KotB: Party Composition, Including Debating Sorcerer vs Warmage

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by Endarire, Jun 9, 2019.

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  1. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    Intro
    Greetings, all!

    A local friend and I intend to do a pseudo Ironman game for KotB 1.0.1 using Temple+ 1.0.73 or later. We plan to play an 'Ironman' game but not using the default Ironman mode due to bugginess. (I'm fully OK with reloading the game to ensure Wizards learn spells from scrolls, or to counteract bugs.) We're also allowing party members to be of any alignment - a T+ house rule - because I like it.

    Our main concern is party composition since, having tasted the area around the keep, we've discovered how easily we got overwhelmed last time.

    Keep on the Borderlands has fewer Wizard scrolls available - at least early game - meaning one Wizard is likely enough in this party. I'm still unsure whether we should have a separate Sorcerer or Warmage for other arcane stuff, but we will likely have these party members. (We'd prefer to keep the party size small to help us to level faster, but understand that we probably need 5+ well-built characters to succeed here.)

    The main advantages of Sorcerer are its broader spell list, but the number of spells known is small and slow to grow. The Warmage knows all its spells, but they're mostly all flavors of 'boom!' Warmage also has Warmage Edge for +INT bonus to spell damage per subject. (Warmages can cast in light armor, but that's a minor thing when mage armor is available.)

    LN Female Human DruidX (possibly with a Monk1 dip)
    Feats
    1: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
    3: Craft Wondrous
    6: Craft Magic Arms & Armor OR Natural Spell
    9: ?

    Notable Skills
    -Concentration: Max or thereabouts.
    -Handle Animal: Max or thereabouts.
    -Knowledge (Nature): Max or thereabouts.
    -Listen: Max or thereabouts
    -Spellcraft: 4 for Practiced Spellcaster (possibly).
    -Spot: Max or thereabouts
    -Survival: Max or thereabouts
    -Tumble: Max or thereabouts.

    Other Skills
    (These I'm less ure about and these are the main considerations. I'm taking suggestions!)
    -Alchemy.

    LE Female Human Rogue1/Wizard (Generalist)5/Assassin1/Arcane TricksterX
    Feats
    1: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
    2: [Familiar: Raven]
    3: Practiced Spellcaster (Arcane)
    6: Craft Magic Arms & Armor, [Craft Wondrous Item]
    9: ?

    Notable Skills
    -Appraise: Max or thereabouts
    -Concentration: Max or thereabouts
    -Diplomacy 4+: Socialite!
    -Disable Device 7: Arcane Trickster
    -Gather Info 4+: Socialite!
    -Hide 8: Assassin
    -Move Silently 8: Assassin
    -Sense Motive 4+: Socialite!
    -Speak Language 4+: Socialite!
    -Spellcraft: 4 for Practiced Spellcaster.
    -Tumble: Max or thereabouts

    Other Skills
    (These I'm less ure about and these are the main considerations. I'm taking suggestions!)
    -Alchemy
    -Climb 4
    -Disguise 4

    (Avoiding Open Lock due to knock spells and scrolls.)

    NG Duergar ClericX of Kord (Good & Strength Domains)
    Feats
    1: Combat Reflexes, [Spontaneous Curer]
    3: Craft Wondrous
    6: Craft Magic Arms & Armor
    9: Improved Initiative

    Notable Skills
    -Concentration: Max or thereabouts
    -Listen: Max or thereabouts
    -Heal: Max just in case.
    -Spellcraft: Have some.
    -Spot: Max or thereabouts
    -Tumble: Max or thereabouts.

    TN Human ClericX of Fharlangth (Luck & Travel Domains)
    Feats
    1: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, [Spontaneous Inflicter]
    3: Craft Wondrous
    6: Craft Magic Arms & Armor
    9: ?

    Notable Skills
    -Alchemy: Max or thereabouts.
    -Concentration: Max or thereabouts
    -Listen: Max or thereabouts
    -Spellcraft: Have some.
    -Spot: Max or thereabouts
    -Tumble: Max or thereabouts.

    TN Human Sorcerer (Hypothetical)
    Feats
    1: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
    3: Heighten Spell? Scribe Scroll?
    6: Craft Wondrous
    9: Craft Magic Arms & Armor

    Notable Skills
    -Concentration: Max or thereabouts
    -Spellcraft: Have some.
    -Tumble: Max or thereabouts.

    Notable Spells to Learn by Level
    0: Acid Splash, Daze, Read Magic, Resistance
    1: Charm Person, Enlarge Person, Grease, Mage Armor, Magic Missile
    2: Glitterdust, Knock?, Mirror Image, Web?
    3: Fireball/Scintillating Sphere, Haste, Heroism?
    4: Improved Invisibility, Stoneskin?, Summon IV?
    5: Cone of Cold? Dominate Person?

    TN Human Warmage (Hypothetical)
    Feats
    1: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, [Warmage Edge]
    3: Heighten Spell? Scribe Scroll?
    6: Craft Wondrous
    7: [Sudden Empower]
    9: Craft Magic Arms & Armor

    Notable Skills
    -Concentration: Max or thereabouts
    -Spellcraft: Have some.
    -Tumble: Max or thereabouts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  2. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    How many levels does KOTB let you get up to these days? I haven't played it in ages, but I don't recall getting up to more than 5th level doing everything with a 5-PC party in the first version.
     
  3. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    Yeah, you won't get any higher than 5-6, and even then most of the latter game content will be a cakewalk. In that respect it's better to have a large party to ease up the early game.
     
  4. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    After choosing a Sorcerer for our group instead of a Warmage, the advantage became very quickly apparent in one word: grease. Also having enlarge person made for a more physically damaging and synergistic group.
     
  5. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Warmage seems to be almost deliberately bad. I'm not sure where it appears in the timeline of 3rd Ed D&D- the idea that 'being allowed to use armour is an advantage equal to having unfettered access to all spells' suggests it's quite early, but 'see, arcane casters with full progression can be tier 4' suggests it's pretty late.
    @ Sitra Archa: thanks for the confirmation. I guess that makes plans for Rogue/Wiz/Assassin/Arcane Tricksters somewhat tricky...
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  6. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    @Nightcanon: Warmage was originally printed in Miniatures Handbook which released about 3 months after 3.5 launched. The MiniHB's classes are some of the weakest in 3.5. At that point, WotC had no experience with giving a base class all spells known on its spell list and simultaneous casting. At least they improved things for Beguiler. No comment on Dread Necro since I've only seen one played and a Wizard specialized in Necromancy would have likely been better in that game.
     
  7. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Interesting... It's striking that even in TOEE, where the limitations of a computer game mean that blasting is a far more viable tactic than in a PnP game, Warmage seems very limited by spell selection.
     
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