Strong Natural Rolled 5 PC parties (and many other questions)

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by Anthropoid, Jan 13, 2015.

Remove all ads!
  1. Dreamteam

    Dreamteam Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    @ Anthrpoid: The "Temple" refers to the big evil-looking cathedral building. There is a little side door entrance in one of the buttresses to the left of the front door.

    (Spoiler, kinda)
    If you have Lareth in your party, his goal is to feign cooperation but actually to lure you to the very dangerous temple Bandit Tower instead, so as to keep you from entering the Temple proper.

    Hint: There is another "roleplay method" way to enter the bandit tower without getting attacked...
    ;)

    Big Spoiler:
    You don't actually need to clear the Bandit Tower or even go there at all in order to complete the adventure. But if you play it right, the bandits adopt Lareth as their leader and he becomes a MERCHANT you can trade with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  2. Daryk

    Daryk Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,104
    Likes Received:
    22
    As with most tough fights, the "easy button" is to hit the "C" key while the dialog is running. That will give at least your speaking character the drop on the bad guys. If you're fast enough when you come in the door, you may be able to preempt some of their buffing.
     
  3. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    You know, except for Sonic Burst, I had all of that at my disposal. I could see how glitterdust on the clump of henchmen near the middle blocking the path to the Wizard and Lietenant would help (some), Bless to resist the but The thing that I find mildly annoying about that particular fight is the way the furniture and the placement of the badguys is so unbelievable, "railroading" I believe is the word that might best describe it :p

    Most encounters in this game, there seem to be multiple different ways to deal with it. For example Lareth, I handled it by basically luring them into the hallway then using my tank as a shield and peltering him with magic missiles and other missiles. Once he was down, my attack rolls against the underlings were certainly much better and even though it got off to bad start, no one died and I won. The same with nearly every fight in the game really. Having played through to Nulb probably 6 or 7 times and having played the earlier stuff even more than that, there always seems to be multiple ways to cope with most encounters. Sure, some of them have "tricks" that you need to pull if you want it to be easier (e.g., the Deklo spiders = must set to sneak before you depart) but still multiple ways to deal with it.

    For that Tower Temple, its like so scripted. *sigh* is the game more and more like that as you get to higher levels? Either having prescience to know what preparations and tactics are necessary to win a fight or having done readthroughs? Cause if so, I don't think I'll make it to the end of the game.
     
  4. Daryk

    Daryk Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,104
    Likes Received:
    22
    One of the reasons I rely so heavily on archers is their ability to consistently target enemy spell casters early in a fight. It's not so much prescience as good general tactics. Identify the biggest threats, and drop them first.
     
  5. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I'll consider my "Four Fighters and a Ranger" experiment to be "semi-failed" though I dislike how that temple encounter comes with virtually no warning in game. I am cursed with a very deep "dead is dead" ethos so I've pretty much retired that save. I did take the opportunity to examine the challenge of killing the Giant with a level 10 fighter in the group, and it was pretty edifying. But yeah, Pure Mage in my next group . . .

    1. Molly Grimaldi, human rogue. Cannot decide if she is going to be an archry or twohander or both. Her starting feats were:
     
  6. Gehennis

    Gehennis Established Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    15
    I always go with missile use for my rogue- backstabs are nice but all it takes is one hit to take out your rogue, and with the way CO8 modded some of the enemy tactics, why risk it? Along that line, have you visited any merchant after defeating the Deklo Wood spiders? One of them could be a huge help to a bow wielding character...
     
  7. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah I'm aware of all the fine wood work availalbe once the Deklo's are dead ;) Though I have yet to use those enough to really be impressed by them.

    My new party members:

    1. Rogue, 18 Dex 12 Str, so I took the two ranged Feats
    2. Fighter, 2h weapon Power Atk and Cleave
    3. Druid (survival skill team member) spell focus Conjuration and Augment Summon
    4. Wizard (Enchanting specialist) Spell focus Enchanting and Spell Penetration
    5. Sorcerer, Improved Iniative and Combat Casting.

    Didnt' buy much at all in ShopMap, then immediately went and gambled Furnok. After which recuited him and went straight to Welk. Used Furnok as a meathshield, killed a few kobolds (Furnok dying in the process . . . ah, so sad, now I'll have to pilfer this gear he didn't want to share :p)

    Went and got the Giant gear buying sneaking.

