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Massive Experience Penalty Party

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by JT, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. JT Gems: 12/31
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    I've noticed that some people on these boards have expressed strong biases against those party configurations which they think lead to reduced character levels. Races with ECL adjustments are thought to be weak. Large parties have been criticised for diluting exp. And multiclassing penalties are the kiss of death. I'm not convinced, so I've decided to run a party that challenges those assumptions.

    Here are the ground rules:
    - Six characters in the party.
    - No level squatting or xp muling. The party will start together and play through the entire game.
    - All characters will be Deep Gnome or Drow, for the ECL penalty. No Grey Dwarves; I may be crazy but I'm not stupid.
    - Heavy multiclassing early, attempting to quickly reach at least a 40% exp penalty with most characters. However, I won't take a useless class simply for the sake of an exp penalty, so there may be a couple spellcasters with only one or two different classes.
    - Normal mode, normal difficulty. The high level monsters in HOF would provide too much exp, despite the penalties.
    - Patched, but no mods. I will try Tactics mod another time.
    - No abusing areas with infinite monsters, like the Fell Wood
    - Max HP per level enabled.

    Some minor rules about spellcasting:
    - ORS banned.
    - Improved Invisibility *not* banned, but I don't expect to ever use it. With the patch, it is actually worse than ordinary Invisibility.
    - Mirror Image *not* banned. Yes, it is too powerful, but it is also too much fun. Does anybody here have the willpower to abandon it?
    - Animate Dead *not* banned. The patch nerfed it just fine.
    - Only light use of summons. They can anchor the flanks, or maybe tank once in a while, but I am not going to creep through the entire game behind a wall of monsters.

    And here is the party. Bonus points to anybody who can figure out my sources for all the character names:

    Drizzle, LN Deep Gnome
    Monk 1
    STR 12 DEX 20 CON 18
    INT 3 WIS 20 CHA 1
    Concentration 4
    Dodge

    Caramel, LG Drow
    Paladin 1
    STR 18 DEX 18 CON 16
    INT 5 WIS 3 CHA 20
    Concentration 4
    Power Attack

    Is-A-Dork LN Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Bane) 1
    STR 12 DEX 20 CON 18
    INT 3 WIS 20 CHA 1
    Concentration 4
    Combat Casting

    Goldilocks, LG Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Lathander) 1
    STR 12 DEX 20 CON 18
    INT 3 WIS 20 CHA 1
    Concentration 4
    Dash

    El Munchkin, LG Drow
    Monk 1
    STR 8 DEX 20 CON 16
    INT 12 WIS 4 CHA 20
    Alchemy 2, Concentration 4, K(A) 4
    SF: Enchantment

    Raisin, LG Drow
    Sorcerer 1
    STR 7 DEX 20 CON 16
    INT 14 WIS 3 CHA 20
    Concentration 4,Diplomacy 4, Bluff 4
    Dash


    Update coming soon...
     
  2. nunsbane

    nunsbane

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    Your experiment should prove interesting. I'll look forward to updates.
     
  3. el M Gems: 3/31
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    my current party(4 DGs 2 DROWs) tries to acomplish the same thing only i try to avoid exp penaltyes. I will however have 20% exp penaltyes on two of my chars - and i also play normal difficulty but with tactics and undead targos installed. - I've reached the rescue the bridge part - only two raise deaths so far - defeting Caballus and Sullibac.
     
  4. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    I don't think you'll have a different game. The beginning will be slightly harder because of the ECL penalty but at later game stages you'll be less than 1 level behind a 6 human party. You'll actually have a higher average party level than a 6 human party often because .5 is rounded down when the apl for fighting XP is calculated.

    40 percent penalty doesn't change much, try 80 (achieveable at level 7) if you want to feel a difference. But you'll suffer more from multiclassing your casters than from the 80 percent penalty.

    PS: If you give your fighters higher multiclassing penalties than your spellcasters you are just using a different form of muling.
     
  5. omnigodly Gems: 17/31
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    ECL doesn't do anything but increase your effective party level by (1 for each Level Adjustment in the party)/(the entire party), which isn't that much with one or two of the LA'd party members.

    Multiclassing = no XP penalty as long as you do it right.

    #1 - Make sure one of your classes is the races favored class.

    #2 - If it's not, make sure your two/three/whatever classes are all within 1 level of each other, or you lose 20% xp for each level beyond the first you are apart from each other.

    Though, going out of your way creating an LA +1-+2 (per member) party is gonna slow down your leveling by.. that much I guess. I haven't seen any issues with experience leveling a party with a drow and a gray dwarf as of yet, but I'll see later on as well.
     
