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Dark Sun: Shattered Lands

Discussion in 'Playground' started by kmonster, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    With a little effort I got this old dos AD&D classic crpg running and I'm ready to start now. I'm looking for advice on party creation and general gameplay advice. I'm thinking of the following party composition:

    human fighter or ranger or gladiator 7/psionicist or ? 8/preserver
    (half ?)-elf = fighter or ?/thief/preserver
    half-giant = fighter or ranger/cleric or psionicist
    thri-kreen = fighter or ranger/psionicist/druid or cleric

    Is it possible to tripleclass the human this way ? I don't want to get a bad surprise trying the second dualclassing when the first is complete.
    What are the best choices for what I left open ?
    Does it make sense to take psionicist levels although all characters get psionic abilities ?
     
  2. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    Hey Kmonster, check out this sight for more info on the game & it's sequel

    Dark Sun : The Age of Heroes
    Hope that helps.:)

    Oh, and yes you can have 3 classes as a dual class human according to the manual (p.21)
     
  3. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    My favourite party composition for this game was always as follows:

    Half-Giant gladiator, at some during the game I'll find a ring that boosts dexterity, so this guy has it all.

    Half-Elf Ranger/Thief - Good secondary fighter, and scores a lot of backstabs as well.

    Halfling Druid (Fire)/Psionicist - Wisdom boosts both psionics and spellcasting. Can heal, and casts offensive spells like Flame Strike. Can also use psionic abilities to devastating effect. e.g. Id Insinuation, Mass Domination, or Id Insinuation followed by Disintegrate (can't make the saving throw after being paralyzed by II).

    Elf Preserver
     
  4. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    Hey beren, have you played the sequel?
    IF so, is it better,worse or about the same as the first.
     
  5. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I thought both games were excellent.

    I liked having a variety of races -- a half giant gladiator or pure fighter is great, I wouldn't multiclass a half-giant they're just too powerful as single classed warriors.
     
  6. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yeah, I've played the sequel, and I definitely recommend it.
     
  7. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    I love this game. It's one of my favourite RPGs, though I've not played the sequel. The only problem with the game (and it's a big one) is that it's full of bugs that can get you permanently stuck and unable to finish the game. Even in the latest version there's one that can appear almost at the end game and prevent you from finishing (the final battle never triggers); unfortunately I never managed to figure out what causes this particular bug to happen.

    Beren's party is a very balanced one. I usually go for a similar one:
    Half-giant gladiator
    Mul fighter/thief (the extra strength makes for a very powerful backstab)
    Halfling fighter/druid (fire)
    Elf fighter/preserver

    If you want to be able to do absolutely everything in the game and use all the magic items, you'll also need a Psionicist. The psionics that the other classes get are minimal and not terribly useful. Fighter/psionicist multiclasses are good and some of the pcionicist powers can be very helpful (Synaptic Static is my favourite, it blocks ALL psionics and is a boon in the final battle). There are also a couple of dialogue options only available to Psionicists in the game, and they're the only character that can use bracelets. I usually replace the Gladiator with a fighter/psionicist, but I think the best combination would be to have a Mul fighter/pcionicist/thief, though I can't remember if this is a valid combination.
     
  8. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I remember liking this game very much, until the last fight would not trigger. Sort of soured it for me.
     
  9. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Some questions:

    How many XP per character can I expect to get during the game ?
    How many XP can I expect during the sequel ?

    Are clerics really as useless as they look ? According to the manual druids get all spells clerics get and also the powerful level 4+ cosmos spells. They also don't get weapon restrictions and level faster.

    Are weapons and extra attacks you get as warrior class useless for thri-kreens ? Attacks per round statistics drop down from 4 to 1 or 1.5 with a weapon.
    They seem to be far more powerful than the other races, why does no one seem to like them ?

    What's exactly the difference between psionic "sciences" and "devotions" ?
    How psionic abilities improve with levels for psionicists and non-psionicists ?

    Is there a secret reason for everyone suggesting a party with an elf ? Their 22 vs 21 dex and int looks useless compared to the higher con and wis half-elves get.
     
