All-NPCs party feasible?

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by Isewein, Dec 19, 2020.

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  1. Isewein

    Isewein Member

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    So I'm planning my first modded run through this game, and with how buggy the original version was back when I tried to play it it might as well be considered my first run period. I've installed all the compatible mods, jotted down some party ideas & 3.5 caveats, so I think I'm mostly good to go. I never really liked the work of generating a whole six party members though - I am far too much of a perfectionist, and it would take me ages to roll all of them and choose appropriate RP backgrounds (it takes long enough for one character in P&P, after all). I prefer the random element NPCs introduce to my game anyway - they force me to work with the tools I am given rather than optimise a playthrough from the beginning. It also seems to make sense from a story perspective that a smaller band of adventurers hires local henchmen for a given task who actually have a stake in the game. That's why I'm leaning towards going in with a small task force of two or three PCs and filling in the rest of the available party space with NPCs.

    Now, with Temple+ I understand I can set the PC/NPC ratio to flexible, so this should work technically, but my question is whether this is feasible for a first-timer from a gameplay perspective? Without going into too many spoilers, are enough NPCs readily recruitable at most points in the game to make progress possible? Will I run into any unintended consequences with a majority-NPC party? Last, do summons count against the same hard-coded five-followers-limit as NPCs?

    Have a great weekend!
     
  2. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    I think 3 PCs + 3-4 NPCs is very feasible. You can easily recruit at least 3 decent ones in Hommlet, and Elmo alone can almost single handedly carry you through the early game. Fewer PCs than that would be harder, but doable if you know your way around 3.5ed. Just keep in mind that once all PCs are KOed then it's game over, even when the NPCs are fine.

    Summons don't count, and neither do animal companions, since they're AI controlled party members.
     
  3. Isewein

    Isewein Member

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    I've never played 3.5, but know it somewhat well enough from NWN.
    Oh, that's a valuable piece of information I had missed. Thank you for the warning. It seems then I should definitely go for three, and make these my primary archers / spellcasters so that preventing them from being knocked out is a given anyway. According to the GameBanshee list, most available NPCs conveniently seem to be Fighters. Enchanter, Paladin / Sorcerer and that new Rogue-Bard-Druid chimaera sound like fun. That'll mean a veritable horde of familiars, summons and animal companions to use as meat shields until enough NPCs will have joined.

    Would be great if Temple+ could one day mod this so that game over is at least delayed while there are still NPC with healing spells around. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  4. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    There is a magic item that you can pick up (relatively late on, though it is also craftable) that effectively means you don't die from hit-point loss.
    One PC and a band of recruits is eminently doable, though: while none of the NPCs is super- optimised, it is possible to recruit a level 4 fighter and a level 2 wizard straight off, and another (level 3?) fighter, level 1 druid (plus animal companion) and cleric to be had for minimal danger and a bit of legwork.
     
  5. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    Note that i said KO, not death...

    One PC is certainly doable, but I wouldn't recommend it for the first playthrough.
     
  6. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    @Sitra Achara
    Did you fix the bugs related to having 4+ NPCs in your group at a time? I recall your saying 1 PC and 7 NPCs weren't doable in T+ yet, but that was months ago. If this is still true, may we get it fixed?

    Thankee!
     
  7. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    You can have 5 NPCs, and that's plenty enough, so it's not something I'm going to prioritize.
     
  8. Dreamteam

    Dreamteam Member

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    Sure, all-NPC parties are feasible (except for the one mandatory slot that is used by your own PC)! It is my favorite way to play ToEE. Indeed, in some respects, convincing NPCs to join is one of your best early survival tactics against the sometimes brutal RNG! ;)

    It sounds like you don't want spoilers to know which NPCs to hire? Suffice to say that you will be meeting NPCs of diverse classes and levels throughout the adventure, so having a fluid party roster is totally the way to go.

