Need Character/Party creation help

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AuthorTopic: Need Character/Party creation help
Member # 6926
Profile #0

Just found this game through the demo. I played through about level 8 with the pre-rolled characters, and started a few other parties.

I have read through the message board pretty much all the way, and looked at some walkthroughs. I just paid and registered with the intent of making my "real" party. I realize that everyone is probably tired of making best "min/max" parties, but the amount of interaction between skills make this a pretty difficult process for a newbie that hasn't played the rest of the games in this suite.

Ok, so I need some help. The character creation is pretty complex, which I like. I'm enjoying the game so far. What I need is a good party to really start my way through. This is what I want:


Nothing special here. No off the wall characters, etc. Probably all humans with no traits or disadvantages. Just a solid group to dungeon romp.

The character creation and all of the skills are so complex, that it's a bit rough to jump into. I realize that any party created with some decent forethought will take me through. But, I really hate to think my fighters will have some skills in, say, polearms, when I'll never use it.

As far as I can tell so far, the bows are very good. So, I'd want my fighters to have swords and bows. I'll leave polearms out for simplicity.

My priest should be pretty straightforward.

My mage only has the little hiccup of possibly being the "tool use" guy. I hate to give that job over to another character because of the mage's ability to use that with the "unlock doors" spell.

The skillset has such tradeoffs, that this is pretty difficult to start off with 4 custom characters with blank slates.

So, the question, then, is what would be the preferred starting stats and a general idea of progression through level 10 that would be a best bet? Like I said, nothing off the wall, just solid info.

Thanks for any help!

--Trick, who wishes he could have witty signatures.
Posts: 3 | Registered: Friday, March 17 2006 08:00
Member # 3
Profile #1
I had a party consisting of the following:

Nephil archer/tank: Pump dexterity, strength to carry things, lores, and give deadeye trait.

Human melee fighter: Mainly pump melee weapons, though add a few points to pole weapons so as to get blademaster, pump strength and dexterity, give elite warrior trait.

Human mage/thief: Get to level 8 in mage spells, then get tool use to level 15. Afterwards, pump mage spells to ~17. Start with natural mage trait.

Slith priest/pole weapons: Pump priest spells mostly (once you have 17, then pump intelligence to about 8-10, then start adding points to spellcraft/magery/fighting skills), but you'll soon realize that even without many points in pole weapons, sliths are really capable of destroying enemies without much investment in that skill. Take the pure spirit trait as well.

This party did very well. You actually end up with three tanks, as the archer and priest are both pretty good and dealing damage and with the nice priest spells, can take a fair bit as well. The mage was the weakest, naturally, but was also capable of doing the most damage consistently.

I would not add points to bows for any character other than your archer until you reach a trainer who will increase your skill for cheap.

I typically give the tanks the lore skills (arcane lore, nature lore, first aid), as they typically have the most free skill points. Both the priest and mage need their skill ponits early on to build magic skills.

A few cats short of a kitten pot pie...

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.
Check out a great source for information on Avernum 2, Nethergate, and Subterra: Zeviz's page.
Finally, there's my Geneforge FAQ, Geneforge 2 FAQ, and
Geneforge 3 FAQ.
Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Member # 6926
Profile #2
Ok, thanks for the quick response! I'll keep that all in mind, as well as the other stuff I've looked at over the last couple of days on this board. From what I can tell, that is a pretty sound plan.

But, what I would really like is the blow by blow starting stats and battle plan up until about level 10 or so. Just to make sure I've got the right start. Granted, I don't expect anyone to write a walkthrough. I've read some of those already. But, the walkthroughs make some pretty large allowances for playstyle, roleplaying, etc.

I'd like a group of all humans, tank/tank/priest/mage. I figure if I can get to level 10 with a solid group, I can finally start to really get my hands around the whole game. The intricacies of the underlying stat engine are wonderful, but pose a significant learning curve to anyone coming in to this line of games. I'm a very experienced RPG guy, but somehow missed the whole Avernum line. (I have actually written several articles in the hint books for EQ, EQII, and Star Wars Galaxies for the IMGS/Prima Games hint guides under the character name Dador Caduceus.)

I've got to say, this is the best RPG I've seen since, well, the Fallout(s). This is truly "old school" as Gamespot called it, and I'm glad.

Thanks again!

--Trick, who still doesn't have anything witty to say...
Posts: 3 | Registered: Friday, March 17 2006 08:00
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #3
Originally written by Trick414:

But, what I would really like is the blow by blow starting stats and battle plan up until about level 10 or so.
Okay, I'll have a go at listing starting stats for everyone. I'll be assuming you want one sword fighter and one pole fighter, since you may as well have a bit of variety in your party.

