5.6.1 Point Buy Play-Through

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by Kalshane, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. Kalshane

    Kalshane Local Rules Geek

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    Put my party together last night. Went NG, party consists of CG Half-Orc Barbarian, LG Human Cleric of Heironius (Good and War domains), CG Half-Elf Bard (the face man), NG Human Rogue and N Human Evoker.

    Let me start by saying ouch, point buy really makes you make some tough choices. I had to make both a Bard and a Rogue because I couldn't spare enough ability points to boost the Rogue's INT for extra skill points to cover social skills, let alone her CHA. My Cleric has a DEX of 8, and 16 WIS (and a 12 CHA. Undead turning is going to be an adventure, to say the least.) My Barbarian has a STR of 18, but he's also got an INT and CHA of 6. So these guys definitely aren't power characters by any stretch.

    Started off running around Homlett doing the Fed Ex quests. Getting in to see Terjon was annoying, as I had spent all my money equipping the party (and I wasn't even going overboard. Scale mail for the cleric and barbarian. No backup weapons for any of the characters, beyond giving the ranged characters a melee of some kind) and didn't have a high enough Intimidate to convince him to let me through without paying the donation. Thankfully I eventually remembered the treasure in the well, though it looks like it's been reduced some.

    My first comment would be: Is there any way we can have the shopmap charge book prices for equipment instead of the ToEE-adjusted-by-Appraise-skill prices? Trying to equip a full party with everything costing 50% more is brutal.

    There were also a couple of quests I couldn't complete because I just didn't have the skill levels yet. Encountered the new and improved Jayfie and was lost trying to figure out what to say to him. I realize the idea was to force the player to think instead of clicking on whatever had a skill icon next to it, but my comment would be this: my bard, trained in social interaction and swindling, err, convincing people, would be able to read Jayfie's body-language, facial expressions, tone, etc in a way that would help guide what he says next. Kalshane sitting at his computer just saw a bunch of dialogue choices that didn't seem particularly usefull to resolving the situation. :)

    Also keep in mind that the vanilla game does have the occaisional dialogue trees that give you a skill-based option that isn't the right course of action (a couple of different Bluff instances come to mind.) so everything doesn't have to be hidden to force the player to think.

    Second comment: If XP awards do get reduced, I would recommend boosting the base amount of XP awarded for the Homlett Fed-Ex quests, so a player can still hit level 2 before leaving Homlett if he wants to run around all over the place for a couple hours.

    I was bit confused to find Turuko, Kobort, Zert and Furnock missing from the Inn in the daytime. I did eventually find Furnock out on the front lawn of the inn, but why he was there was a bit of head scratcher. A table inside the tavern seems a much better place to bilk travelers out of their gold with marked cards rather than outside on the grass in the bright sunlight. :) Still don't know where Zert is, as he wasn't in the Welcome Wench day or night that I could see.

    Ended up marrying Melany for two reasons: 1) The holy longsword 2)I'd originally planned to hire Elmo because I figured I could use the extra muscle, but I forgot her cost 200gp to hire and the aforementioned shop map wiped me out. While a level 1 druid doesn't quite make up for a 4th level fighter/ranger, at least it's some extra healing and the ability to entangle a bunch of baddies if things get hairy. Once I get the cash, I'm going to dump my "lovely" bride back at home and get the drunken axeman on my team. (Speaking of brides, where is Fruella? It's odd that her dad is trying marry her off and she's nowhere to be found. Especially since a new player has no oppurtunity to know what he's getting himself into should he say yes.)

    So now with most of the Homlett quests completed (haven't found Black Jay's ring yet to start his quests and don't have the skill levels for any of the Trader-related quests, apparently) I'm finally level 2 and ready to whack some spiders in the Dekklo grove before moving on to the Moathouse.
     
  2. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Fruella wasn't changed, beyond having her (and most every other Hommletian) go into her bedroom at night. Could you have another look to verify?

    The Welcome Wench day-night transfers are actually from an older modpack (5.5 I believe) and are intended to give the impression that these people aren't entirely static but move around. Check the 2nd floor for Turuko and Kobort by day. From memory, Zert always went to the 2nd floor by day.

    Don't worry about Jayfie: that scenario will revert to vanilla in the next release.

    Thanks for detailing this, btw. It should be helpful. :)
     
  3. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    I've certainly seen Zert upstairs with the other 2 - a nice little cabal...

