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

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

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  1. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

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    Does Enlarge Person actually increase Str, to hit bonus, or hp? Or does it just increase reach and movement speed?

    I used it once, in the playthrough that "climaxed" with my getting owned in the Temple. I used it cause I was a bit low on other spells when I tripped the Moathouse ambush.

    You are correct that I underuse my spellcasters, and tend to focus too much on the most obvious use of spells. Something you guys are helping me to unlearn with all your feedback.

    In the interest of sorting "testing" how hard you can push things before they "break" I took that party of five described previously and sent them off to their deaths. I think I tackled the Giant or something crazy . . . just to put things into perspective. I've always been like that, starting, restarting, etc. to gradually build up a better intuitive sense for the game.

    My newest interest is to try to get to about Level 5 with ONLY a team of 3 PCs, and no recruited NPCs. I figure if a group of 5 PCs + Zaxis (added at the Level 2.25 point) can be at about Level 5 by the time they get to Nulb, then a group of 3 PCs might be able to be at level 6 or 7 when they get to Nulb? The toons I rolled up, using 25pt random roll exploit (all humans):

    I've tried to integrate more of your suggestions, e.g., trying not to have such low Wis in non cleric toons so as to have better Will saves.

    1. Anders Metrick, male fighter,
    Str 18
    Dex 16
    Cons 18
    Int 14
    Wis 15
    Cha 11
    Feats: Pwr Atk, Cleave, Imp Init
    Skills: Heal +2; Hide +1; Intim +4; Mv Silent +1; Tumble +2; Use Magic +2

    When I rolled this guy I think was planning for him to be a straight fighter all the way, perhpas a Barb at level 4 or 12. But he might be better as a cleric at level 5? In which case, I probably should've put the extra skill points in Concentration in stead of stealthy?

    2. Molly Adona
    Str 18
    Dex 18
    Cons 14
    Int 14
    Wis 14
    Cha 17
    Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Imp Init
    Skills: Bluff +2; Diplo +2; Gath Info +2; Use Magic +2; Perform +2

    Initially intended this toon to do Fighter to level 2, then Bard. Maybe wise to go Fighter to 2 and then Sorceror (in which case those two points spent in Perform are a waste)?

    3.
    Str 16
    Dex 18
    Cons 16
    Int 18
    Wis 16
    Cha 10
    Feats: Spell focus Ench, Gr Spell Focus Ench, Imp Init
    Skills: Appraise +2; Concentration +2; Hide +2; Mov Sil +2; Spellcraft +2; Tumble +2; Survival +2

    Obviously, this guy is going to be the Fighter X / Wizard N character with intent to take advantage of the enchantment school. I did this when I realized, ah you get that extra feat as a fighter, take them in magic boosting feats, and then when you switch to Wizard at level 2 or 3, you get a good boost to Enchants?

    So what do you guys think? Should I reroll these toons to be slightly different, given a goal to try to get to about level 5 or 6 making zero use of NPCs or additional PCs?

    When I recuited Otis I realized, Holy crap, some of these NPCs are pretty awesome. While I prefer an all PC squad, I thought I could get the 'best of both worlds' by using a small group of PCs (to level up faster) and then recruit more powerful NPCs a bit down the line.

    XP is fixed according to quest and monster's killed right? So a team of 3 who do the same quests and kill the same monsters will level up faster than a group of 5?

    Seems like Zaxis is the only NPC that is pretty much a "take when available" NPC for pre-Level 5 or 6. I found him to be quite useful, but really sort of overkill. I would assume that with enough traveling around one is pretty likely to encounter him, and I guess he would be the one NPC I'd consider adding prior to Nulb, as I expect after you encounter him once he may not appear again? Assuming that adding Zaxis was a plan then making the high Cha "Molly" toon oriented to become a sorcerer at level 3 (and redoing the skill points and feats accordingly) might be wise?
     
