[SPOILER] Need help with Demons and Demigods quest

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by UncleBuck, Jan 20, 2012.

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  1. UncleBuck

    UncleBuck Member

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    SPOILER TEXT BELOW. Highlight to read.

    I've been trying for over a week to beat this quest and still can't manage to. Since my party is NG, it's forced to fight 4 avatars of Iuz to complete the quest. But after more a dozen tries, I'm stumped. My party of 20th level characters is routinely demolished like it is 2nd level. This is no opportunity to buff the party once it goes to dinner with Asherah and no dialogue option to stall or stop getting transported to the arena. And you can't buff before speaking to Asherah because the spells run out before while you are dinner. Only spell that has a long enough duration to last is Heroes' feast, which gives some temp HP, but nothing else. In the arena, my party immediately enters combat with the 4 Iuz's, so I can't buff up there either. Most spells fail due to high SR on the avatars, Cloudkill doesn't work on them, and Stinking Cloud isn't effective either. Holy smite fails due to SR and summoned creatures don't last more than 1 round usually. I have a 20 level CG barb with Scather, so the party can do damage. However without the ability to do any meaningful buffing before the fight, I can't protect my PC. If the opponent was 4 Balors, I think I could find a way to win this fight, but the 4 Iuz's are just too much for this party. Does anyone have some suggestions for this quest??
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2012
  2. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Re: Need help with Demons and Demigods quest

    Please be careful with spoilers as this is probably new to a lot of people.

    I frankly had no real idea how this would play out, but it's pretty much the ultimate challenge ToEE has to offer. I suspect there are some tactical pros out there who will be able to do it. If you can't I wouldn't worry too much - there's nothing more to do after that unless you have delayed doing other stuff. Just tell Asherah no thanks.
     
  3. NiCO_0416

    NiCO_0416 Member

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    SPOILERS IN MY REPLY. Highlight to read.

    When I first tried the encounter and saw the stats of those Avatars in the Dice Roll window, I also basically told myself that winning this fight was absolutely impossible.
    But as a matter of fact, the fight is absolutely doable... it just calls for a slightly unconventional approach.
    I also got flattened out on my first try. But after devising a new strategy, I managed to win the fight with only half of my party dead on my second and third attempts... and eventually managed to win it with everybody still alive (and with a decent amount of HP left) on my fourth try.

    Let's review the scary stats first...
    As fas as I can tell, the Avatars are have a Base Level of 20 + an additional 15 Levels of Warrior and 10 Levels of Rogue (Sneak Attack +5d6, Evasion, Crippling Strike), and absolutely crazy Ability Scores (their STR modifier is +15 or +16 which means STR 40 or 42, their WIS modifier is +10 which means WIS 30, etc.). It seems that they are dual-wielding Greatswords (sweeeet!) with Weapon Focus, Cleave and Improved Critical, they have 8/9 Attacks per round... and their LOWEST Attack Bonus is at something like +42 or +43. They have AC 44 (difficult to touch but not impossible), Spell Resistance of 35 (difficult to pass but not impossible), and absolutely crazy Saves too (Will +40, etc.). Oh, and they have Damage Reduction of 15, Damage Resistance of 10 and Immunity to Electricity, Acid and Cold, too...

    So basically, this calls for a few immediate strategic conclusions:
    - It's COMPLETELY useless to try and buff up your AC. However, "alternative" protection methods do work pretty well: Concealement (Invisibility, Displacement, etc.), Mirror Image, Stoneskin... and of course Summoning creatures to take the damage for you.
    - Any creature who starts a round next to an Avatar gets exposed to Full Attack... and almost certain death
    - The Avatars are EXTREMELY difficult to damage or incapacitate with Magic. Basically, the only spells that somehow have a chance of damaging them are those that don't allow Saving Throws (Magic Missile?)... and your Wizard/Sorcerer clearly has better ways of spending his Actions.
    - Fragarach/Scather IS BY FAR the best way of dishing out damage (I think that's how I dealt >80% of the Damage they took... the rest was mostly Sneak Attacks from my Rogue)