PC 1:
Elite Warrior, Divinely Touched (don't worry about the experience penalties, they don't matter much)
Str 4
Dex 4
Int 2
End 2
Melee 6
Bows 6

PC 2:
Elite Warrior, Divinely Touched
Str 4
Dex 4
Int 2
End 2
Pole 6
Bows 6

PC 3:
Since a straight priest is a little boring and has a lot of spare skill points, there are two ways you can go with this one. Either an archer/priest or a mage/priest. Both are pretty solid characters.

PC 3, archer-priest:
Pure Spirit, Divinely Touched
Str 2
Dex 6
Int 4
Bows 6
Priest 6

PC 3, mage-priest:
Natural Mage, Pure Spirit
Str 2
Int 4
Mage 7
Priest 8

If you even suspect that you might like your priest to cast a few mage spells at any point in the game, you may as well get him Natural Mage so you can put him in a decent amount of armour and still have him cast.

PC 4:
Natural Mage, Divinely Touched
Str 2
Dex 2
Int 5
End 2
Mage 8
Tool Use 8


Note that you can take a point or two off any of these starting stats to free up skill points without ruining the character, although make sure that your spellcasters start with Mage Spells and/or Priest Spells at at least 5, so that they start out with as many spells as possible.

For your first and second PCs, raise Strength and the appropriate weapon skill evenly. Put another point or two in Bows when you can. If you can hold off on raising Sharpshooter until Camp Samuels, there's a trainer there who you can buy two points off. Try to get Defence up to 6 as soon as you can, so that you can get Parry -- once Parry is available, raise it to 6 or 7 with the aim of getting it to at least 10 by the endgame (note that Elite Warrior will cause you to gain a point of Parry every 6 levels, and your level will be somewhere in the 30s by the end). Put a couple of skill points in Quick Action when you have skill points to spare; try to get 5 Quick Action fairly early, then put another point or two in it every once in a while. At higher levels, raise Dexterity so you can get Quick Strike; extra action points are always fun.

For your third and fourth PCs, raise Mage Spells or Priest Spells whenever you get the chance. Aim for 17 Priest Spells by the endgame, keeping in mind that Natural Mage and Pure Spirit raise your spellcasting skills by 1 point every 6 levels. Raise Intelligence a little more at higher levels, but don't expect to need much more than 10. Give your mage a point or two of Priest Spells so he can heal. Hold off on Magery and Spellcraft until Cotra if you can; there's a trainer there. For your mage, aim for 15 Tool Use by Formello, and leave Tool Use alone after that.

Endurance is a skill that every character needs, but hold off on it until higher levels; it's fairly useless at the start and gets much better as you gain levels. Think about putting points in Endurance once you get to the Eastern Gallery, but not much sooner.

Put any spare skill points in your party into Arcane Lore, Nature Lore and First Aid as you see fit. Try to spread these skills evenly around your party. Aim for a total of at least 8 First Aid, 23 Nature Lore and 15 Arcane Lore by the endgame -- you can build up Arcane Lore and Nature Lore gradually, though, as you certainly won't need anything like those amounts for a long time.

[ Friday, March 17, 2006 17:01: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Member # 3
Profile #4
Honestly, it's very difficult to mess up your characters. A general plan to follow is to improve your stats (weapon for fighters, spells for magic users) until they become too expensive, then switch over. No stat is useless in this game, fortunately.

Also, don't worry about the racial penalties. At the end of the game, a human will usually have a final level about 35, and a slith a final level about 32. The 15 skill point difference is more than made up for by the racial bonuses.

Tanks (melee fighters):
Melee fighters should start with 5-6 strength, 4-5 dexterity, and 4-5 endurance. Maybe increase each stat once by level 10. Endurance can mostly be ignored at the beginning as the return per point is low at low level.

Having one sword user and one pole weapon user is a good idea, as there are some very powerful pole weapons after the demo. Give a melee fighter 3-4 points in the beginning of the game of either melee weapons or pole weapons (both skills increase damage and to hit% of the respective weapon class- there are more swords available and you can use a shield with a sword, but pole weapons are stronger). Have this at about 6 by level 10. Stick with that skill until about 15, when you may want to start boosting the other skill so as to access blademaster. Boost quick action to 2-4 by level 10 as well (quick action increases your attack order so you attack before enemies, and gives you a small chance to swing twice on a hit, doing double damage). Don't worry about bows for melee fighters, they'll be able to hit often enough without increasing the skill for a good portion of the game.

Give you tanks 2 points in arcane lore, and that will be all you need till the Fort Avernum region, where you may want to increase it to 3-4 points. Arcane lore allows you to read spell books. Never give a non-magic user tank any points in mage spells/priest spells/spellcraft unless you have a specific plan in mind (i.e., if you like blessing spells, give one or two points in priest spells, but otherwise, don't bother).

Defense (decreases chance of being hit by ~3%) and hardiness (decreases damage done when hit by a few points) are both helpful, cheap skills, that increase your survivability. Increase defense to about 2 points, and have this up to 4 by level 10.