    Funnily enough, I've never looked for Fruella.
     
  4. GuardianAngel82

    GuardianAngel82 Senior Member

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    Almost every other Hommletian?! She must be GREAT in the sack! :yikes:
     
  5. Kalshane

    Kalshane Local Rules Geek

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    She wasn't there. Where she normally stands was a random Hommlet woman in a brown robe. This was during the day. I haven't checked at night.

    By day, Spuginor is upstairs. At night, everyone except Zert is down in the common room. It looks like Spuginor is following Zert's routine from vanilla. I don't have an issue with people moving around. It makes sense. (Though there's a slight disconnect with going into Jakk Borton's bedroom to sell him the armor I got off a bunch of goblins. :) ) I just couldn't find some NPCs I was used to seeing.

    Okay.

    You're welcome.
     
  6. Kalshane

    Kalshane Local Rules Geek

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    Party is now level two. Everyone gets a second level in their original class, except Melany (who's still level 1) and my Bard and Barbarian, who each take a fighter level for bonus feat goodness. (Taking Precise Shot and Cleave, respectively.)

    So I went off to face the spiders in the Dekklo grove. Yikes, that was a mess. Of course, I chalk it up more to the RNG being wonky than the fight neccessarily too tough.

    First round, my rogue wins initiative. Charge the closest spider. Sneak attack! For 4 damage. :( My bard's up next. Shoots his bow at the spider. Misses. My cleric goes. I make the tactical error of having her move to cut off the second spider from the rest of the party instead of charging the first one. Melany's turn: cast produce flame and chuck it at the closet spider. Miss. The closest spider goes and webs everyone but the rogue and cleric. Farther spider moves up and bites my cleric. 9 damage and poisoned. Ouch. Evoker's turn. Try to cast magic missile at the closest spider. Fails because of the webbing. Finally my barbarian's turn. Rage. Try to break free of the webbing. Fails.

    Second round: Rogue whiffs the closest spider. Bard shoots at closest spider. Miss. Cleric swings at far spider. Melany fires a sling bullet closest spider. Miss. Closest spider crits my rogue, killing her instantly. Far spider bites at my cleric and misses. Evoker shoots a magic missile at close spider for 2 damage. Barbarian tries to break free. Fails.

    Third round: Bard shoots at closest spider. Misses. Cleric swings at far spider. Miss. Melany shoots at closest spider. Miss. Closest spider moves up and bites at Evoker. Misses. Far spider bites cleric for 10. Cleric goes down and is bleeding. Evoker tries to cast a magic missile defensively and fails. Barbarian tries to break free. Fails.

    Fourth round. Bard Insipires Courage since he can't shoot the spider without drawing an AoO. Cleric bleeds some more. Melany fires at the closest spider and misses. Closest spider bites my Evoker for 6. Poisoned and with 1 hit point. Farther spider moves in to melee. Evoker casts sleep defensively and succeeds. Closest spider falls asleep. Barbarian finally breaks free and closes with farther spider.

    Fifth round. Bard shoots at farther spider. 3 damage. Cleric continues to water the grove with her blood. Melany fires at farther spider. Miss. Closest spider snores. Farther spider tries to bite Evoker and misses. Barbarian takes his first attack of the battle and crits with his great axe, killing the farther spider. One coup de grace later and we have victory.

    Go back to town, spend several days healing everyone up. Use the Raise Dead scroll way earlier than I was hoping to bring back my rogue.
     
  7. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Here's how it's supposed to go at the Wench:

    wwday1.jpg
    wwnight1.jpg

    wwday2.jpg
    wwnight2.jpg

    And here's how it's supposed to be at Fruella's;

    FRUELLA.jpg

    • Spugnoir hangs out downstairs by day and goes upstairs at night like a good boy.
    • Zert, Turuko, and Kobort party downstairs by night and sleep it off upstairs by day.
    • Furnok hustles outside by day and inside by night. (Con men do their cons by the light of day all the time. Take a walk through your local downtown sometime and see, if you live in a decent sized town. :))
    • Elmo drinks at the Wench by night and staggers back and forth outside by day.
    If you're not seeing some of these mobs as above without there being any other reason for them not to be there, I'd be afraid for the vailidity of your install. :nervous:

    Fruella in particular would have no reason at all not to be there, since unlike the others she has no day/night transfer across maps to get fouled up. She just changes her coordinates on the same map.
     
