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #38
Don't forget strength increases your chances to bash down doors.

Dexterity increases your tool use-- not sure the bonus percentage.

If your characters are very fast, they can take out Galthrax quickly. Speed and initiative are often more important than defense.

Which noncombat skills do you try to focus on getting quickly.

I rather like pathfinder.
I also like magical efficiency.

Alchemy has been hardly mentioned. Getting enough points in alchemy and the recipe for energy potion, energy elixir, and protection brew can make the game very easy.

My priest character is basically a potion factory. No mage skill. You can carry up to 100 potions of any variety per slot. Also up to 100 ingredients per slot. Basically she carries all the ingredients the party finds, plus a bunch of potions. As the character progresses I up the strength, melee, defense, potion making, priest, arcane lore, nature lore slots. Eventually move to pathfinder, magical efficieny.

[ Friday, April 01, 2005 03:26: Message edited by: Toasty Warm ]

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #39
If you can bash down doors when you can't pick the locks, either your Strength must be ridiculously high or your Tool Use must truly suck. You'd be better off investing your spare skill points in Tool Use than Strength.

As for Dexterity's relation to TU, every 2 points of Dexterity mean 1 more point of Tool Use. Likewise, 2 points of Intelligence mean 1 more point of Arcane Lore, and 4 points mean 1 more point of Nature Lore. And 4 points of Dexterity mean +5% resistance to all elements. And so on. All this stuff is mentioned on the character info screen; it's just a matter of listing it.

[ Thursday, March 31, 2005 15:06: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Agent
Member # 27
Profile #40
Could someone post a list of the Character Traits and bonuses, as well as Race bonuses if they have them?

EDIT: 'Traits' not 'feats.' :P

[ Thursday, March 31, 2005 15:31: Message edited by: Enraged Slith ]
Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #41
Feats? You mean traits? Someone's been playing too much D&D. :P

EDIT: Well, here comes the list. It's mostly qualitative rather than quantitative because I don't actually know how powerful the effects of most traits are. It also includes my opinions on them.

Strong Back: 100 more XP needed to gain a level. Increases carrying weight by one third, reduces encumbrance by 4. Opinion: this one's actually pretty good. More carrying capacity is always nice, and fighters will probably wear enough armour that if they don't have this they'll need to throw skill points into Defence. The experience penalty is pretty minimal, too.

Nimble Fingers: 150 more XP needed to gain a level. Flat +4 bonus to Tool Use. Opinion: Paying an experience penalty every level for a small one-off bonus is a sucker's deal. Might be okay in a party you're intending to use for a small low-level scenario and never touch again, but otherwise stay far away.

Beastmaster: 150 more XP needed to gain a level. Gives the Call Beast ability (summons a monster). Opinion: Oh, please. If you really want a summoning ability, you may as well go for Divinely Touched, which is far superior in every regard.

Strong Will: 150 more XP needed to gain a level. Supposedly increases resistance to mental effects. No visible effect on statistics. Opinion: Eh. Apparently this is useful on singletons to prevent them from being paralysed with disastrous results, but paralysis isn't really all that common and the trait isn't 100% effective at preventing it anyway.

Good Education: 150 more XP needed to gain a level. Supposedly increases "knowledge" (presumably Rune Reading and possibly Item Lore). No visible effect on statistics. Opinion: If you have only one spellcaster in your party, you might struggle with Rune Reading enough to consider this (although frankly, saving up the skill points you'd get from the extra levels you'd gain by NOT taking this trait and putting them into Arcane Lore would probably get you better returns). If you have quite a few spellcasters in your party, you're not likely to ever struggle significantly with Rune Reading, so this trait won't be much use.

Toughness: 200 more XP needed to gain a level. Supposedly reduces "serious damage" and increases resistance to poison and disease. No visible effect on statistics. Opinion: I don't have very much experience with this, but I'm not convinced it actually has a noticeable effect.

Fast on Feet: 200 more XP needed to gain a level. Increases initiative and gives a decent chance to get one bonus AP each round. Opinion: Not great. Once you're hasted (which you should be for most major fights), 7 AP isn't that different from 6. Only with Quick Strike or AP-boosting items might this ability provide a worthwhile extra boost for you.