    Went back to Hommlet and did a few of the social quests (Bing and the Carpenter).

    Studied up two Charm Animals and plenty of Daze to face the toads and went to Moat.

    Now here is where I notice how much weaker this party is than the "Four Fighters and a Ranger party." First off I had a random encounter I had no option to avoid (not a big deal only two skeletons). The druids jackal took most of the damage, but I still needed to head back to Hommlet to heal up.

    Back to Moathouse . . . Druid casts Charm Animal -> Toad saved successfully.
    Wizard casts Daze -> Toad saves successfully,
    Fighter charges Toad -> 16 damage!
    Sorcerer casts Shocking Grasp -> somehow managed to botch it, how the HELL do you get touch spells to apply when you have weapon in your hands!?
    Thief backed off and hurled a bullet (you know, at that big lumbering behemoth of a toad) -> missed
    Jackal companion attacks -> misses

    Next round, Toad attacks Rogue (she had back up about as far as was practicable) -> Unconscious.
    Other toads close in

    Next round
    Fighter charges a different Toad -> 12 damage
    Druid casts her 2nd and final Charm Animal -> Toad successfully saves
    Wizard casts daze -> Toad successfully saves
    Sorceror steps back and casts magic missile -> hits for 3hp

    Toads attack
    Druid (wearing leather pilfered from kobolds and with elven shield) knocked out
    Fighter attacks -> 10 damage

    It was at that point I shook my head in disgust and stopped playing for the moment
    -=-=-=-
    This to me brings out one of the challenging (and sometimes frustrating) elements of the game and highlights why I have developed a bias for the more 'reliable' forms of dps.

    When spells like Tasha's, Charm, glitterdust, blind, even to some extent daze or flare WORK they are fantastic. Huge force multipliers. But then, especially at lower levels, they often do NOT work at all. Yes, melee fighters miss, but it seems much easier to stack the probabilities in ones favor with a level 1 fighter wieldings a sharp pointy, cutty or bashy object than with level 1 spellcasters. I'm sure a Level 3 Wizard and Druid might not fail at these spels as often as a level 1.

    Here is where my "Four Fighters and a Ranger" team really shined. They mopped up a lot of these early mobs quite handily. Not total walkovers, some fights were close, but until that Temple Tower fight, I never had to do a reload because things went completely terribly. They always won.

    The downside of course of expending the first two levels of the Bard, Wizard and Cleric in my group were that at "Level 5" these spellcasters were only Level 3 in their magical careers. They had better BAB, considerably more hitpoints, and given the universal use of Dodge, Improved Initiative and Mobility, better ability to dominate the battlefield. But they were relatively weaker as spellcasters.

    I can't decide what to do. I liked that party that got mowed down at the Temple Tower, had I had the sense not to barge in their maybe they would've done fine in the Temple. But I loathe "reloading" after a group has died.

    Maybe time to take a short break from playing ToEE and focus on KotB or my beta-tester stuff :p

    The Co8 Mod is utterly fantastic. It is hard to recall or iamgine in full how much LESS of a game ToEE was without Co8.

    But I still think there could stand to be two or even three or four more quest sites for parties in the level 1 to 5 range, that are accessible before gonig to Nulb. At present it feels like XP is too scarce without going to the Temple else without grinding Randoms.
     
  8. Vexagar

    Vexagar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Early levels, I find Calm Animals more reliable vs those frogs; it will stun 2-3 typically with no save.
     
  9. Dreamteam

    Dreamteam Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    It sounds like you just got REALLY unlucky with the Toads. And before, you walked right into the bandit tower trap that the devs secretly chortle about. This happens in ToEE.

    As a general strategy, I usually have at least 1 high level NPC join up, and I don't multiclass in general for exactly the reason you stated. If I do multiclass, it is to gain cross-class Feats rather than improved BAB (unlike D&D 2.0). Squishies get Pointblank Shot and Precise Shot with a Light Crossbow and (eventually) a Longspear, so they are not useless once their spells run out. But why should their spells run out? You have scribing scrolls, right? Imo Combat Casting is a waste of a feat, since you can build up that skill without it (and I remember someone mentioned reading scrolls in melee doesn't cause an AoO).

