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Other good AD&D CRPGs?

Discussion in 'Playground' started by gibberishh, Feb 25, 2023.

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  1. 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't answer all of your questions but a few at the moment.

    1. Yes.
    3. Transfer your characters to the sequel, Wake of the Ravager.
    6. If your target's back is turned to you, backstab will work on your attacks.

    Little nugget, when you're fighting extraplanar monsters like Vrocks and Babua, make sure your Druid casts Dispel Evil on your best warrior. And make sure your best warrior is Hasted. I don't know why, but when the warrior starts laying into the demons, the xp you get with each blow puts the party's xp through the roof.
     
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    1. Yes, the concept of the small weapon bonus was fairly new when BG came out.
    3. Not much except wander around and complete any side quests and then use the save for the sequel.
    5. I could have sworn there was a quest that turned the blank into a powerful sword, but it has been so long since I beat the game I can't recall. I've had performance trouble with post-win98 systems even with DOSbox and haven't played in a long time.
    6. Backstab only works when you are directly opposite from how the enemy is facing. Also you might not want to go first.
     
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  3. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    I have a db setup that I'm happy with. My main configuration sits in the db folder and I have a tiny conf that I copy over from game to game. The only thing I change across games is cycles. HeroQuest runs just fine at 3000 cycles. For Phatasmagoria 1 and 2 I use 10000 cycles. Hocus Pocus is 3000. Ultima 8 is 20000. For Dark Sun I bumped it up to 20000 cycles (it worked fine with 10000 but there are some crowded maps that can lag). When lag did happen, I just hit A to turn animations off (e.g., when all the rescued spiders want to follow you back to their queen) and it was fine.

    I'm on Windows 7, but I used the same setup on XP and 2000. I believe most of my main conf file is just defaults. I might have changed some things here and there long ago but I don't recall.

    Pro tip for people who want to (and can) play this game again: if you have to travel a lot between empty maps (say after you kill Balkazar and want to travel all the way back to overland), turn animations off. Your party will zoom across the map instead of walking across. Despite the horrible pathfinding, you will be at the other end of the map within seconds. Not exaggerating.
    Hit O to bring up the Overhead Map to check if the map is void of enemies first, especially overland maps. You don't want to zoom into mountain stalkers unwary or unprepared.

    Yep, I always made sure to stand right behind enemies. Not a little to the side, not at a diagonal. However, the R/T was my primary and, given a chance, would open melee attacks. The other thief was support but because of placement issues, he would attack a different monster, thus making him the primary for that monster.

    I'm not 100% sure but I think I was getting quite similar damage numbers when attacking from front or from behind (there are situations when you simply can't reach behind a monster). I very rarely got a chance such that the thieves would attack after some other party member had engaged an enemy from the front.
    So I think simply attacking from behind doesn't result in a backstab. The enemy has to be first (melee?) attacked by a different party member.

    Even the cluebook from SSI doesn't mention the sword blank. It is the only thing that does mention a buried chest in the Caravan map though and I'm mighty frustrated that there is no such chest that I've found. All kinds of web searches yield no positive results except for different formats of the cluebook.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023
  4. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    A couple of more disappointments of note:
    1) It's kind of a let down that there is only 1 pickpocketing opportunity in the entire game, and even that is entirely worthless.

    2) In IE games, spellcasters or spellswords are superpowerful. At high levels, one might even consider them overpowered. DSSL is at the other extreme. Many spells are quite useless and for the amount of damage dished out per round, there's a significant preference for melee damage if you can dish it out safely enough. Spells just don't do comparable enough damage. The disabling ones also fail quite often.

    At least the way I played, I ended up using mostly buffing and a few disabling spells, with an occasional fireball or ice storm thrown in. Web is a conundrum. If you use web and don't have Free Action, you don't want to try your luck in melee. But you don't want to throw a fireball either -- that will just burn the web away. If you aren't at a high enough level yet, you won't have ice storm. So you're stuck with slings, arrows or single-target damage spells with very limited spell slots. Entangle and Web are my bread-n-butter disabling spells in IE games. Glitterdust causes the same problem as entangle or web -- it lingers (unlike modern games) and you have to walk into it and be blinded yourself.

