Toss a coin to Halfling Slinger

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by Hety, May 1, 2020.

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  1. Hety

    Hety Member

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    Reading all the ranged damage discussion I figured out no one (literally no one) uses slings for some reason and everyone says the bow is the way to go and that's it. I agree, in PnP, they are quite bad (though my experience is mostly with Pathfinder), buuuut in ToEE they are, actually, quite good.

    Now, the reasons slings are good when used by Halflings. I will make a comparison to a regular Composite 18 str bow.
    Lest st
    Bow pros:
    Bracers of Archery, which give +2 to attack and +1 to damage are only usable with bows.
    Arrows are plentiful.
    Elves get proficiency.
    d8 damage die.
    x3 critical
    Sling pros:
    Bludgeoning damage. All the reach weapons are either piercing or slashing so adding some bludgeoning is a good thing.
    Everyone can use them.
    Halflings get +1 to attack (the only race that gets attack bonuses with any weapon).
    Unlimited Strength scaling.

    Both bows and slings can be reloaded for free and can be used for iterative attacks. If you roll good enough on your character creation you will get 18 18 in str and dex. Let's compare Elven bow archer vs Halfling Slinger at LVL 1. Both Rangers.

    Elf - +6 to attack 1d8 dmg die. 1-8 dmg
    Halfling - +8 to attack (tanks to size and bonus) and 1d4+3 damage. 4-7 dmg. (and let's not forget the skeletons)

    Lvl 10 (Gloves of Dex and Belts of Str for both and bracers for an Elf, both improvements to Dex)
    Elf - +21 to attack (10 from levels, 9 from Dex, 2 from bracers), 1d8+4+1 dmg. 6-13
    Halfling - +21 to attack (10 from levels, 9 from dex, 1 from the size and 1 from racial bonus), 1d4+6 dmg 7-10.

    The difference is close to zero but let's not forget that bracers use a slot that can be used by bracers of armor for extra AC for our nimble slinger. Which (with enchanted padded armor) increases our armor by 4. You can also use slingers with various spells that give size bonuses to Str (like Divine Power) and actually hit harder (another +3).

    All in all Halfling SLingers are awesome and can be effectively used together with traditional bow classes.

    You can always use a halfling with a short bow, but it is heresy and should not be allowed :)

    Cheers.
     
  2. Daryk

    Daryk Veteran Member

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    Does Rapid Shot apply to slings?
     
  3. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Might be a bit of a legacy issue: in the original version of the game, the Halfling racial +1 wasn't correctly implemented, and sling ammunition was hard to come by. Even now, with Brother Smyth restocking 30 sling bullets a day, it's common to run out of ammo even if you trek back to Hommlet regularly to restock, and masterwork slings are hard to come by (I think you can get one from the leatherworker in Hommlet after completing quite a long chain of FedEx quests that I would tend to skip).
    Compare bows: masterwork and compisite bows become available as a result of completing a short and simple quest that you will pretty much always want to do for the XP anyway; arrows are so numerous they are barely worth tracking (in my recently completed game, I have Elmo and Furnok using bows as their primary weapons, firing 8-10 a round between them, and each finished at 17th level with several hundred arrows. Melany is using a sling, when not spellcasting or being a bear, yet is often low on ammo).
    Finally, regarding Halflings, I quite fancy the idea of having a predominantly Halfling party, but there aren't enough decent portraits to make it doable (same for Dwarves), and portrait creation for TOEE is far more complex than for, say, Icewind Dale 2.
     
  4. florian1

    florian1 Established Member Supporter

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    The "quest" that allows for masterwork slings is simply to cure the leather worker's brother with a potion or spell of Heal. A free potion of Heal is available to the party, if you can find it. The long involved quest is "Cupid's Arrow", which comes with a nice prize in the end.

    For sling ammo, I believe every barrel in Hommlet has 10 sling bullets for looting. Given that time is mostly not a factor in ToEE, you can simply rest for a day as often as you like and purchase another 30 sling bullets.
     
  5. florian1

    florian1 Established Member Supporter

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    The masterwork sling becomes available as soon as Bing gets back to normal. This is by using some form of the Heal spell. This is a quick one-off quest which can be completed almost right away.

    The long string of quests is for Cupids Arrow, which nets you a nice weapon by the end, not to mention a bunch of experience.

    I believe Bracers of Armor don't stack with armor.

    I often use slings, especially for high strength characters. The strength bonus added to sling damage can be very nice, unlike a composite bow.
     