  8. Thorsson

    Thorsson Established Member

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    With Deklo Grove luck definitely enters into it, but the standard tactics still apply:

    1. Use Sneak
    2. Hang (Arcane) Casters back
    3. Try to make sure that everyone has a Ranged Weapon that they can use reasonably well (can use while webbed with no problems)
    4. Time the approach of melee characters so that they don't end up in attack range without being able to act themselves
     
  9. Kalshane

    Kalshane Local Rules Geek

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    I did a completely fresh install (new computer since I last played ToEE) and followed the 6.5.0 install directions, then went and added 6.5.1 per the instructions in its thread.

    Let me verify what's happening with the NPCs. The baddies may be hanging out on the 2nd floor and I just didn't notice them. Fruella was definitely missing and there was a random Homlett woman in the house, though not in the same location as Fruella is supposed to stand. But I'll wander back by her house again and double-check.

    Edit: Okay. Everything seems to be working fine now. We'll call it a temporary glitch (we'll not worry about whether said glitch was in the game or in my head. :mrhappy: )

    Heh. That would involve actually having enough money to buy a ranged weapon for everyone in my party. :) See my first post about how giving my five characters basic starting equipment wiped out my starting money to the point I didn't even have 10 gold for Calmert to get up to see Terjon. In retrospect, clearing the outside of the Moathouse probably would have been a better first venture outside of Homlett than the Dekklo Grove.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  10. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    That's my preferred method. ;)

    Re: starting cash, I thought that was worked up to be as RAW as it could be by Ag and CtB?
     
  11. Kalshane

    Kalshane Local Rules Geek

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    I don't know about the amount, but the shop map charges prices based on your Appraise score, which means you're paying a good deal more than book prices for the equipment, especially if your character with Appraise could only afford to bump their Int up to 12 :) . I went broke making sure everyone had 1 weapon (my rogue got two because she dual wields) class-required equipment (thieves tools, instrument), scale or leather armor, boots, gloves and a cloak. And some robes for my wizard.

    In any case, on to the log:

    Completed Black Jay's two quests (I never would have thought to talk to the same Badger twice if I hadn't read about it here) and headed out to the moathouse.

    Trip one I lucked out and had a random encounter with a single ghoul on the Amii map and was able to immediately head back to Homlett to complete that quest. Unfortunately my Barbarian contracted Filth Fever from the ghoul, (at least that's where he says he got it) but what can you do? So trip 1 B saw me to the Moathouse, where I made pretty short work of the giant frogs (great axe crits and keeping the squisher party members in the middle of the group where the frogs are less-likely to take a bead on them helps) and had a tougher fight with the brigands in the courtyard, despite managing to put two of them to sleep. Everyone had taken some damage and I was still hurt after my cleric and Melany exhausted their supply of CLW, so back to Homlett we go to heal up and sell all the loot. I can tell already my rogue is going to be taking lots of round trips on the Afterlife Express.

    Trip two saw us through the spider in the watch tower (Sleep saves the day again) and all the non-human fights on the first floor of the Moathouse. The giant tick went down pretty easy, despite my inability to get my barbarian close enough to attack it, but the giant lizard took a huge chunk out of my rogue before going down (see above about the Afterlife express). Needed two CLW to get her back out of the danger zone due to crappy rolls. The giant viper wasn't too tough, though it managed to drop the Barbarian to half hp and poisoned him. Against my better judgement I opened the door to the stirge room and almost suffered a TPK. I tried to do a holding action at the door so they couldn't swarm any one party member, but the rubble in the snake room got in the way and they ended up pouring out into the snake room and sucking blood out of every party member. By the time the last over-sized mosquito went down, my Rogue had a Con of 3, and everybody else was in the single digits for HP. Thankfully I had no random encounter on the way back to Homlett. A week of rest later, everyone had their Con back. Plus, I was able to sell the regular shield my cleric was using and the normal crossbow my wizard I was using due to the giant lizard treasure which finally put me above the 200gp necessary to hire Elmo and send Melany back home. Nevermind I haven't identified the shield or the radiant longsword (from Melany's father) yet. I know what they do. :)

    I decide to give sober Elmo a try (I've never hired him since that mod was put in) It seems kind of wrong, somehow. In any cause, we make trip 3 to the Moathouse with AA Elmo in tow. He promptly informs me there's bad people at the Moathouse. Thanks, Elmo. Hadn't figured that one out yet. (That said, it is cool that NPC dialogues are triggering correctly.)