  2. Gehennis

    Gehennis Established Member

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    If you're going to recruit Zaxis (and some folks give him a few levels of ranger) I'd say switch Molly's STR and INT stats, and maybe the DEX and CHR as well- more points per level due to a high INT is always a good thing. Also you could drop the +2 Use Magic and Perform and go with Concentration, Heal or Tumble instead...
     
  3. Forgalz

    Forgalz Established Member

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    I'm not sure this has been mentioned: learn to use the combat options from the radial menu right, you'll find this makes a ton of difference in almost all fights.

    For example the "5-foot step": You have a good fighter with Cleave. He is about to deal a killing blow. But is he close enough to another mob to actually cleave? Don't leave this to chance; check and if possible, 5-foot-step into a better position before you click attack. And pick the setting to not end you round automatically; if you have not used your step, you may still want to reposition after your attacks.

    Once you get more than one attack, learn to use "full attack " and use it most of the time, because you'll waste many attacks of your strongest fighters if you don't. Remember that you also can do a 5-foot step between the single attacks. This may work particularly well when you also get Great Cleave.

    Generally, position is key. Take a fighter with Combat Reflexes. Make sure to put him where all the hostiles need to pass to get anywhere. Don't be impatient. Often, it is better to let the mobs come to you and receive them in a well-organized formation. They will waste their turn running to you, and some may even not get the memo and join the fight only later. Block doors, don't storm into rooms without reconnaisance, wait out of line-of-sight etc.

    Also learn to use the "Ready vs. ..." option. Melee types will frequently ready vs. approach, for the reason given above. Archers and casters with a Magic Missile ready will often ready vs. spell and neuter the enemy spellcasters.

    Learn to delay actions by moving the icons and do it, especially if your Improved Initiative guys have won the first action block together. It does matter a lot if your fighters go first and your bard then casts Haste on them, or the other way around! If you have an Improved Tripper, try to use him before your other melee guys because this will give them bonuses. Conversely, if you have archers, have them go first, because they will receive a penalty to hit once the bad guy is prone.

    And so on. finally, be not too proud to retreat when things are going south. Better live to win the fight another day.
     
  4. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

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    Good advice Forgalz. I feel like I fully understand about maybe 50% of the radial menu.

    Ready vs. approach I've used a lot and yeah, quite effective. I've also used Ready vs. withdrawal a coupletimes and strangely it seems to do exactly the same thing? The mob in the ready players zone didn't withdraw; but a second mob approached and it interrupted their action.

    So it seems that, at least for Ready vs. Withdrawal it functions as a general purpose "Ready vs. Enemy movement?" Is Ready vs. Approach the same? Are they really just interchangeable?

    The full attack / single attack thing I need to read more about. I use charging quite a bit to get the +3 to hit and to initiate combat as I prefer, and less often use the Ready vs. approach "kill zone" tactic you describe. But yeah, both useful it seems in different contexts.

    Trip attacks: I've developed an allergy to using these! Seems way too risky for a toon without the higher tier (Improved Trip I think it is); seems that, as often as not, you trip yourself.

    Didn't really realize those more subtle points you make about five-foot step. I generally have only used it go get ranged or spellcasters out of melee, repositioning cleavers is a great suggestion.

    So here are some specific questions about game mechanics I still find to be obscure:

    1. Touch attacks like shocking grasp. What is the best way to deliver these? I'll explain how I've struggled.

    My sorcerer has his staff in hand, he is middle in the initiative queue. There is one more monster and a couple players to come after him, but the monster is unlikely to pose a threat. There is however, another monster right in front of him (not in touch range, but easily in short movement range). So he moves up near the enemy, casts shocking grasp, hits the opponent with his staff, the charge dissipates and it is unclear if the spell worked or not.

    Do you need to have empty hands (or at least one empty hand) to effectively discharge a touch spell? Should he cast the spell at the beginning of combat anda retain the charge until it is opportune to use it? I noticed that, the charge carries over even when traveling from location to location on the main map!?

    2. Full Attack: to me that means: use up all your attacks (1st, 2nd . . . Nth) in the next left-mouse click. Whereas "single attack" means just use one attack (so if you had two, you'd have one left). Is that correct?