Natural Mage: 250 more XP needed to gain a level. Allows mage spells beyond Slow to be cast while encumbered, and supposedly gives a bonus to spell effectiveness. Imban and I have determined that this bonus is equivalent to 3 points of Bonus to both mage and priest spells at level 1, plus an additional point of Bonus at every level divisible by 7. Also gives the ability Restore Energy (restores spell energy by 50% of maximum amount). Opinion: Eh; it has its uses, but it's pretty expensive for what it gives in practice. Typically, mages don't gain much by wearing encumbering armour. I'm not sure about the extent of the bonus it gives to spellcasting, but I doubt it's huge. Restore Energy is okay (and has the advantage of requiring no AP if used in combat), but only usable once per day.

Elite Warrior: 300 more XP needed to gain a level. Supposedly gives bonuses in combat. Gives the ability Go Berserk (blesses and shields user). Opinion: Not sure about this. Go Berserk is pretty good at low levels, but its usefulness falls off later on. The unspecified "bonuses" do seem to have some effect, but I'm not convinced it's worth the very substantial XP penalty.

Divinely Touched: 400 more XP needed to gain a level. Gives +1 to Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence at level 1, and a further +1 bonus at every level divisible by 8. Gives the abilities Divine Aid (gives Divine Protection status to user), Call Spirit (summons a shade) and Regenerate (restores a small amount of HP). Opinion: On one hand, it gives the best ability in the game, a couple of other mildly useful ones, and some nice stat bonuses. On the other hand, the XP penalty is enormous. If you use it, plan to base your character design around it.

Cursed at Birth: 200 fewer XP needed to gain a level. Supposedly gives penalties to resistance against some magical effects and also penalises other actions. No visible effect on statistics. Opinion: I've played through an entire scenario with a character who had this and didn't notice any significant penalties or weaknesses. The XP bonus is pretty good, so it's worth considering.

Sickness Prone: 200 fewer XP needed to gain a level. Supposedly reduces resistance to poison and disease. No visible effect on statistics. Opinion: Again, I haven't observed any real penalties with this. If you haven't filled up your two trait slots with traits you want, you should definitely think about taking this one.

Sluggish: 300 fewer XP needed to gain a level. Reduces initiative, and decreases AP by 1 every round. Opinion: Eww. Losing 1 AP every single round hurts. 5 AP when hasted is okay for fighters and archers if you don't mind never being able to move around without losing an attack, but if you want to take negative traits for the XP bonus, there are less harmful ones.

Brittle Bones: 300 fewer XP needed to gain a level. Appears to double all damage received from physical attacks. Opinion: Obviously, don't give this to a fighter. Archers and spellcasters, on the other hand, don't really have any reason to ever be in melee, so this won't hurt them too much.

Completely Inept: 400 fewer XP needed to gain a level. Supposedly penalises (presumably) all actions. No visible effect on statistics. Opinion: Wow. The XP bonus is very impressive, and my testing so far seems to show there isn't any obviously enormous penalty. If you want an XP bonus, try this out in a small scenario; if you find it doesn't ruin you, by all means use it.

Races:

Nephil: 100 more XP needed to gain a level. Gives +2 to Dexterity at level 1 and a further +1 on every level divisible by 8. Supposedly gives a bonus to combat with missile weapons. Opinion: For such a small XP penalty, and considering that your race doesn't count toward the 2-trait limit, it's a pretty good idea to make your archers Nephilim.

Slith: 200 more XP needed to gain a level. Increases fire resistance by 35%, and supposedly gives a bonus to combat with polearms. Opinion: Fire resistance is an okay thing to have, but it doesn't justify the significant XP penalty in itself, and I'm not sure how powerful the polearm bonus is.

[ Thursday, March 31, 2005 18:19: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 5512
Profile #42
just my 2 cents... but unbalancing in a game where you play only against the computer isnt all that big a deal (imho)

If you think it makes it too easy, resist the lure (JOIN ME! i'll never join you!!) and dont use it.