    We head in through the secret door so as to get the drop on the Brigand Leader and his crew. My Evoker wins iniative and casts Sleep. Everyone saves but the Brigand Leader, but he goes down. I am so not going to complain about that one. A couple of the brigands go and take some swings at the party. Elmo takes a hit. My rogue goes next and I decide to slip around behind one of the brigands that are still flatfooted. Yeah, I don't know what the Brigands in that room are identified as in the protos.tab, but it's definitely not "Brigand". This guy apparently had Combat Reflexes as he promptly go an AOO and crit my rogue. She got around behind him, but she was barely upright. He also ended up taking 20-something damage before going down, far more than the 6HP the protos.tab brigand lists (Not complaining here, just wondering what these guys are actually listed as.) My barbarian goes next, rages, and tries to manuever around to where he can attack something. Flat-footed super brigand makes another AOO and another crit. Superbrigand finally gets to go and crits Elmo. WTF? Other than Superbrigand, none of the rest could hit anything, so as soon as I concentrate firepower on him and take him down, the rest fall pretty easy, though my rogue (go figure) and my cleric are down and bleeding by battle's end. And since I no longer have Melany, no one can get the Cleric back on her feet. So my barbarian coup de grace the sleeping brigand leader, we grab all their stuff and trot back to town with the loot and the unconcious bodies of two of our party members for more selling and healing.

    So far my point-buy crew is having a tough time occaisionally, but they're not over-matched. Of course, Sleep has been a life-saver on numerous occaisions. But I'm finding myself with unconcious party members or everybody in pretty bad straits fairly often. However, since there's no penalty for leaving the dungeon and coming back, I can get away with having 2-3 battles, get the snot beat out of me, and then running back to town to heal up. I think if I tried to play it like PNP and try to make it through the crawl with no resting short of barring the party up in a room from time to time, they'd be toast.
     
  12. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    Damn, its good to see a Rules Lawyer getting his a$$ handed to him by the Mersenne - makes the rest of us mere mortals feel better. :p
    Those guys are named 'guardsmen' or something (Gaear picked that up just a few weeks ago). They are second level fighters. I was so appalled and disgusted at this I checked vanilla, and thats what they were there :shrug: Maybe they had fixed HP that was removed?

    O, and apparently if the Barbarian leader is taken out without landing a blow, the mantle of 'guaranteed-crit-dealing-super-brigand' passes to the next in line. :yawn:

    EDIT: You may regard this as an exploit or something, but you are aware you can sleep in the Spider Tower and don't have to go all the way back to Hommlet?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  13. Kalshane

    Kalshane Local Rules Geek

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    Hey, just because I know all the rules doesn't mean I can always use them to my advantage. :) It's a sickness, really. I've corrected the DM before on things that would have helped my character.

    The guardsman thing makes sense, then. They definitely do have Combat Reflexes.

    Dang. I missed the part in the rule book.

    I was aware, but it had slipped my mind. Not sure how much of an exploit it is. I figure after the first set of guys sent to check the tower for invaders got eaten by the spider, the brigands figured the spider was more effective than random patrols. :)

    And here's my latest log:

    After selling the loot and healing up, I realize my party is 5xp shy of 3rd level (except for the Rogue, since she died earlier. And Elmo, who is 4th already, I think.) Didn't hit any random encounters on the way back to the Moathouse, so instead I do what any cheesy gamer does when that close to leveling. Attack the next thing that could get him the XP, in this case the dire rats in the 1st level of Moathouse. Mission accomplished.

    After leveling up the group, I head down the secret stairs to say hi to the ogre. He promptly one-hit kills my rogue and my cleric in back-to-back rounds. Reloading (since I said I'd reload at 2 deaths or more) I switch my rogue over to her shortbow before heading down the stairs. This time I get a more favorable initiative roll, move the rogue in off to the side and shoot the ogre with her bow. My barbarian rages, charges the ogre. Elmo doesn't have a straight line to charge, so I move him around to the backside of the still flat-footed ogre, using up his turn. My bard tries to hit the ogre with Tasha's Laughter, but it makes the save. I move my cleric into the room just outside the ogre's range and cast Spiritual Weapon. Finally my Evoker hits him with a magic missile. The ogre hits my barbarian for a ridiculous amount of damage. He's got like 5 hp left. Everybody takes their shots at the ogre (except my cleric, who heals the Barbarian) and after about two more similar rounds, the ogre goes down.