    I say all this fully cognizant that I am still very much a rookie at this game. I also need to get my head around psionics more. For my next run, I will have to come up with better combat strategies. However, I still feel that success in this game is very reliant on melee damage whereas in IE games, after the first few character levels it goes to 50-50 melee-spells, then 20-80 melee-spells. In the Sahuagin Temple and for Icasaracht (IWD), I use exactly 0 melee damage to clear out everything.

    The walls are bloody awesome though. There is no limit to how far you can stretch them! In the final war, I had a wall of fire so long that it caught every moving enemy at least once, some of them more than once. It seemed to me I could have stretched it all the way to the other end of the map :D

    I also really like that damage to a spellcaster results in no casting for the next round (even if they are my own casters). There's no Concentration check, no counter. If you take damage, you're effectively silenced for 1 round. Love it. Really great way to prevent enemy spellcasters from doing much to you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023
  5. 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 give a few thoughts on Psionics.

    I believe Graft Weapons would have been your answer for the Thri-Kreen not hitting magical enemies, at least for those who can bit hit by +1 weapons. It admittedly wouldn't help you with monsters that need +2 or more. But then your main warrior or tank with a +2 or better weapon can get on that, and your Thri-Kreen can go around hunting down the mooks.

    There's plenty of other Psychometabolic powers that could help as well, such as Animal Affinity which will raise the base damage of the Thri-Kreen's claws to 1d10, an Enhanced Strength, which raises the Strength score to 24.

    For a Psionicist multi-classed with another spellcaster, there is of course the Id Insinuation + Disintegrate. It really is that powerful. Remember the Rampager that everyone in the village was so scared of? You can hand wave that away with the two rounds needed to complete the attack. In the Wake of the Ravager sequel, I kill the Lord Warrior the same way, allowing me to concentrate on the Tarrasque.

    Mass Dominate is a great method of crowd-control in its own right, especially if your character has high Dexterity and can get it in first. If even one of your five tries works, the rest of the enemies will stay in place and focus all their attacks on the traitor in their midst.

    Not all Psionic powers are useful. But the ones that are truly are gold, and make it worth including in at least multi-classes.
     
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    Dark Sun:Shattered Lands is a low-level campaign. At low levels fighters are stronger than wizards. A similar phenomenon happens in Pool of Radiance (original Gold Box game, not Ruins of Myth Drannor, which is actually more like a sequel to the original series of four games.) In PoR, if it were not for the Sleep spell, magic users would be borderline useless until they get Fireball, although Stinking Cloud is actually pretty useful, and fighter/mages can enjoy mirror image.
    Psionics tend to steal the show, but there was a reason I advocated using triple class characters and making sure everybody had some type of warrior class (fighter, ranger, gladiator). Multiclassing your thieves and mages with fighter and something else (including fighter/preserver/thief) is how to get use out of those weak classes that you still need.
    Taking a psionicist class and a fighter class along with preserver or thief is always useful, but cleric and druid can be useful as well.

    It's in the sequel that mages will shine more.
    However, psionicists were a bit unbalanced in 2nd edition. It was a common criticism. Part of it was that the power points system makes them far more flexible than a wizard, plus they regain PP all the time while mages only regain spells with rest. If wizards had spell points that regenerated at the same rate as PP they would not be such a disappointment in this game.
    I know my group came up with such a system for table top, and while I could describe it from memory, I can just say that it was VERY close to what was described in the fanfic "Skysaber's Choice".
    I talked more about it here:
    https://sorcerers.net/community/threads/resting-in-dungeons.77897/#post-829207
     
  7. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    As an unseasoned player, I'm not sure if resting for regeneration is necessarily and issue. There are enough rest points in the game as it stands. If there were actually more useful spells, then yes, I'd feel the pinch in some (very few) areas.