  6. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Fair enough- I've just walked round Hommlet and found a total of 90 sling bullets in barrels I haven't previous looked in. Two barrels were empty, one of which I remember plundering for 10 bullets at the time I bought my masterwork sling from the Leatherworker, so they don't respawn and are thus a finite resource. Brother Smyth collects 30 a day, thanks to modding (as well as 60 arrows; the cabinet maker also sells arrows in bulk, as do a number of other traders). I agree there's nothing to stop you popping back to Hommlet every time you need to resupply with sling ammunition, but given that there are safe places to sleep in the Temple and you can buy a house in Nulb (and again, you want to buy a house in Nulb to get one of the more interesting combat encounters in the game), it's pretty much the only reason to do so. And if you are sleeping in Hommlet once for every 30 sling bullets you use, then you are going into fights far more rested and replete with spells and the like than you might otherwise do.
    It's not difficult too fix the leatherworker's assistant, but unless you are specifically after the masterwork sling (or are planning on marrying Melany) there's not much reason to go through trekking back and forth to do so. In contrast, even if you have no interest in getting masterwork items from the cabinet maker, clearing out the Deklko Grove is something that pretty much every party will want to do, because that's how you get a decent chunk of XP that gets you up to 2nd or 3rd level.

    TL;DR: I'm not saying that you can't get hold of enough sling bullets, particularly now the game has been modded to make them more available; I'm saying that you can literally harvest more arrows than you can ever use from foes that you will encounter throughout the game.
     
  7. sigofmugmort

    sigofmugmort Established Member Supporter

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    I always have at least one sling as they are a good ranged weapon for a tank, enchant with Thundering( available early and the stun chance is nice) and Holy
     
  8. florian1

    florian1 Established Member Supporter

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    The trek to the Leather worker is but a single visit from the Church. Much less involved then a few of the other Hommlet quests.

    It is also worthwhile to heal Bing (?), because he also produces various masterwork leather armors.
     
  9. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    I knew slings were useful ranged weapons due to adding STR bonus to damage automatically. I still preferred spells since they did more damage or/and didn't require accuracy rolls.
     
  10. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    *sigh*
    Sure, in 2020, people who are aware of the Co8 modifications and gazra's walkthrough will have no problem obtaining a masterwork sling if they want it. If you notice, I did just that the last time I played through the game.
    I speculated that part of the reason that halflings with slings are overlooked by players of this game is that when it first came out, their racial bonus wasn't implemented correctly, sling bullets were harder to come by (Smyth reliably having them in stock is a mod), and if you played the game first without reading a walkthrough that told you how to complete the Hommlet FedEx quests, what you learned is that arrows were readily available, sling bullets were not, and the only magical ranged weapons in the game were longbows.
    In 2020, if I want to give a character a masterwork sling, I know how to get one. If I don't, and I'm not looking to recruit Melany this time, I don't bother visiting the leatherworker at all. I once made a half-orc character who specialised in the sling (Ftr/Brb/Rog) who did awesome damage with a sling he bought from the leatherworker in Hommlet, but he still had to make trips back to resupply with ammunition while the party archer had more arrows than he could shoot.
     
  11. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Seriously: just checked the end game state of my most recent party.
    Elmo and Furnok have both fought the War of the Golden Skull and the Battle of Hickory Branch exclusively with bows. Furnok is down to his last 8 arrows +3 and has 907 regular arrows; Elmo has 316 arrows +1 and 501 regular arrows. Ronald is off chatting to his newly-resurrected parents, and used his bow as a back-up to his holy mace and spellcasting, but he had plenty of arrows too.
    Meleny has also been mainly a spellcaster, but using her sling for backup. She has 8 bullets left, so again she is going to need to buy some more. This is fine. Her parents are in Hommlet and she's known Brother Smyth since she was a toddler, so there are fine in-character reasons why regular trips back to Hommlet to buy sling bullets have been a feature of this recent game for me.
     
  12. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    Glad the late-game Ronald scripting has stood the test of time :D

    I often use a sling simply because some classes have it in their standard equipment load-out, and I often use that (with a couple extra buys) because I'm a lazy, lazy man. Slings have their moment, for sure, but mainly in the hands of big strong characters, methinks, rather than little halflings.
     
  13. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Ronald is a great bit of work.

    One of the other things about a high-strength character with slings as their main weapon: Why is that guy with the biceps like a stone giant's skulking at the back rather than laying about himself in the front line with a two-handed weapon and great cleave? If he isn't on the front line, who is? Even with a sling, is he more of a back-line asset than a spellcaster?
    With Grug 'the half-orc trebuchet', he started as a Barbarian on the front line but kept getting duffed up, so a decided to play him as if he'd lost his nerve and became a bit cowardly. Rogue levels, the Craven feat, demands that his wizard colleague magically hide him from the bad guys who were singling him out... Meanwhile the party's Favoured Soul learned to cast Righteous Might and took over the frontline fighting duties.
     
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