    If it is true, then what really is the point of using "full attack?"

    3. The ready versus spell tactic. I assume one of the best applications of this is as follows: there is an obvious enemy spellcaster among the enemy. Either a friendly spellcaster (who has an unused ranged spell in their memory bank) or an archer/slinger (who has at least one ranged attack and ammo) gets this tactic, and then (if they succeed) they interrupt the enemy spellcaster by shooting at him/her/it? Right? So how effective is this?

    I noticed in my Temple Tower fight, there were lots of enemy archers all clearly firing shots with this tactic at my wizard, but I don't know if a single one of them succeeded. Maybe his Concentration skill was just so high that they were ineffective, but I've been hesitant to "waste" an opportunity to mete out dps by allocating spellcasters or archers to this tactic if I don't have a good sense that it is reasonably effective and (for example) that a level 1 party can use it pretty effectively.

    4. Combos: Lets say I'm facing the toads. I got a couple fighters, a Wizard and an archer rogue. I got the jump on them so I get all my players actions first. Is it possible to do something like: Move the two fighters to sort of two "corners" of the enemies approach zone and set them to ready vs. approach, AND set the Wizard (with magic missile in his memory) and the archer (with a bow and ammo) to ready vs. approach and have it work well? The idea being, first toad starts to come closer, toon with highest initiative (say the archer) interrupts and fires an arrow, and if he hits causes the toad to stop midway in its move? Then another toad starts to move and the next highest and so on so that all four toads get their actions interrupted?

    Or do ranged attacks not work to interrupt movement?

    5. Hotkeys: what hotkeys do you guys tend to use? So far, I've been using the following and I don't really find it to be optimum.

    Charge - Z
    Total Defense - T
    Ready vs. Approach - A
    Ready vs. Withdrawal - W
    Five foot step - Y

    Use Device -Scribe Scroll - U (I find when I do these I often need to do a bunch and hotkeying it makes it less annoying)

    Cure Minor wounds - ,
    Cure Light wounds .
    Cure Moderate Wounds /
    (Not ideal but that way they are all in a sequence)

    Read Magic - I

    seems like there were some other spells I found you tend to use repeatedly but cannot recall now.
     
  5. Goshi3156

    Goshi3156 Dire Badger

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    1. Shocking Grasp works differently from Ghoul Touch. You have to right-click the target and select the spell to use it IIRC. Shocking Grasp is one of those "avoid using at all costs" type spells though. Its a waste of a spell slot for a Sorcerer.

    2. That is correct. Full Attack is when you want to unleash your flurry on a single target.

    3. Ready vs. Spell does exactly that. If any spell caster attempts to cast a spell, you'll cut their turn and will be able cast a single spell or make a single attack. PCs generally have higher concentration than NPCs or enemies. Also max DPS won't be much help if the caster nukes your entire team with Fireball, causes them to randomly act on their own will with Confuse, or flat-out instantly kill you with Phantasmal Killer. I personally think the trade off is fine.

    4. Ready vs. Approach only works if the target is moving next to you, it won't halt their movement. If you want to stop their movement, use a Trip Attack or cast the appropriate spell (Web, Entangle, Stinking Cloud... etc)
     
  6. Daryk

    Daryk Veteran Member

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    To clarify, "Single Attack" is a Standard Action, while "Full Attack" is a Full Round Action. That means you can take a Move Action with a Single Attack, but only a 5-Foot Step with a Full Attack. If you take a Single Attack, you will not have any of your other attacks left in a round.
     
  7. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

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    So my latest party is, all human:

    1. Fighter (with about 16 Wis, Pwr Atk, Cleave, & either Imp Int or Combat Reflexes [he has 17 Dex]), which I intend to multi to cleric. What level? 3 or 5?

    2. Druid, with enhanced conjure and enchant. The latter has already paid off as I have two enchanted toads with which to clear the bandits in the courtyard :) Its too bad they disappear before you enter a new cell.