    Many buffs last for more than one battle and there are multiple sources for similar effects spread across mage, priest and psionic spells. Haste is unique obviously but stuff that increases AC, damage, resistances, damage mitigation, etc. all have multiple sources (writing this from memory, not cross-checking for accuracy). So in a party that features most or all classes, I'm not sure if lack of resting would amount to much of an issue. Obviously, if you are like me and don't like to rest too much, you'd never cast Fireball and save up all L3 Mage slots for Haste only.

    But I didn't know that this was meant to be a low-level campaign and that the sequel expects you to take characters from here to conquer a higher level campaign. If that is the case, then this game makes much more sense. It's like finishing IWD and then buying HoW and TotL. You don't start HoW with an L1 party.

    -----------------------------

    I could implement a spell regen system in my cheat table based on some (simple) algorithm along with a timer. However, it wouldn't be dependent on activity (like your system). Once started, the timer would simply run and regen 1 spell slot of each level (or a given level) every x minutes. E.g., regen 1 L1 spell every 3 real minutes, 1 L2 spell every 6 minutes, and so on. Unfortunately the cheat table won't know whether you're in combat, walking around, resting, etc. That part would have to be controlled manually (e.g., turn off timer in combat, turn it on again after combat) or not controlled at all -- remembering would be too much of a hassle for most players.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2023
  8. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Here's a screenshot of the bugged out campfire taken today. Now there's 3 rings! I've lit them all up for clearer visibility. The charmed slave is standing there warming his backside.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Where is @Blades of Vanatar? He asked for this and is now absconding. Thought you might have some good insights to share. Actually you know what... take your time. Detailed posts are much more useful than short sharp comments.
     
  10. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Nobody has answered this question. Is any bone armor (piece) heavy? Or is any metal armor (piece) medium? Or is all bone medium and all metal heavy?
    Is the Helm of Contemplation heavy? If it is, does it interfere with racial abilities?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2023
  11. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    I have a feeling you're wrong about this. If you're willing to take on that stone dude, by now you must have multiple sources of Disintegrate (there's at least a necklace and ring if not another party member). So really you should be done with it in one round by your method (haven't tried it).
     
  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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    Bone armor is heavy armor iirc. Helms don't count for restriction purposes either.
     
  13. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    If that's the case then I completely screwed my Ranger choice. Should have gone with Gladiator. OR I should've given the R/T metal pieces with the knowledge that he'd behave as a fighter. He was wearing bone arm and leg armor throughout the game. Also wore bone chest armor until he found the Shimmer Armor.

    I'm beginning to get quite peeved at the lack of detailed info (THAC0, saving throws), combat dice rolls and general combat logs :( Sometimes I'd not be able to hurt a creature not because it required +x weapons, but because it required a specific type of damage (slashing, piercing, blunt) and very often I wouldn't realize what I was doing wrong until I got frustrated enough to go back to the manual.
     
  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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    Ok…. So yes you figured it out by going with what the manual states.

    Concerning spellcasting. DS is definitely not an IE game. But you can still deal tons of spell damage if you have multiple mages. A hasted, high Dex party can lob fireballs into the enemy ranks and then unleash a hasted, dual-wielding, 24 Str warrior type into their center. Blender time. If that warrior is a Half Giant wielding El’s Drinker….. he will never go down. When tackling Wake of the Ravager with your party, you will feel the pain of not having a Half-Giant with El’s Drinker. Doable? Of course. But the single classed Half-Giant warrior is a beast with that sword.

    The blank does nothing, must be part of a side quest that was never finished before release. ‘Cooper’s Guide’ was a good resource back in the day.
     
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  15. 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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    Almost forgot, hope you enjoyed the game. It is one of my all-time fave RPGs. When it was released, it was amazing. Still playable and enjoyable all these years later. That says something….
     
  16. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    I don't get this. What did I figure out? Are you talking about finishing the game? (from the very first post I mentioned using a walkthrough) About ranger abilities? About light, heavy, medium armor? About thief backstab? Your statement is much more optimistic than my state of mind right now because without combat logs, I don't think I've figured out anything.