    So here's how I beat them with my Level 18 party...
    - I equipped my Barbarian with Scather and Boots of Speed (for the permanent Haste buff), activated Rage, maxed Power Attack, and let him deal most of the damage (average of 50 per attack). I had my spellcasters cast Greater Invisibility + Stoneskin + healing spells on him as highest priority.
    - My dual dagger Rogue dealt secondary damage through Sneak Attacks. She was buffed up with Greater Invisibility + Stoneskin too.
    - My Druid spent most of the fight doing either of these 3 basic Actions: summoning Earth Elementals of the largest possible size, healing whomever needed it (including the Elementals), casting Stoneskin.
    - My Bard spent most of the fight casting Greater Invisibility, healing spells or summoning mid-level Earth Elementals
    - My Wizard spent most of the fight casting Greater Invisibility / Stoneskin on everyone (including the Earth Elementals), as well as Mirror Image on himself.
    - My Paladin spent most of the fight desperately trying to hit Avatars, but only dealt marginal damage... her most useful action during the whole fight ended up being casting Lay on Hands on a Huge Earth Elemental to help it survive one more round.
    - My Ranger (archer) spent most of the fight... summoning Nature Allies of Low Level for distraction.
    - The Druid's and Ranger's Animal Companions served as cannon fodder.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. Terjon

    Terjon Member

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    Hey there, here is the strategy I used that isn't too dependent on your current character classes. The main drawback of this strategy is that you'd almost rather kill yourself than play for the hour or so it'll take to win.

    You will need at least 4 characters to do this, one of which should be a cleric or fighter or specializes in a weapon with reach. Go to any scroll store and see if they have Orb of Invulnerability. Buy buff scrolls (including growth spells) if your character with the reach weapon isn't a cleric.

    _If you have four character_
    Have three characters form a triangle around the character with the reach weapon. Have all three use the scroll of Invulnerability. Now your character with the weapon should be surrounded by three bubbled allies, which the Avatars cannot break through due to their size. They will pound away (doing nothing) at your allies while your character buffs himself and jabs at the Avatars one by one until they are defeated. The more buffs you have the better.

    _Five characters_
    Same as above, but with proper positioning you can fit two characters inside the sphere. BE CAREFUL AS YOU MIGHT ACCIDENTLY STEP INTO AVATAR RANGE.

    _Six Characters_
    Same as above, only now you are forced to make a diamond of allies with the shield.

    You can try to build a "wall" of your invulnerable allies if you back up to a good spot against the wall of the arena.

    The party I first beat them with were a rogue, druid, sorcerer, and a cleric with trident specialization. All level 19.

    EDIT: Spoilers above tell the strategy if it wasn't obvious
     
  5. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    My tactics/ solution below (repost from the Difficulty Poll thread):

    Key feature
    Iuz has stupid artificial intelligence. He seems to attack the closest thing to him, which means that he can effectively be taken out of the game for a round with a single Summon Monster 1 spell. First noticed this in the temple when, to my surprise, I seemed to be making a decent fist of a fighting retreat with only one death, before rescue by Cuthbert, due to my druid throwing cute furry animals in his way. Not really a complaint, especially as (surprise surprise) if all 4 avatars attacked threats in order and in concert, 4x 40th level would be unbeatable.

    Party set-up as follows:
    Jovian: Human Pal 20. Has CHA 20 so lays on hands for 100 hp healing. Also carries potion of Heal (can't remember where from) plus wand of Cure Serious and various other potions. Usually hits with Holy-fied Frostbrand greatsword from Fire Temple. Role in this fight: Healing/ initial decoy/ keeping out of the way. AC 26ish, ~200 HP

    Aureleon: Elf Ftr 20. CG STR 26 (base 16, adjusted to 20 by 20th level, then Belt +6). Hits two handed with Scather (has Improved Crit but not Exotic Weapon Prof). Buffs to CON give 230 HP. Wears boots of speed from Greater Temple Troop Commander (IIRC) but seem to have broken them somehow, possibly by attempting to stack a Haste spell on top at some point.. Role: Hit Iuz with Scather (by the end of WotGS was hitting for ~80 regular, ~120 on criticals against normal foes, seems to do mid-40s per hit to Iuz )

    Gethin: Dwarf Cleric 19 (bit behind after crafting all those Holy weapons). Lvl 6 spells: all Heal. Lvl 9: 2 Mass Heals (useful if if you can't get to Aureleon in time or don't want to risk attacks of Op) and a Miracle (just in case). Others pretty much Summon Monster (SM) n, but may be used as sponatneous cures. Wand of SM 1. Role: keep Aureleon alive/ Summon decoys. (No metamagic: quicken spell, which in retrospect is a bit of an oversight)