  10. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I loved both of the Dark Sun games and still revisit from time-to-time. From what i recall, a Half-Giant was a huge difference maker in the battles, escpecially in part 2. I would recommend having at least one Half-Giant(some kind of Warrior-type), one thief(Multi-classed), one Preserver(usually muti-classed with the thief), one Healer(Cleric or Druid) and one Psionicist. Nice thing about Dark Sun is all the mutli-classing is opened up a bit more than the usual AD&D games, so you can make just about any kind of party you want.

    I usually went with something like the following....

    Half-Giant Gladiator
    Half-Elf Preserver/Thief
    Thri-Kreen Fighter/Druid/Psionicist
    Mul Fighter/Cleric

    Giving 3 of my 4 characters Tank abilities and the Preserver for mage support/sniping. But when in doubt, the more Half-Giants the better!:D
     
  11. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    If you finish all or even most of the sidequests, you'll have more than enough to get all multi-classed characters to the level cap (level 9 for all classes) some time before the final battle. If you have triple-classed characters that will depend on the particular build. The fighter/mage/thief I once had got to 9/8/9 before the final battle, then to 9/9/9 thanks to all the XP you get at the end. Other triple-classed combinations may actually get to 9/9/9 before the end, considering the Preserver has the steepest XP requirements for leveling up. I've not played the sequel but I know from those who have finished it that it's pretty much the same - you'll get more than enough XP to max everyone out at level 15, again with the possible exception of a triple-classed Preserver.

    Clerics are as useless, or possibly even more so, than the manual says. You have no idea how ESSENTIAL the Cosmos spells are, especially later in the game. Druids do get armour and weapon restrictions (IIRC a druid from one elemental sphere can only use weapons made from material that matches this particular sphere) but a multiclassed Fighter/Druid has NO restrictions on anything they can wear. About the only thing Clerics can do that no one else can is Turn Undead, but that is a tiny price to pay for full access to the sphere of Cosmos, never mind the other advantages the druids have.

    Because they're only very powerful at the beginning. 4 attacks per round at the beginning of the game is wonderful, but once the +2 weapons come into play you will not stash them in your pack and let the Thri-Kreen do pitiful damage (and to hit) with his "hands", not to mention that there are a number of creatures that are immune to normal weapons (and therefore to the Thri-Kreen's attacks). The best way to play this game is to give 2 weapons to everyone in your party (if you've all multiclassed them with fighters), and once you do this you lose the Thri-Kreen advantage. What you're left with is the inability to wear armour - a HUGE drawback later in the game (and I suppose the sequel), when critters start hitting for a lot of damage.

    I think "science" and "devotion" is just a cosmetic difference. The real difference is between the 3 disciplines - Kinetic, Metabolic and Telepathic. I've never been able to figure out how the abilities improve with level. Some (such as all those that deal a fixed amount of damage) don't seem to change at all. The protective ones could get a longer duration, but even at the lowest level the durations last through an entire battle. The only class that can learn or improve psionic powers is the Psionicist anyway. If you take one, my advice is to simply learn whichever powers you think might be useful and not bother with improving them. If a bracelet comes along and you had already picked that power, use the bracelet to improve the level.

    Frankly I've never noticed any difference between elves and half-elves as far as using them as Preservers go. I guess you could take a half-elf in the party I suggested earlier and you'd hardly notice the difference. It's just a matter of habit - I like having the race with the best Wisdom as my Druid and the race with the best Intelligence as my Preserver. The extra Widsom does give bonus spell slots, but I don't think the extra point in Intelligence will make any difference compared to the extra hit points you get with the half-elf.

    That's the infamous bug I was talking about. It sneaked on me in almost half of my playthroughs. :( Needless to say all those games went unfinished as a result. I can't say I blame you for giving up.
     
  12. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I can understand the temptation to multi-class everything with fighter, but in my opinion it isn't really necessary, and sometimes gets in the way of getting the really great spells sooner.

    A favourite tactic of mine was for my Halfling Druid/Psionicist to use Mass Dominate to turn at least 1 or 2, or sometimes as many as 4, monsters to my side. Nobody's gonna run towards you because they're going to go after the traitors in their midst. My Half-Giant and Ranger/Thief then simply walk in and start picking off the stragglers one by one.