  6. el M Gems: 3/31
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    he's not tring to avoid exp penaly - on the contrary he wants to go for the maximum penaltyes while still retaining a effective party.
     
  7. JT Gems: 12/31
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    @el M: Yeah, I was partly inspired by your party.

    @kmonster: Shhh, don't give it away.


    Immediately after arriving in Targos, the party elected Raisin as their spokesman. His diplomatic skills and high charisma will be helpful in persuading recalcitrent NPCs to part with their wealth. The untouchable Drizzle (AC:25) then took the lead as the party swept through the docks and warehouse. Though their weapons were primitive, they had no difficulty destroying the goblins. The quests in Targos and the Palisade were the usual tedium. Phaen did serious damage with Sleep and Burning Hands, but everyone survived. Raisin earned xp for blackmailing the Iron Collar band into reporting for duty, but a tragic misunderstanding with Drizzle forced the party to fight them. By now melee combat was getting too crowded, so the spellcasters switched to missile weapons, and purchased several hundred arrows and bolts from a man in the tarvern.

    Just after the group returned to the Palisade, goblins attacked! Caramel wanted to rush out immediately to join the battle, but Goldilocks was discussing a religious matter with Is-A-Dork, and by the time they were ready to fight, all the defenders outside had been slain. Undeterred, the party made short work of the goblins and their wolf pets. A second group of goblins had broken through in the northeast, but Raisin was confident that Olap Tamewater and his men could handle them while the party alertly guarded Shawford Crale's tent. Sadly, he was wrong... After they defeated the second group, the party began gathering up the loot from the battles for El Munchkin to identify. Nobody noticed, until it was too late, that a third group of goblins was slaughtering the defenders in the west...

    Next the party was sent to recapture Shaengarne Bridge. They had little difficulty in the first map until the end, when a large group of orcs ambushed them, killing four of the party. Drizzle bravely turned invisible, and El Munchkin ran back Dereth Springsong to buy Raise Deads. The ambushing orcs had been scattered across the map during the confusion, allowing the newly raised party to engage only a few at a time.

    The next map was easy, perhaps because Goldilocks stayed behind to talk with Emma Moonblade while the rest of the party fought. :) After rescuing the villagers, Caramel asked them for an additional reward, but when they refused he was forced to kill them. Raisin pointed out that because Emma was willing to Heal so cheaply, Dereth and Sabrina were no longer useful. So the group went back to farm them for xp. The battle was intense, and Caramel was slain by Call Lightning, but in the end the party prevailed.

    More updates later.


    Raisin, LG Drow
    Sorcerer 3
    STR 7, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 3, CHA 20
    Bluff 4, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 4, Intimidate 2
    Dash, SF:Evocation

    Drizzle, LN Deep Gnome
    Monk 2
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 20, CHA 1
    Concentration 5
    Dodge

    Caramel, LG Drow
    Paladin 1 / Fighter 1 / Sorcerer 1
    STR 18, DEX 18, CON 16, INT 5, WIS 3, CHA 20
    Concentration 6
    Cleave, Dash, Power Attack

    El Munchkin, LG Drow
    Monk 1 / Sorcerer 2
    STR 8, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 4, CHA 20
    Alchemy 3, Concentration 5, Knowledge(Arcana) 5, Spellcraft 1
    Dash, SF: Enchantment

    Is-A-Dork, LN Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Bane) 2
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 20, CHA 1
    Concentration 5
    Combat Casting

    Goldilocks, LG Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Lathander) 2
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 20, CHA 1
    Concentration 5
    Dash


    edit: fixed bad grammar
     
  8. JT Gems: 12/31
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    I expect most of us have played through the Prologue and Chapter One several times, so I don't have much new to say about it. Nearly all the fighting has been with weapons; spells have been used mainly for buffing and healing, with a few Charm Persons to turn the tide in large battles. My general playstyle is to collect as much xp as possible from quests, then kill every NPC possible for items and more xp. Roleplaying is for PNPRPGs, not CRPGs.

    At the end of Chapter One, the globe says 4 days and 1 hour. I've rested for spells only twice. Drizzle, the deep gnome tank, is armed with a +1 mace and +1 flail. Caramel, the high-strength enforcer, wields Wandering Sky (+1 two-handed sword). Raisin has a +1 composite long bow, and the other three have heavy crossbows.

    Any advice as to what weapon Caramel should specialize in?