Add two points to first aid and nature lore for your tanks. One point in luck for everyone doesn't hurt, either, though the bonuses for this skill aren't that much.

Start with a tool use of 7-8, and add one point to intelligence and maybe strength. Put the rest into mage spells, and use the remainder on nature lore. Aim for 12-14 points in tool use by level 10, and maybe one more point in intelligence and dump the rest into mage spells. Don't add any points to spellcraft- you can find trainers who will increase this skill for $$ instead of skill points.

Similar to mage, but increase priest spells instead. Like mage, don't add points to spellcraft. Your priest will grow in spell strength a lot faster than the mage since priest spells are cheaper and you don't have to worry about tool use. I would add points to bows for the priest (2, 4 or so by level 10), as they can be a bit fragile and have no real damaging way of taking out enemies. Sure, they have smite, but that's an expensive spell. Also, add points to arcane/nature lore, and first aid for the priest.

Ah! Beaten to it by Thuryl. He's got an excellent summary, so use that.

[ Friday, March 17, 2006 14:13: Message edited by: Schrodinger ]

A few cats short of a kitten pot pie...

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.
Check out a great source for information on Avernum 2, Nethergate, and Subterra: Zeviz's page.
Finally, there's my Geneforge FAQ, Geneforge 2 FAQ, and
Geneforge 3 FAQ.
Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Member # 6926
Profile #5
Thanks all! I have a new party rolling on now with the (new) basic info.

Posts: 3 | Registered: Friday, March 17 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #6
If you want to avoid too much damage at the start, have your tanks start with dexterity at 8 and high defense. You don't need strength as much at the start and you can add to weapon skills later on as well. Elite warrior will give you parry 2 at the start which will block some attacks. Boost defense to 6 and then add to parry to get it to 5 or 6. Elite warrior also gives a hidden boost to carrying capacity so your fighters won't get encumbered so much by weight. Both elite warrior and divine touch give you blademaster and that will up your melee damage. This means that you can hold off on raising strength as well.

You should make at least your archer fighter a nephil since he starts off with bow and thrown weapons at 2 each. This will mean that he improves without you having to do much more.

Your pole fighter should be slith to get its pole weapon 2 at the start. It works like missle weapons for nephils.

Your spellcasters should raise their intelligence to 5 by Fort Draco. The extra spell points mean that they can quickly eliminate powerful opponents. You should do it at least for the one that doesn't have tool use. It helps at the start to have two spellcasters with the same spells since it gives you more options in combat. Differentiating one to be mostly mage and the other priest can wait to leaving the Eastern Gallery. The mage can get the Clarity Talisman (Skunky Joe quest reward) and later the Incantor Ring to raise his mage spell level.

Tool use above 12 is not really needed until after the Castle (party level 20). Unlock doors will work to get past the higher difficulty doors. At the Castle there are difficulty 30+ doors to the higher level spellbooks. You probably won't be able to cast them anyway.

A goal of priest spell level 17 and mage level 15 will get you the best spells. Try to have them at priest 6 and mage 8 before finishing the Eastern Gallery so you can get the best combat and healing spells in both spellcasters.

It really comes down to personal preference and playing style. The change in awarding experience from the other games means that having a high experience penalty is not a problem and the bonuses in skills exceed the lower character levels.

[ Saturday, March 18, 2006 05:05: Message edited by: Randomizer ]
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Member # 3349
Profile Homepage #7
-First, name any character Liam.

-Second, add any complimenting adjectives to the end with "the" before them (i.e: the great, the best, the beast, etc.) Just like in real life.

-Third, customize him to give him high dexterity, tool use, and luck, just like in real life.

-Fourth, equip him with a spear, pants, bow, and give him a flagon to carry around. Just like in real life. (NOTE: In real life my bow does NOT work, considering it is made out of cheap pine wood and string, and the arrows are made of twigs.)

-Fifth, enjoy the special encounters with the shades. (NOTE: The encounter with the Formello Shade may/will contain innapropriate language, some sexual scenes, references of TM, and exploding mice. Just like in real life)

There you go.
This should help

HT was here

[ Friday, March 24, 2006 13:42: Message edited by: Happa Tai Yattai ]

And everybody say....Yatta!
Posts: 1287 | Registered: Thursday, August 14 2003 07:00
Member # 5923
Profile #8
I have a slith fighter, slith priest nephil archer and nephil mage. A male and female in each pair. I find they are happier travelling together.

Mage has the skill that enhances picking locks as well as mage enhancer.

Priest has in addition to priest enhancer ,divinely touched. She advances much slower--in Early Eastern Shores she is an 8 vs 9 and 10's for others. But she fights rreasonably well with spear and shoots well. Divine touch is very powerful and worth the exp penalty.

Please excuse any misnaming of game elements. I may be the oldest woman playing this game and may be descending into senility.
Posts: 17 | Registered: Wednesday, June 8 2005 07:00