My ToEE playthrough notes

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by anatoliy, Jan 9, 2021.

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  1. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    I'm modder as well, btw))

    All things I presented I can mod / alter. Is it necessary - I guess it is not.

    The point is not to complain, but to share my thoughts. This is my playthrough, and all ideas are completely subjective. Important people will react and give some additional thoughts which are valuable to me. The more reaction - the better, that is why some pieces are a bit provocative.

    What Sitra, Allyx and Shinigted said is important. It makes me think that perhaps Elite array approach is in reality outdated. Which opens question is it OK to give consumer easy game. Or perhaps improving monsters should be next logical step.

    Also I know there are DMs who restrict access to magic items. Is such approach is more interesting for Players? This is all open questions.

    How much money PC should receive per encounter? Perhaps Wizards in 3.5 were wrong, and Pathfinder corrected this? In this case using Monster Manual as norm is wrong as well, and Pathfinder books should be used...
     
  2. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Found bug in py00119romag.py, line 168, should be this:
    Code:
    if yy > y_troop and len(x_troop_add) > troop_counter and len(y_troop_add) > troop_counter:
     
  3. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    Blast from the past o_O

    About difficulty/improving monsters etc: why not add these as optional difficulty settings?
    It sounds like you're trying to hit some ultimate sweet spot, but isn't it more practical to let the players tune it themselves via difficulty levels? It should be pretty easy to add blanket bonuses/maluses to the engine now, similar to what's in PF:Kingmaker.
     
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  4. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    Not at all. We give later content for people who want a tough challenge - "fight 4 Iuzes! Four! At once!" - but the early game has to be doable for

    - new players
    - people who play normal rolled PCs

    Returning players, min-maxers and people who want to run themed / bizzare / overpowered parties or solo or whatever can play as they like, but they can't be the focus. The player who has never played the game and doesn't yet know how to optimise still has to be the main focus of the initial encounters. (Which we don't fiddle with anyway).
     
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  5. Isewein

    Isewein Member

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    Why not simply mention in the readme that you expect your module to be played with average stats and balanced it accordingly? Then players can easily react. The problem is that some games / modules expect extreme stats and others don't - if players are warned in advance they can't complain about combat being too easy anymore than cheaters could.
     
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  6. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    I agree with the general consensus, build the module as balanced for the average player, and let people decide for themselves how hard they want to make it for themselves.
     
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  7. Oleg Ben Loleg

    Oleg Ben Loleg Established Member Supporter

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    Great Idea. Would love to play that.
     
  8. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    I was wrong about statement above, that there is no adequate wealth in this game. In fact, there is way too much.

    The only problem is that until Temple Level 2 there is too few golds. And in Greater Temple I had like 200k gp, which is way too much.
     
  9. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Finishing Greater Temple
    Overall, it was a jolly ride. It was somewhat mostly easy to some point and became very easy fast.

    What I did liked:
    • Very beautifully crafted arts. This is where the game shines at it best.
    • Impressive voiceover and dialogs. Loved talking to Fire Temple boss.

    What I missed:
    • Narration.
      It was hard to understand what all those beautiful chambers are about. Reading AD&D module helped a lot, but this information should have been included somehow into the game.
    • Better AI tactics.
      Grapple / Pin and group kill the victim. Silence out the PC group. Throw a Web or Grease or Glitterdust etc. Use Hold Person, Curse or even Summon critter.
    The best thing was - inspiration to improve ToEE zmod games :)
     
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  10. Oleg Ben Loleg

    Oleg Ben Loleg Established Member Supporter

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021 at 10:55 AM
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  11. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Thank you very much Oleg, for this particular thread. I read that with much interest, especially @Corwyn account.

    I was thinking about how to achieve suspense and even terror, but still having some incentive to continue playing such game.

    Imagine if there would be no game saving nor resting in some particular dungeon. Well, Knights of the Chalice has some parts which deny going out of a dungeon, plus resting safely only in designated places.

    I remember I was surprised and annoyed at first. But then each new encounter had more and more suspense and held my attention. Which was quite satisfactory, especially when given enough reward.

    It would be interesting to create a treasure hunt dungeon, for 1st level PC, where they would not have had exit, and only save when resting in safe places. Plus once rested that place would be compromise for another safe rest. So one rest + game save only.
     
  12. Oleg Ben Loleg

    Oleg Ben Loleg Established Member Supporter

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    I think that kind of gameplay is only possible in a PNP environment with a DM who has a kind enough spirit giving subtle hints to prevent complet group wipe outs.
    That sounds like a good compromise. Although I'm not sure if PC games work completely different in that aspect compared to PnP.
    When I remember my Baldurs Gate playthrough, it were the best moments in the game when I changed my strategy after a complete group wipe out. So I changed my memorized spells, rested and - got myself wiped out again - but finally I found a combination where I succeded with hardly a scratch. Those moments were really the best in the game and they and it took quite some resting to make them possible
     
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  13. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    If you have not played KotC, I recommend you to try out. It is great, and built on semi-3.5 rules.

    One example of such Dungeons would be Dungeon 85 - "Ever-Changing Fortunes" adventure. PC fall into cave's chimney, where they could Climb back via DC 30 climb check. Meaning - unlikely.

    After that there are no way back, unless you complete the dungeon.
     
  14. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    The ToEE module showcases how D&D design decisions changed from 1e or 2e when this module was released to the more modern 3.5. Instead of making a bunch of "whatever" characters, players have expected to make competent ones in a game that explains itself and is intuitive.

    Years ago, I learned one of the easiest ways to win ToEE's early game is to have a high STR, high DEX Large or Huge melee guy wielding a polearm for extra reach. You may get 3+ extra attacks per round by foes rushing you.

    The Beverly Hills Giant and Goldilocks the Bear are beatable at level 1 if you're prepared! Start the fight with entangle + grease and keep shooting them or attacking them in melee with greater reach/minions until they die! That's how our group beat a Shambling Mound at low levels in another game.

    In short, in ToEE and in general, there are best practices. Properly learning and using these practices rewards you with benefits.

    Knights of the Chalice: Our group won most easily when we had 2 Wizards and 2 Clerics as our 4-person team. AoE damage spells were common, and we were very glad we never destroyed our treasure via our spells/class abilities just so we could win the fight!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021 at 5:14 PM
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