    Alannah: Elf Wiz 19. ~90 HP- just abt manages to survive a single Iuz sneak attack if caught flatfooted- but should usually be able to avoid this. Not a specialist wizard (ie no opposition schools), but does lean towards conjuration. Relevant feats: Augment Summoning, Metamagic: quickened spell. Spell selection: ALL Summon Monster n, apart from a couple of Stoneskins, a couple of Hastes, and all Lvl 5 spells are quickened SM1. Also has a wand of Stoneskin (always useful to have)

    Magda: Human Ftr19 Wiz 1. Took a level of Wiz around 12th level as a way of getting more allies on the battlefield quickly (using a wand of SM1) and as someone to use the wands/ staves that I was finding. Otherwise usually a reach/ utility fighter using a Glaive. Has wands of SM1 and Stoneskin. Role inthis battle: Summoner, occasional buff

    Njalla: Halfling Rog 15/ Rgr 5. Usually does sneak attacks; role here: keep out the way apart from as an initial decoy

    Incus: Dwarf Ftr 11, Brb 9. Initially my Tank: good CON, Hvy Armour and Tower sheild. By this stage best AC in group (30) with Full Plate +3, Heroes Sheild +3 and a +2 Ring of resistance. Role Here: Initial decoy if necessary (has 240HP) but also carries the Golden Skull so can cast Stoneskin x1 and can summon one each of Water, Air, Fire elementals, so also has a Summoner role
    Specifics
    Round one: as soon as you 'land', check out the initiative bar and work out which avatar is which. At worst, 4 characters will suffer sneak attacks before you can react at all- this happened on one play-through, taking Alannah down to single figure HP, but no-one should be getting hit again without my say-so so that's okay. First actions: give each avatar something to hit. Alannah (wiz) casts a quickened SM1 followed by SM9 if necessary; Incus summons an elemental, Gethin uses either SM8 or does some healing if necessary, Magda uses her wand of SM1. If needs be, an avatar who will act before a decoy can be sommoned is approached by Njalla or Jovian, who stands off such that Iuz will have to move and thus only get one attack in. Aureleon attacks an avatar that is being menaced by a rat, raven or dog, hitting for ~40HP. Subsequent rounds: any PC decoys run away from avatars (all have max possible tumble skills after an early AoO nightmare in my first game) and get back into position to support. Priorities now and hereafter:
    1 keep every avatar provided with something to kill in preference to my PCs
    2 keep Aureleon's HP close to max (lay on hands, Heal potions, Heal/ Mass Heal spells)
    2a keep Aureleon's skin stony
    3 Hasten Aureleon so he's getting an extra hit per round

    Because there's a degree of flexibilty in who can do what, it's generally possible to have Aureleon hastened and with at least 150 pts of DR by the time he's being hit in round 2 (if necessary, I could hold him back from combat until he has more stoneskins in place). Elder elementals usually last 2 rounds, 3 if I use a lay on hands, or (if Mass Healing anyway) for 4, giving Alannah time to lay down some buffing on Aureleon (after first casting a quickened SM1). Once he's well enough protected, Aureleon is hitting an avatar 5 times/round (with Haste). Avatar then kills the 1 HD summoned monster that's barking/ pecking at him and cleaves into Aureleon, who hits back with Scather. For some reason, the Iuz avatars preferentially attack the summoned monsters. Occasionally I've had Aureleon take the full force of Iuz's 9 or 10 attacks, but have always been able to get him back on his feet using Heal or (once) Miracle in time to hit back before the avatar hits him again.
    With 4 avatars things have to be done pretty tightly (would be easier if my cleric could summon twice a round like the wizard) but once one goes down it becomes easier.
    As I say, the whole thing is totally dependent on the fact that the avatars will always stand in place and attack a 1HD monster rather than hunt down PCs, and will nearly always attack a 1HD monster in preference to the fighter doing them 200+ HP damage per round, but there's no way any party could survive if Iuz's AI targetted Answering sword weilder> Divine caster > Other caster > other PC

    Apart from (admittedly big caveats) scather and spell selection, this is a fairly organic party build, I think- main reason for 4 fighters and a conjuror was to play the tunnel-fighting in the temple as tactical melee, rather than multiple-fireball-and-mop-up-the-rest. No one is really min-maxed out (could have gone for Human or Dwarf Ftr10 Brb 10 for Scather, for eg, and used rage, and there are probably 10 'better' levels to add to a Pal 10 than another 10 of Paladin)

    Ends
     
  6. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Or more briefly:
    1) Deal damage with a character armed with Fragarach and a maxed Power Attack, buffed strength and haste. Enlarge person for reach and possibly some sneak attack damage might be useful too.
    2) Summon lots of decoys. Don't have to be big or tough, since they're gonna die anyway. But Iuz(s) will attack what's in front of him and doesn't target the PCs, so you should be able to limit him to one hit on your Fragger (who if CG will reply with interest) per round.
    3) Other characters keep out of the way, maintain high density of Stoneskins on your Fragger, and keep his hit points up.
     