    Some REAL fun is when you get to level 9 Wiz to cast the Dominate Person spell. Then you can actually get enemies to join your party as NPCs as well :cool:

    Once you decide you want some tips, check out this thread for some fun stories, or don't forget to read gazra_1971's walkthrough guide (section 1.22 Recruitable NPCs). As a replay, it becomes really fun to exploit your knowledge of existing NPCs to do some wacky unconventional but uber-fun stuff.

    !!!SPOILERS!!!!
    Well, one tip if you ever meet Pischella, she is best to add 1 level of Wiz, then level her as a Sorc... here's why. :rolleyes:
    Exploit for Spugnoir.
    Exploit for Furnoc.
    My favorite PC class to run w/ NPCs: Bard/Wiz1
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
  9. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    I don't follow why you like Sorceror/Wizard multiclasses so much. Are you saying that there is some exploit whereby you can add spells bought from scrolls to your Sorceror spells known, and effectively have Wizard breadth of knowledge with Sorceror spells per day? Even if that is the case (and it shouldn't be), I still don't see an advantage over a straight wizard. A Sorceror gains nth level spells at Sorceror level 2n (for n > 2), whereas a Wizard gains them at level 2n - 1. So you need a 5th level Wizard to cast third level spells, or a 6th level Sorceror. If you are using a character level for Wizard 1 as well, you need a 7th level character (Wiz1/ Sorc 6) to cast third level spells (at which point a pure Wizard would be 7th level, and casting fourth level spells. Admittedly, a Sorceror has more uses of his spells per day, and more flexibility, but a Wizard can emulate this by scribing scrolls.
     
  10. Isewein

    Isewein Member

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    I can report that I'm running very well with my three characters. Using Elmo almost feels like cheating, but his animations are too funny to watch - I wish there was a tweak to get him down to lvl 2 at least. Then again, apparently he is a secret sort of Greyhawk equivalent of a Harper Agent, so go figure...

    I just have to say - combat in this game is immensely rewarding. I never played any of the gold box classics, so this is my first truly turn-based experience. It feels so much closer to the P&P experience than even the Infinity Engine. Just went up against the Hill Giant with my puny lvl 2 party (after sneaking in to steal his treasure). Wasn't expecting much chances, just thought it would be fun to see him wreak havoc. Colour me surprised as on the third attempt, I actually managed to get him pinned down with a well-placed Entangle & Grease, fighting his own charmed bear and pelted with arrows until he eventually went down. The difference precision tactics can make in a turn-based engine!
     
  11. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    Yep, the turn based engine in this game is awesome, I have all the infinity engine games, but haven't completed a single one yet as the Real Time with Pause style of play irritates me immensely. I'd much rather the fireball I cast lands on the enemies I intended to hit than the empty space the targets just left, or worse the area my front line fighters just charged heedlessly waded into with no regard to their personal safety...

    Which is why I converted (the prologue at least of) Icewind Dale as a mod for ToEE. Someday it'll get finished... I might need to catch "covid" a few times this year so I can sit down and put in some serious effort getting it done.
     
  12. Oleg Ben Loleg

    Oleg Ben Loleg Established Member Supporter

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    How did you figure out to take along this drunken slob who demands a ridicolously high price for joining? I don't know how long it took me to find out that he is actually the best NPC in the game.
     
  13. Isewein

    Isewein Member

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    Sadly, when you hover over an NPC with the cursor, their HP are displayed (even though I believe I turned it off in the menu?), so it was immediately obvious that he would be quite useful.
     
  14. Oleg Ben Loleg

    Oleg Ben Loleg Established Member Supporter

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    Its actually in the ToEE Front End under options: Show exact Hit Points for NPCs.
    I found out about Elmo some day when I spoke to the Village Elder Kenter Nevets much later in the game during the quest " War of the Golden Skull". He gives something of a hint like: "There is more about Elmo than you might think at first sight"
     
  15. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    Elmo is useful if you aren't confident in your current party. The downside is that he's a single-classed Human Fighter focusing on Longswords instead of, say, a single-classed Human Cleric focused on Longspears and crafting Holy weapons.
     
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