    Raisin, LG Drow
    Sorcerer 6
    STR 7, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 3, CHA 21
    Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 5, Intimidate 3, Spellcraft 5
    Dash, SF:Evocation, GSF: Evoocation

    Drizzle, LN Deep Gnome
    40% multiclassing penalty
    Monk 3 / Ranger 1 / Druid 1
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 21, CHA 1
    Concentration 8
    Dash, Dodge

    Caramel, LG Drow
    20% multiclassing penalty
    Paladin 1 / Fighter 3 / Sorcerer 2
    STR 19, DEX 18, CON 16, INT 5, WIS 3, CHA 20
    Concentration 8
    Cleave, Dash, Dirty Fighting, Dodge, Power Attack

    El Munchkin, LG Drow
    20% multiclassing penalty
    Monk 1 / Sorcerer 4
    STR 8, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 4, CHA 21
    Alchemy 3, Concentration 5, Knowledge(Arcana) 7, Spellcraft 3
    Dash, SF: Enchantment

    Is-A-Dork, LN Deep Gnome
    20% multiclassing penalty
    Cleric (Bane) 4 / Monk 1
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 21, CHA 1
    Concentration 8
    Combat Casting, Dash

    Goldilocks, LG Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Lathander) 5
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 21, CHA 1
    Concentration 8
    Combat Casting, Dash
     
  9. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    If Caramel is using a greatsword then specialise in greatsword. Plain and simple. :roll:
    Greatswords will do the most damage for a long time.
     
  10. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Day 5, Hour 1. The party has cleared the top level of the Ice Temple, only resting once so far in Chapter Two. They are out of spells, but press forward bravely, surviving on potions stripped from the corpses of the enemy. The only real difficulty were the Golems, but a change of weaponry solved them. Caramel hasn't yet died again, but is definitely the weakest link because of his poor AC. Hopefully things will improve once he can cast Mirror Image.


    Raisin, LG Drow
    Sorcerer 8
    STR 7, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 3, CHA 22
    Bluff 5, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 6, Intimidate 4, Spellcraft 8
    Dash, SF:Evocation, GSF: Evocation

    Drizzle, LN Deep Gnome
    60% multiclassing penalty
    Monk 3 / Ranger 1 / Druid 1 / Cleric (Bane) 1
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 21, CHA 1
    Concentration 9
    Dash, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes

    Caramel, LG Drow
    40% multiclassing penalty
    Paladin 1 / Fighter 3 / Sorcerer 3 / Monk 1
    STR 20, DEX 18, CON 16, INT 5, WIS 3, CHA 20
    Concentration 11
    Cleave, Dash, Dirty Fighting, Dodge, Power Attack

    El Munchkin, LG Drow
    20% multiclassing penalty
    Monk 1 / Sorcerer 6
    STR 8, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 4, CHA 21
    Alchemy 5, Concentration 5, Knowledge(Arcana) 7, Spellcraft 5
    Dash, SF: Enchantment, GSF: Enchantment

    Is-A-Dork, LN Deep Gnome
    20% multiclassing penalty
    Cleric (Bane) 6 / Monk 1
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 21, CHA 1
    Concentration 10
    Combat Casting, Dash, Precise Shot

    Goldilocks, LG Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Lathander) 7
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 21, CHA 1
    Concentration 10
    Combat Casting, Dash, Precise Shot
     
  11. JT Gems: 12/31
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    Day 9, Hour 0. The party has now arrived at the Black Raven Monastery. The Ice Temple and Chapter 3 were no trouble. They massacred the Wandering Village as payback for the annoying mandatory quests. Oddly enough, the Wandering Village kids turn hostile, but can't be killed.

    The party roles are still the same: Drizzle decoy, Caramel melee, everyone else ranged weapons. Caramel is going to eventually take a 4th fighter level, but he hasn't yet decided what weapon to specialize in. Raisin is still singleclassed, because dipping into anything other than Paladin or Monk is totally worthless to a Sorcerer, and those prevent him from collecting quest rewards. The other five party members average 40% multiclassing penalties, though.

    Raisin, LG Drow
    Sorcerer 11
    STR 7, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 3, CHA 22
    Bluff 6, Concentration 6, Diplomacy 7, Intimidate 6, Spellcraft 8
    Dash, SF:Evocation, GSF:Evocation, Spirit of Flame

    Drizzle, LN Deep Gnome
    Monk 3 / Ranger 1 / Druid 3 / Cleric (Bane) 1
    Level 8, 40% multiclassing penalty
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 22, CHA 1
    Concentration 11
    Dash, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes

    Caramel, LG Drow
    Paladin 1 / Fighter 3 / Sorcerer 5 / Monk 1
    Level 9, 60% multiclassing penalty
    STR 20, DEX 18, CON 16, INT 5, WIS 3, CHA 20
    Concentration 13
    Cleave, Dash, Dirty Fighting, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack

    El Munchkin, LG Drow
    Monk 1 / Sorcerer 7 / Paladin 1
    Level 9, 40% multiclassing penalty
    STR 8, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 4, CHA 22
    Alchemy 5, Concentration 7, Knowledge(Arcana) 7, Spellcraft 7
    Dash, SF:Enchantment, GSF:Enchantment, SF:Necromancy