    Even if the Psionicist class isn't part of a character build, Psionic wild talents can be used to complement your characters other talents. My Half Giant and Ranger/Thief picked Psychometabolism because it provides a few nifty physical defenses. My Elf Preserver often used Ego Whip depending on the situation, to neutralize a single monster without a saving throw.
     
  13. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    It's not necessary, but it makes some fights in the game much easier. In fact I would say that the final battle is much harder if you don't have an all-warrior party, hence the suggestions to dual or multiclass with fighter (or ranger). I feel it's a small price to pay for having to wait a bit longer for spells. However, it does make a much bigger difference in the case of triple-classes, and I agree that a mage/thief may be a better bet than the fighter/mage/thief I suggested earlier.

    The innate psionics of the other classes can definitely be useful. In all parties where I had a Psionicist I would give each of the 3 fields to one of the other characters. Although the kinetic ones do pitiful damage, they're still useful when you can't reach a mage sitting in the back and want to make sure he won't be able to cast any spells on this round.
     
  14. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think i will dust off my old 466 Mhz Lap-top and load these up again. Does anyone have a list or link to a list of the possible multi-class combos per race used in DSUN:Shattered Lands/Wake of the Ravager? There not listed in the manual....

    I'm at work with some free down-time and i'm thinking about trying to come-up with some unusual party-combos so i can jump right in once i get home.
     
  15. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    According to the manual rangers get cleric spells of their element starting at level 8. But besides one elemental (earth) spell there are only cosmos spells at level 1, so do Rangers get cosmos spells too ? Does their element choice restrict their weapons ? Do ranger/clerics get spells for their ranger part ?

    I played around a bit with the double dualclassing for humans, built a gladiator3/preserver2/thief x and found out that you can do the second dualclass before the first is completed and that preservers can cast spells in armor. So I guess I'll make the human a gladiator8/psionicist9/preserver9. Can anyone confirm that he'll regain the gladiator abilities when reaching preserver9 ?
     
  16. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    I've never thought of this... if the Ranger part opens up Cosmos spells for the Cleric part, does this mean a Ranger/Cleric gets Cosmos spells above level 3? If that's the case you've practically got a Fighter/Druid that can use Turn Undead - the best of both worlds.

    I'm not entirely sure about the way dual-classing works, but I think the build you've got should get the Gladiator levels back when you get to Psionicist level 9. However I'm not sure what would happen when you then dual-class again to Preserver - in your experimentation, did you lose both Gladiator and Preserver abilities when you switched to Thief? If that's the case then you'll need to have a gladiator7/psionicist8/preserver9 if you want to have the character regain all abilities at the end of the game. If you go with your original build you'll need to important the character into the sequel and wait until he gets to preserver 10 before you regain all previous abilities.
     
  17. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    I tested a little more with a gladiator3>psionicist6>preserver x.
    When switching to the preserver class both gladiator and psionic class became inactive, he couldn't even use a club.
    But when he reached preserver 4 he got the gladiator abilities back, so when dualclassing all previous classes which have less levels than the current one are reactivated.
    Since psionic spells can be cast without being a psionicist my gladiator8/psionicist9/preserver9 will therefore have the benefits from all 3 classes. :)
     
  18. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Are you sure about this? When you switch to presever and inactivate the psionic class, can you still use all the Psionicist-only powers, or do you become restricted to the "regular" psionic powers? If this is the case then there's not much point taking these psionic levels in the first place. If however you've still got full control over all your previous psionic abilities, that would make a pretty powerful character, especially if you get all the bracelets and use them before you switch to Preserver.
     
  19. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Psionicists only have the advantage that you get more psionic points and can choose extra psionic spells when you level up. You neither loose psionic points nor the spells you selected when psionicist becomes inactiv, you only loose the ability to use psionicist weapons and armor and their thac0 when switching to preserver, but you get this from the gladiator class.

    Can psionicists improve their spells with bracelets or can they only learn new spells from them ?
     
  20. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    They can do both. Considering I never found any benefit to upgrading psionic powers, and that I've played the game a number of times and now know which bracelets show up, I try to only learn on level-up the powers that have no bracelets. If you're going to switch away from Psionicist and never come back you may want to do this as well to maximize the number of powers you have by the time you switch to Preserver.
     
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