  7. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    PS Kudos to Terjon for 'solving' this without recourse to
    Answering Swords.
    I remember playing IWD2 on Heart of Fury mode and being stuck with the penultimate battle on the roof-top where you wander into the middle of several big mobs- eventually I solved it by running to the bottom corner by the top of the stairs,
    walled off my mage and cleric with three other PCs alongside taking Sanctuary potions and a super-tough fighter the only attackable character plugging the end. Enemies thus forced to come at the fighter one-by one while the cleric kept him alive and summoned undead and the mage rained down horrid wiltings, delayed fireballs and other arcane havoc.
    It ain't role playing, but the tactical game can be pretty good too!
     
  8. hugin7

    hugin7 Member

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    Based on the feedback here and elsewhere, it appears that many parties reach level 20 in time for this encounter. I completed all of the quests documented in the walkthrough at http://www.co8.org/community/index....eight-modpack-new-content-edition.8742/page-2 and only find my party at level 18 as I am about to start Demons and Demigods.

    I used only 5 PCs throughout the game (no NPCs) and finished the original content with enough XP for level 14.5, though I did not level up beyond 10 until I reached Verbobonc to complete the temple as intended. After the first couple of quests (White Dragon and Slave Traders), I was 16+ and thought I was over-leveled. However, the rest of the content only yielded 2 more levels.

    Are there quests that are not documented in the walkthrough mentioned above? If not, are players simply grinding/cheating their way to level 20 prior to Demons and Demigods?
     
  9. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    No, the walkthrough covers all the quests.
     
  10. hugin7

    hugin7 Member

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    Thank you, looks like I didn't miss anything. I admit I am surprised that I managed to gain only 3.5 levels across all of the new content; based on the feedback I've seen, I was under the impression that parties were able to level from 10 to 20.

    I suppose that there is one other possibility besides grinding/cheat console to explain others' XP gain. Maybe recent versions of Temple+ adjusted the experience curve, making the new content far less generous than it used to be. The Temple+ change log (http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/temple-changelog.99319/) suggests this possibility; it states that "XP table now scales to level 20 properly." Perhaps Sitra Achara can chime in on this issue when he returns from vacation.

     
  11. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    Co8 had a workaround method that more or less fixed the xp gain (by adjusting the CR of slain creatures) so XP shouldn't be substantially different in Temple+.
     
  12. sigofmugmort

    sigofmugmort Established Member Supporter

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    The Number of PC's/NPC's in a party has the biggest effect as the EL is adjusted based off of 4 party members and quest XP is divided by the total number in your party
     
  13. hugin7

    hugin7 Member

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    Welcome back! If we're ready to rule out Temple+ as a source of XP difference, I guess that leaves grinding/console adjustments as the likely explanations for the difference among end-game XP among players.

    If anyone remembers gaining substantially more than 3.5 levels from the new content "legitimately," please speak up. :)

     
  14. hugin7

    hugin7 Member

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    As I mentioned above, I only used 5 PCs the entire time and no NPCs, which is fewer party members than what I see with most players. By comparison, Nightcanon's party, documented above, has 7 party members, yet all but one crafter reached level 20.

    I am an extreme completionist who uses multiple walkthroughs to make sure I cover all content. I travel/rest liberally and don't skip random encounters. After hitting lvl 14.5 after the original content and lvl 16 after white dragon/slave traders, I thought I was over-leveled and slated to max out my party early. A grand total of 3.5 levels for new content took me by surprise, so I hope to get to the bottom of it.

    Hope folks are not ashamed to admit grinding/cheating their way to level 20 at the end. Don't worry, we won't hold it against you. ;)

     
  15. hugin7

    hugin7 Member

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    Here's another possibility... maybe players are committing genocide in Hommlet/Nulb near the end of the game, considering the NPCs in these towns are no longer essential once the end is nigh...
     
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