    Charm spells are your best force multipliers, followed by the crowd-control spells and Ray of Enfeeblement (vs Giants/Ettins/Trolls). Remember that in D&D, high Str gives massive combat and damage bonuses, which is why in ToEE many mobs are so deadly! There is very little even a good melee fighter can do against such a mob unless it is neutralized in some magical way, hence the spells listed above. And why expecting your Wiz to dual as a gimped Fighter just doesn't work well (in this game, in other games it is quite viable).

    Don't give up yet if you haven't even been into the Temle yet! DUDE, everything else that comes before is just fluff. You are like missing out on the main attraction!

    If you want a nail-biting first-time Temple run you will never forget, do this (mild spoiler, but well worth it imo):
    First locate the Temple and loot some robes from one of the chests there. Then go to Nulb and talk to Wat at the Hostel and take the "evil" dialogue choices to get yourself "recruited". Then go hire Burne or Ottis (or both). Equip your party ready for ANYTHING. Follow Wat's instructions. You will be pissing in your pants what happens next!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  10. Daryk

    Daryk Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,104
    Likes Received:
    22
    One of my friends in college used to refer to this effect as "save vs. DAMAGE!" It's one of the reasons I multi-class with Fighter so much. As a result, I can usually count on my hands the number of times I rest during a play through. There are more than enough healing potions to see you through until you can craft Periapts of Wound Closure, and crafting doesn't require resting at all.
     
  11. Corwyn

    Corwyn Gnoll Pincushion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    2
    "Mildly annoying"?? It doesn't even compare to the forced battle line arrangement and dead-fall trap prepared in the actual pnp module, from which this crpg attempts to remain faithful. Be thankful the room is as open as it is.

    Every good fighting squad develops tactics based on their individual strengths and talents. They tend to rely repeatedly on those same successful tactics, and often develop a reputation (and thus predictability). However, the only fighting squads that survive to enjoy retirement are those who develop various successful combat tactics and are able to shift gears/tactics when facing a carefully prepared (or scripted) enemy.

    That being said, the toee game engine is extremely agile, and even when reloading and replaying big (fun) fights like this one (or the moathouse finale), in my experience, I've seen lots of variation in enemy maneuvers, even if they are scripted to the same basics.

    Enjoy exploring the rest of the Temple, I'd say, and don't worry so much about dominating every encounter. Enjoy the surprises as well as the mundane. Hey, that's the nature of 'adventuring'.

    ... and not to throw a wet-blanket on your campfire, but all these situations you've described can be handled by a solo character created using the basic point-buy option. The key, as I've always said, is tactics. Use the terrain or furniture to your advantage. Don't get surrounded. Get out of the kill zone ... now. Concentrate fire and take down the biggest threats first. Always leave yourself an out. Stock up on healing. Treat every encounter as if it is the last one of the day -- because it just might be.

    It is possible to escape some overwhelming situations using the 'flee combat' option on the radial menu. It works near doorways that lead 'outside' of a building, and it works in the temple at stairs that lead up/down levels. All it takes is one team member standing by the portal to 'flee' and the entire group 'teleports' outside to safety.
    I've used in the Nulb house ambush, the moathouse, the Brigand/Temple tower, and in the Temple itself if I was unprepared or overwhelmed.

    Last thought -- as someone else already mentioned -- your ranger/fighter squad is weak on Willpower saving throws and crowd control spell casting, which will be a factor mid game (Temple) and late game (nodes and Verbabonc) when you encounter enemy spells/magic. But, with good tactics and a little luck, it can be done. The vanilla game (ended after winning against Temple/Nodes)was designed for 10th level max, so any spell ability really doesn't need to exceed 10th level in order to be successful. I've done it with an iron-man solo Ranger and a solo Fighter/Sorcerer, although there were many fewer 'close calls' with the solo Cleric/Ranger. And I've done it with a group of 3: an archer, a melee fighter, and a mage/cleric. With your current group, you really only need one dedicated spell caster playing the 'hub' role to the spokes of surrounding muscle and steel. Recruit Burne or some other NPC spell caster, and I think you'll be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  12. sonofliberty

    sonofliberty Established Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do an elven rogue fighter ends up rogue 11/ftr 9 and use twf with two meat cleavers(eventually).
     