    Is-A-Dork, LN Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Bane) 7 / Monk 1 / Fighter 1
    Level 9, 40% multiclassing penalty
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 22, CHA 1
    Concentration 11
    Combat Casting, Dash, Lightning Reflexes, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot

    Goldilocks, LG Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Lathander) 9 / Monk 1
    Level 10, 20% multiclassing penalty
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 22, CHA 1
    Concentration 13
    Combat Casting, Dash, Lightning Reflexes, Precise Shot
     
  12. Disciple of The Watch

    Disciple of The Watch Preparing The Coming of The New Order Veteran

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    zomg, what kind of names is that? Goldilocks, Caramel, El Munchkin, Is-A-Dork... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  13. JT Gems: 12/31
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    The party didn't want to bother with the Eight Chambers, so they chose Plan B, the Monk Massacre. This was followed by the Drider Massacre and the Drow Massacre. They had to use Power Word: Reload several times in the Mind Flayer Citadel; not because of character deaths, but because the cowardly mind flayers try to teleport away when badly hurt. Next was an ambush by earth elementals and harpies, but a timely Invisibility Sphere from Raisin took the heat off the party's spellcasters.

    Day 9, Hour 23. Start of Chapter Five.


    Raisin, LG Drow
    Sorcerer 13
    STR 7, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 3, CHA 23
    Bluff 8, Concentration 8, Diplomacy 8, Intimidate 8, Spellcraft 8
    Aegis of Rime, Dash, SF:Evocation, GSF:Evocation, Spirit of Flame

    Drizzle, LN Deep Gnome
    Monk 3 / Ranger 1 / Druid 4 / Cleric (Bane) 1
    Level 9, 40% multiclassing penalty
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 22, CHA 1
    Concentration 12
    Dash, Dirty Fighting, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes

    Caramel, LG Drow
    Paladin 1 / Fighter 3 / Sorcerer 5 / Monk 1
    Level 10, 60% multiclassing penalty
    STR 20, DEX 18, CON 16, INT 5, WIS 3, CHA 20
    Concentration 13
    Cleave, Dash, Dirty Fighting, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack

    El Munchkin, LG Drow
    Monk 1 / Sorcerer 8 / Paladin 1
    Level 10, 40% multiclassing penalty
    STR 8, DEX 20, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 4, CHA 22
    Alchemy 5, Concentration 9, Knowledge(Arcana) 7, Spellcraft 7
    Dash, SF:Enchantment, GSF:Enchantment, SF:Necromancy

    Is-A-Dork, LN Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Bane) 8 / Monk 1 / Fighter 1
    Level 10, 40% multiclassing penalty
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 22, CHA 1
    Concentration 13
    Combat Casting, Dash, Lightning Reflexes, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot

    Goldilocks, LG Deep Gnome
    Cleric (Lathander) 10 / Monk 1
    Level 11, 20% multiclassing penalty
    STR 12, DEX 20, CON 18, INT 3, WIS 22, CHA 1
    Concentration 14
    Combat Casting, Dash, Lightning Reflexes, Precise Shot
     
  14. nunsbane

    nunsbane

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    JT, how do you advance through the game so quickly? Is it a conscious effort or just a result of your gameplay style?

    I beat the game in less than 21 in-game days once, but it was a 2 man party (bard + monk) and I skipped many time consuming circumstances. I did not clear any of the ice temple which wasn't necessary. Nor did I clear out the hook horrors, Harshom's area, the ice trolls in Limha's area, Flayer Citadel(no one died except the elder brain IIRC), the monks - I killed the monk leader, grabbed the key and ran. Pretty much, if they didn't have to die for me to advance I didn't kill them.

    I hope that your interest turns toward an in-game time speed-run someday...it would certainly be interesting.
     
  15. JT Gems: 12/31
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    I pause a *lot*, especially when picking up items. If my people are not moving or fighting or casting, the globe should not be spinning.

    I saved a little quest time by just butchering the monks instead of doing those stupid eight chambers, but for the most part I do all the quests I know about. At the very least, I fully explore and clear every area, including "clearing" peaceful NPCs once they aren't useful.

    I don't rest much, which is probably the biggest savings. In normal mode you can do damage a lot faster with weapons than with spells, considering spells cost rest time. So I've been using spells mainly to buff and heal. It helps that I have the full six guys dealing out damage; it doesn't matter that most of them are really spellcasters, because they use bows and xbows and such.
     
  16. Maertyn

    Maertyn There's nothing I cannot embrace! Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    Now that's thorough! :rolleyes:
     
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