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Adding difficulty to IWD

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by Bion, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. Bion Gems: 21/31
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    Following nataben's bg2 thread, which tried to come up with ways to make bg2 challenging without using insane tactics and the resulting cheesy strategies that seems to demand, I thought I'd offer what I'm doing in my current (second) run-through of IWD.

    My first runthrough used the standard cast of multi-class fighters with 18/xx str. Instead of playing again at Insane, I left it at Core and nerfed the party using these guidelines:

    1) No stat rerolls (expect stat totals between 76 and 80)
    2) No multi- or dual-classing
    3) Only one PC in the party may have a stat of 18 in any given ability; likewise, only one may have a 17 in that ability, and likewise for scores of 16 and 15. (Thus, a maximum of 4 characters in the party can get HP bonuses from Con).
    4) A PC may only have one 18 ability score, one 17 ability score, one 16, and one 15.
    5) A PC cannot have any score lower than 8, and can only have one score of 8. Further, only one PC in the party can have a score of 8 in any particular ability score.

    Using these guidelines greatly nerfed the party's melee abilities, and put more focus on using the special abilities in the party. It was still very easy to make a balanced party of, say, 2 fighters, a mage, a cleric, a thief, and a bard. Plus, the differences in abilities seemed to give the characters more depth. I've enjoyed this group much more than the earlier one, I must say. And it has proved more of a challenge.

    Anyone else have thoughts along these lines?
     
  2. Yulaw9460 Gems: 9/31
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    Interesting concept... I used something similar in BG1+2 with a totally custom party. However, I didn´t use this specific system, I just rolled until 3 stats on each character was above 16 and left it there. My mage got a pretty crappy Int. and great Wis, but hey, a mage doesn´t necessarily have to be good at his job. It does add to the challenge...

    Perhaps I should try in IWD too...
     
  3. Lynadin Gems: 11/31
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    Adding difficulty can be done in many ways. I prefer to make a normal party, as ususal, and then leave out the Fighter, in that way, the remaining 5 gets a little more XP, but they have to fight for it... ;)
     
  4. MrNexx Gems: 7/31
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    Solo the game WITHOUT doing the "play through HoW until the burial isle" semi-cheat. I'm currently working with a solo paladin, and its pretty difficult. A solo bard is, actually, not that bad, once you get the Horn of Valhalla, and especially once you get 11th level and the Warchant of the Sith; at that point, the game pratically wins itself... summon some berserkers, then sit back with a longbow and hit anything that they don't get.
     
  5. Yulaw9460 Gems: 9/31
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    Good point. Whatever happened to the pure class character? It´s all about dualing and such. Most character builds for IWDII are about: Hey, add 1 lvl Ranger+1 lvl Rogue+4 lvl fighter+....Blabla. Only then you have a perfect character.

    I know IWDII uses a different set of rules, but still. I never dual in 2nd edition games, since most characters "work fine" on their own. As an example, I never use Imoen in BG2 af a thief, even though she has the levels for it. If I desperately need two classes in one, I´ll multi, but IMO a single class cleric is a lot easier to handle than a fighter/cleric. It isn´t an unwritten (or written) rule that a single class character will do any worse than a multi or dual, at least not as far as I remember... :)
     
  6. MrNexx Gems: 7/31
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    Well, IWD2's rules are completely different on the subject of multiclassing; they assume you're going to dual-class, to an extent, taking a couple levels to round out your character, and so they make it easy.

    2nd edition was much more about group, rather than individual, competency. Yes, you may have a fighter, and he's just a fighter... but he's not designed to be played all alone. He's usually going to be working in a group which will include a cleric for healing, a theif or ranger for scouting, and a wizard for artillery. Dual-classing, in that case, becomes more of a character concept thing, rather than a matter of building wide competency.
     
  7. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    @MrNexx: I soloed the game with a Ranger and it was pretty easy (the start was tricky but when he began to level up things started to work just fine) SOLO can be easier than playing a party: more level ups, more control (only one character), more items (the PC has everything he needs and more+)

    I think a non fighting class would be pretty tricky... though I can be mistaken, but IWD includes a lot of melee, a solo thief would have some hard time staying alive (traps and locks are not an issue since you can just walk over them and bash them).
     
  8. Bion Gems: 21/31
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    Yeah, since IWD is so melee heavy, cutting down your party's melee abilities makes things much more interesting.

    I like the idea of, say, giving oneself a limited number of stat rerolls, but not allowing any stat adjustment (so you don't have the standard powergamed character who's stats are only either 18s or 10s...)

    And it's true that soloing can be rather easy, almost cheesy sometimes, given that the solo character has many times the experience of characters in a party. Especially cheesy if you use fog of war to pick off enemies one by one. A ranger would be especially good due to the stealth abilities (and the cleric spells would come in handy too...)
     
  9. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    The Ranger gets more attacks if he uses a one handed sword, that makes a difference at the start. ;)
     
  10. MrNexx Gems: 7/31
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    Actually, I think a big challenge would be soloing a single class thief. No spellcasting, weak melee... you're going to do a lot of strike and fade tactics, but there are so many undead here, who knows if you're going to be able to make use of backstab until almost Dorn's Deep.
     
  11. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Good luck if you try ;)
    A thief will level up very quickly if he survives...
     
  12. Bion Gems: 21/31
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    Even harder might be a party of thieves, who won't level up so quickly (but the 6-man backstab attempts could be funny)...
     
  13. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Not so hard actually - assign each thief to backstab one target. If you time it correctly, most encounters will be over in exactly one one second as your thieves backstab everyone. The micromanagement will be hell though.
     
  14. Svyatoslav Gems: 12/31
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    I always had this idea... Not to increase difficult, but to try to highten the sense of reality and immersion:
    Playing without the usual death/trap sprung/bad choice of dialogues/low HP increase when leveling =load. It would also include no stats re rolls.
    Of course any game would become unbearable...
     
  15. MrNexx Gems: 7/31
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    I know a theif will level up quickly... I've done it with a Bard (who gets really easy about 11th level, as I've mentioned).
     
  16. Harkle Gems: 16/31
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    Soloing a thief could be too hard - especially when you meet powerful wizards or any creatures immune to backstab.

    I've once tried soloing a cleric, but I didn't have energy to continue past 2nd level of Dragon's Eye. She was actually quite good against undead: sanctuary + turn undead is nice combo. But lizardmen are just too strong in melee. Her biggest problem was low thac0. Dual-class cleric would have been much easier to play.
     
  17. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    The number of attacks which would have been pretty low. At least a thief can use a bow which means two attacks. Anyway in melee the thief would be in serious trouble... at least the cleric can heal, cast sanctuary, wear heavy armour.
     
  18. MrNexx Gems: 7/31
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    Sanctuary! Arrgh! I was soloing my paladin through the Burial Isle, and if I'd only thought of Sanctuary, it would've been even more of a walk!
     
  19. Harkle Gems: 16/31
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    I decided to continue that solo-cleric game. I've noticed that clerics have some strong offensive spells - like glyph of warding (am I right that it doesn't have damage cap?) and flame strike. Low thac0 is no longer big problem at level 10: she can cast draw upon holy might and protection from evil so many times, that she becomes a decent warrior (AC -11 :p )

    So... playing solo cleric isn't so difficult at all.
     
  20. Sevarus Gems: 2/31
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    I soloed a Paladin... it wasn't nearly as hard as everyone seems to think it is. Lay on Hands was a godsend though. *pun*
     
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