  13. Gehennis

    Gehennis Established Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    15
    If I may, and assuming all of your characters are human:

    1- great choice of feats- but the merchant I mentioned also sells masterwork items, which you need if you want to enchant them later...

    2- another good choice of feats but I'd also suggest trying Weapon Focus as well- the increased chance to hit at low levels can be a life saver...

    3- another good choice of feats and again, Weapon Focus could help out here as well...

    4 & 5- I usually have both a wizard and a sorcerer in my parties- the wizard learns the general spells and spells for specific situations (like Silence and Haste)while the sorcerer is my main user of offensive and protective magic- Magic Missile, Scorching Ray, Fireball, Stinking Cloud, Cone of Cold, Protection from Elements, Stoneskin etc. I tend to go one of three ways with them for their starting feats: Improved Initiative and Spell Focus Evocation, Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration or Spell Focus Evocation and Greater Spell Focus Evocation. Some folks might argue that such feats are unnecessary so early but my judgement is if I'm going to get them eventually, why not start with them? For starting spells the wizard always gets Charm Person and Grease while the sorcerer gets Magic Missile and Enlarge Person- 2 spells that are effective at any level. Just some ideas for next time...
     
  14. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the feedback guys :)
     
  15. Goshi3156

    Goshi3156 Dire Badger

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    2
    1. Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot right? Later on you will definitely want to consider multiclassing. Either 4 levels of Fighter (For Weapon Specialization and bonus feats) or 2 levels of Ranger (For Favored Enemy and Rapid Shot without spending a feat). You can take the levels whenever you feel comfortable. Personally I take the 2 Ranger levels as soon as possible since there's no traps or anything in the Moathouse or Welkwood Bog.

    2. Grab Weapon Focus as your next feat and you should be golden. As always I recommend multiclassing once you reach 4th level (Or 8th if you want Greater Weapon Focus), since pure Fighters are not so hot. Barbarian, Cleric, Ranger, Rogue, Paladin and, to a lesser extent, Monk are all viable options.

    3. Those two are fine. Later on you might want to consider Spell Focus (Evocation) since most of their bread and butter spells (Call Lightning, Call Lightning Storm, Sunburst, Flame Strike, Fire Storm) are all in the evocation school. Improved Initiative is great on any caster, and Druid is no exception. Someone mentioned Weapon Focus, its an idea if you want your Druid to engage in melee. Bear in mind, if you use Wild Shape, your Weapon Focus feat will be wasted.

    Speaking of Wild Shape, if you like using it, you'll definitely want Natural Spell.

    4. Spell Penetration is useless at 1st level, since nothing will have Spell Resistance until the 3rd floor of Temple (The Sea Hag in Emerys Run has it I know, but its low anyway). Get him Improved Initiative instead. You'll probably want him to be your main crafter, so grab him Forge Weapons & Armor at level 5 - 6, and Craft Wondrous Item whenever.

    5. Combat Casting isn't bad per se... but its a feat more suited to casters that actively engage in melee often (Like Clerics and Druids). Sorcerers get less feats than Wizards so they're much more picky. I would suggest something else instead like a Spell Focus feat.

    Yep, you are underusing your casters. Toads? Cast Enlarge Person on your Fighter and have him Cleave away at them. No point throwing any other spells at them, they're below you (Well maybe cast Magic Weapon on the Fighter's... weapon but you don't have to). Alternatively you can use Entangle and pick them off one by one with ranged attacks.

    Bandits? One well aimed Sleep spell is enough to incapacitate all of them. Afterwards your Fighter, Rogue and Druid can Coup de Grace them. Alternatively you again can Entangle and ranged attacks, though this less effective as they do have archers.

    Spider in the Moathouse? Pick him off with Produce Flame and Magic Missile while the Fighter holds him at bay. After his death, you can sleep here and get your spells back. I recommend Charm Person for the lovely Bandit Leader coming up. His Will save is atrocious before he rages, making him an ideal target. He's a wonderful ally for the rest of the Moathouse.
     
Our Host!