    Those charmed toads will disappear before I enter either the moat tower or the moathouse proper (or depart moathouse area) right?

    I've never been too much on Druids. Maybe the bias of having first played the game before they were included. But it is pretty clear they are a quite useful force multiplier and it seems at higher levels quite powerhouses in their own right. That jackal is about the equivalent of 2 additional player toons and he doesn't absorb any XP! She has decent stats all around, but somewhat low Cha (10).

    3. Rogue, with high Dex Int and Cha: the leader, voice man, and at some point will multi to wizard. Took precise and point blank shots. What level should I get a wizard level with him?, 2, or 4? I'd lean toward earlier as I really only took the rogue to get the sneak attack, open lock and trapfinding (plus the plentiful skill points), and I don't like not having a Wizard, plus I find Wiz needs to level up as quick as possible and not lag behind. Any reason not to do something like Level 2 through 7 wizard, then get the rogue levels to get the better rogue skills?
     
  8. Goshi3156

    Goshi3156 Dire Badger

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    1. 5th level is when you should start leveling Cleric, since you'll have the Weapon Specialization feat.

    2. Enemies affected by Charm Person seem to travel with you, I assume its the same for Charm Animal.

    3. Start as early at 2nd level. One level is plenty if you're only using the Rogue level for the Rogue skills. That said though, Wizards and Druids have spells that can substitute for the Rogue skills anyway (Warp Wood, Knock and Invisibility). The only thing spells can't substitute is the ability to Pickpocket.
     
  9. Dreamteam

    Dreamteam Member

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    The duration of Charm Animal spell is 1 hr/lvl, so the Toads should follow you into the moathouse proper and remain under your control as long as you don't stop to rest.

    Be aware that once the charm wears off, they will turn hostile again. So it is best that they take the brunt of the fighting so that they either die first, or are severely wounded when the charm wears off. THe charm can wear off either as you walk around, or rest. BUt if the charm wears off while you are moving on the World Map, you don't fight them (they just disappear from your group once you arrive at your destination).

    Ditto with Charm Person or the Domination spells (although Domination lasts MUCH longer).
     
  10. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

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    Cool thanks guys!

    I thought the warp wood spell didn't work? Seem to recall seeing it in a list of "Spells that do not work" in Gazra's list or something.

    Also, there are a few locks to pick and a few secret doors to spot early on in ToEE. Knock if I recall is just about Level 2, and those other ones also not accessible to level 1 casters. Plus, I figure once I get him up with Wizard, maybe level up some thieving for additional rogue combat skills.
     
  11. Goshi3156

    Goshi3156 Dire Badger

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    Warp Wood works on chests, it doesn't work on enemies using bows or crossbows however.

    Locked doors don't appear until the Temple. Locked chests appear as early as Hommlet, but picking them will cause the NPCs to go hostile. You don't need a Rogue to spot hidden doors, a character with decent amounts of ranks in Search will suffice. Elves also have a bonus to finding hidden doors.
     
  12. Dreamteam

    Dreamteam Member

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    There is a locked chest in the tomb chamber of the Chaotic Neutral opening vignette. If you can't open it, you can't proceed to Hommlet.
     
  13. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

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    There is also the lock to pick at Welkwood.
     
  14. Goshi3156

    Goshi3156 Dire Badger

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    I forgot about that one. I always pick Lawful Something >_>

    I wasn't sure if you were playing the NC version or not. You can always come back for it later though, its not going to be moving anywhere.
     
  15. Anthropoid

    Anthropoid Established Member

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    So are pretty much all the containers in the game safe to leave stuff in?

    For that matter, if you just drop something, say I drop a bunch of slings outside Welcome Wench, will they stay there forever?

    On a related note: why does a spell like Detect Evil not reveal NPCs like Zert, etc. to be evil? It seems like the way this game works, all of the detection (if not all the divination school) spells are just worthless. Why would you cast detect evil while you are in a dungeon!? Of COURSE there are evil critters in a fricking dungeon! :p
     
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