    I talk to Nybble and friends, get the gnome ring, heal up, and head over to the zombie and slimes room. My guys hit some zombies, the zombies hit back. One of the slimes tries to eat my Evoker. Cleric finally goes and destroys most of the zombies with a turn undead (Yay, improved turning.) Barbarian and Elmo mop up the rest of the zombies while everybody else deals with the slimes.

    Remembering that the ghoul fight can be hard, I take the easy way out and head back to Homlett to heal. Back to the Moathouse, down the secret ladder to the ghouls. A couple hits on my side, the rogue gets Filth Fever this time, but the ghouls go down. Try to disarm the trap on the ghoul chest and my gets dropped to 2 hit points. Yeah, not happening. I have to say, the traps on the Moathouse chests are brutal if you don't have a maxed out rogue. My rogue needs a roll of 15 (at least) or better to disable the traps. And needs a similar roll on a saving through to avoid getting clobbered when they do go off.

    Speaking of the traps going off, wasn't it previously changed to where they no longer would go off repeatedly, the idea being most traps are one and done (You either disarm it, or it goes off effectly disarming itself.) Or was that something that was discussed, but we couldn't figure out how to implement it?

    Moving on, the party heads down for some seafood and duels it out with the giant crayfish. Nothing really notable in the fight. My rogue needed seriously healing afterward, but that was about it. Speaking of the rogue, she finally hit level 3. I level her up, try to disarm the trap on the crayfish chest, and watch her promptly get dropped to exactly 0 hitpoints. I heal her back up and decide I'll worry about the stupid chests later.

    Head down to the passage into Lareth's area. Tell the sergeant to shove it. Fight ensues. Nothing too suprising here. Encounted my first charging crossbowman. He was conent to shoot bolts at my party from off-screen, but as soon as I moved to where I could see him, he can running in on me. Kill the sergeant and guardsman, take their stuff and head out the back exit to go back to Homlett (following Elmo's sage advice on discovering the back exit.)

    Sell loot, heal, head back to the Moathouse. In through the backdoor. Go fight the gnolls. This battle is a whole lot easier at level 3 than it is at level 2. Of course, putting a couple of them to sleep in the first round doesn't hurt. Nor does Charming another one. My rogue gets dropped (again) by the gnoll leader but otherwise pretty managable. Take the charmed gnoll with me to go see the bugbears.

    Bugbear fight isn't easy, but it's not super tough. I've had harder times with in the past, but I guess I was getting decent dice rolls this time. One thing worth mentioning, two of the bugbears were running around with no weapons which made things a lot easier since they were only doing non-lethal and provoked AoOs whenever they attacked. Edit: One came from the side chamber most of the bugbears hang out in. The other one was hiding in the small room closest to the side chamber. Not sure what happened there. Last version I played (5.0?) all the bugbears were armed. Also, one of the big berserker bugbears just sort of hung out in the side chamber until I finished off his buddies and didn't do anything until I actually entered the side chamber. I can't remember if that's what used to happen or not.

    Finished off the bugbears and all of the my clerics spells to get everyone back up to half hp or better. Loaded up my invtories with potion bottles and headed back to Homlett yet again. I'll have to return one last time for Lareth and Co and hopefully the assorted chests.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  14. Thorsson

    Thorsson Established Member

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    My Wizard had Appraise, and also the Identify spell, which helped a great deal, although I couldn't afford to see Terjon either. A good sneaker can lift the gear laying behind the Giant at Elmridy Meadows.
     
  15. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    I don't think that was ever done, no.

    This one's known and is already fixed for the next release. I probably took their weapons away trying to experiment somehow and forgot to put them back.

    I think this is normal ToEE no-rhyme-or-reason behavior. This time he buffs his nails, next time he'll go insane and cit your party to death.

    Re: Moathouse chests, my personal reaction to them ever since v4 has been to ignore them. I know the idea was to, um, -make it grittily realistic? -make it extra difficult? -make you take a rogue? -make you need to cast Guidance all the time? or whatever, but for me it just nullified the whole chest experience instead. I'm not into failing at something so mundane based solely on the roll of the die. I supsect that Troika had it set up originally to basically always pass (take 20, right?) for just that reason - they knew trap interaction was weak and thus getting killed by them would just be irritating.
     
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