    Yes, overall I enjoyed this game. I will play it again. In fact, I was contemplating a couple of hours ago of what kinds of parties I could create to 1) do a better job (i.e., more powerful party and actual backstabs), OR 2) face a substantial challenge (i.e., a more unbalanced party without bumping up difficulty). I will also play it via different routes so that I can acquire different equipment earlier.
    However, I don't think I'm going to play Wake of the Ravager. I spent a significant chunk of today installing it and then patching it. I HATE the graphics. Also quite dislike the music (which I can turn off). I haven't really "played" it yet but even the random internet mentions sound horrible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2023
  17. 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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    About backstabbing. The manual explains it. Attack from the opposite side of the last attacker. First attacker cannot backstab.

    Wake is a good game if you can get past the graphics. I do understand that being a game breaker for some though. With Darksun already being a very high stat allowance/epic combat system, its higher level cap allows for some nasty builds. My second play through of Wake included 2 Half-Giants. 1 Gladiator from my SL party wielding El’s Drinker. The other as a replacement character as another Gladiator who was wielding the 2nd El’s Drinker. 2 mega-HP melee monsters who constantly heal around 40hp a round.
     
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    Are there opportunities to maximize use of spells? E.g., trap 5-15 monsters in Entangle/Web (or trap them behind walls of stone?) and throw Malison, Cloudkill, Death Fog, Spike Growth, Insect Plague, Spike Stones, Ice Storm, Storm of Vengeance et al on top of them like I do in IE? Too bad incendiary cloud and meteor swarm would probably just burn the web away. Do too many battles take place around innocents or are there enough battles vs only monsters to set up such a kill zone? Does WotR also favor might over magic like SL (e.g., are most monsters simply immune or very resistant to disabling spells)?

    In IE games, I use this kind of tactic to take care of 40-50 monsters at a time even with the limited number of spell slots. Of course, the parties have 6 members so there are overall more spell slots to play with, but I have played with 4-person parties. Even if monsters appear in small groups, I "gather" them all in one spot by having my highest dex (usually thief) or highest HP (tank) character run around to agro them and lure them into a well-constructed death trap.
     
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    Yeah, I completely screwed that character. Neither made most of the Ranger choice nor the Thief choice. Really, bone equipment shouldn't block ambidexterity. I concede, in reality bone equipment would be rigid and leather is supple. But for game mechanics rangers should get ambidex with bone gear. Not calculated the exact AC difference between leather and bone pieces but loss of just 3 AC for slightly more THAC0 with only one hand seems like a bad trade-off.

    Additionally, this is what the manual says:
    Not only rangers, but any character with high dex doesn't suffer a penalty. Moreover, the amount of penalty is not stated. Nor is the min amount of dex required to overcome the penalty. But I'm guessing 18+ or 20+ dex should do the trick. I'm never going to pick Ranger again unless I desperately want an additional source of Bless (Entangle is not super useful in SL). I'd much rather have a gladiator (levels up at the same pace as ranger).
     
  20. 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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    Tapping into a three and a half decades worth if AD&D knowledge…. If I remember correctly 2 weapon penalty is -2 to the main hand weapon and -4 to the off hand weapon. They kept changing the rules with supplements and enhancements. Not sure what DSSL used but I believe that Dex was
    18 Dex gives +2 reaction adjustment, gave +2 to missle attacks and -4 to AC. 19-20 Dex was +3 to reaction and missle attack and -4 to AC. I believe 21-22 is +4 to reaction and Missle attack, -5 to AC. The reaction adj modifier is also used to negate 2 weapon fighting penalties. I believe Rangers automatically negated the penalty as a class ability. So 21 Dex could completely negate the penalty, 18-20 Dex mostly negates the penalty. Half-Giants with 15 dex suffer the penalty but their High Str bonus basically negates it anyway.

    With Str so easy to buff, Halflings make great Rangers with Dex and Wis bonus.
     
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