Unbalancing only really matters (i believe at least) in games where you play against other people, where it no longer becomes skill, it becomes what items/abilities you have, rather than just pure skill in playing.

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Gir! What did you do with the Guidance chip?

I took it out to make room for the CUPCAKE!!!!!
Posts: 30 | Registered: Thursday, February 17 2005 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #43
In a sense, you're playing against the designer. When the players and designers are on first-name terms, as is the case in the BoE/BoA community, this is more than just an abstract truth; it's something that the more active community members take into active consideration.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #44
Well, I admit my strategy could use some work, but here's my contribution to this already abominable thread...

My structure (and I use this same party in every scenario... they're level 50 now):

-Fighter: Yes, he's a bit of a tank. With the Halberd of Calindor (thank you Kelandon) he can deal absurdly huge amounts of damage, sometimes close to 400. I've found stuff like Plate of Electrocution (or Razor Plate... that kind of works) helps soften up attackers a bit. He has a passing acquaintance with Priest Spells (healing & blessing himself). Also, he's loaded down with extra AP items (though everyone in my party is by now). Lots of Quick Strike and Blademaster really help with this, and he's got huge amounts of Pole/Melee Weapons skill. However, I learned not to make him too strong thanks to Kelandon's interesting trick in Bahssikava (turning your first character against you). He had Manslaughter then, and it was impossible to get by him (I had to take his weapons from him before trying again).

-Archer/Rogue/Assassin - A bit of all three, with some basic Mage Spells thrown in. And he's a Nephil. Lots of Sharpshooter, Bows, Dexterity (to get high combat priority), and Melee. Absurdly huge Tool Use (I think I might've used the Char. Editor a bit). Nimble Fingers & Fast on Feet definitely help. For some reason I had him using Hendrickson's crossbow, but Alderague is much better. Nothing but Acid/Blessed Bolts, and he carries Manslaughter now that my fighter has Calindor's Halberd.

-Mage - Ever since he got Morog's Scepter, he's been very useful. Anything that can't burn gets smited by that scepter. 11 Luck right now, 16 Magery, and 9 Magical Eff. Natural Mage, of course. For equipment, Robe of the Magi, Dagger of Defense, Miracle Shield, and of course the Scepter.
I'd like to speak up for mages, as well. Fireblast has saved me quite a few times, particularly for those melee-immune monsters (Dark Chitrachs in Bahssikava) which my priest just can't quite do much to. Slow also helps quite a bit, for when you just need that moment's reprieve.

-Priest - My priest is a slith, and she's naturally got high Priest Spells, along with Potion Making and Magery (a bit of Mag. Eff. as well). Potion Making really does work wonders, and it really lowers your dependency on the Character Editor. She wields a sling (blessed), the Black Dress of Speed, a Magic Slith Spear, and she has enough combat stats to do a bit of damage (not much, but still helpful).

Anyway, this format has served me well, and is getting me through Bahssikava with minimal difficulty (except for the part when your 1st character goes crazy).

As a side note, I find an interesting challenge in fielding an all-priest party (like the Anama, but not quite), all with huge Nature Lore scores. I dub it a Druid party, and I'm looking at ways of improving it (not surprisingly, everyone in that party wields special weapons from my still-in-development scenario).

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 4445
Profile #45
Speaking of Morog's sceptre, every time I've tried to use it, my mage's hit percentage has been absolutely atrocious. How exactly does one go about improving it?
Posts: 293 | Registered: Saturday, May 29 2004 07:00
BANNED
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Profile Homepage #46
I think Jeff should have just given that damned weapon +100% damage, since there's no way that a mage should be purchasing dexterity.

PS- Ephesos, did you even find Maximilian? Because, you know, it's the most powerful weapon ever outside of UV. Period.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #47
My mage has enough dexterity to get fairly good priority, and thus has a fairly good amount of accuracy with the scepter. Try increasing Mage Spells, though.

Which scenario is Maximilian in?

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #48
Maximilian is in Canopy.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #49
Oh... of course I got it... how could you ever suggest such a thing?

(dashes back into Canopy)

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00

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