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Other good AD&D CRPGs?

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

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  1. 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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    Once out of the starting location, yes you have plenty of opportunities to use tactics to maximize spell usage.
     
  2. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    By this logic, Halflings would make great Fighter/Druids. With dex bonus, you no longer need to have Ranger. Druids get all the spells much earlier + many more spell slots, fighters get all the health. With dex negating the penalty (or diminishing it to an insignificant amount) I really see no benefit to a ranger in either game. He gets more spells in WotR but F/D or F/C would get even more.

    Why would anyone play ranger at all? It's a terrible choice imo. It's a pity Gladiators can't multiclass but if you are willing to grind a lot, human gladiator/druid would also be quite potent. The grinding may not be "fun" for a lot of players though for a single point of AC -- grinding so much will give you a massive health pool anyway so the extra AC point becomes irrelevant. I like grinding.
     
  3. 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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    Rangers make Clerics better when paired in the same multi-class, plus are limited to certain races. So elf or half-elf R/P/C is a nice mix. Plus…. fighter only kind of equals the Ranger when he has a really high Dex. When this game was made, it was made for different player types. If you want to max stats from time of character creation, sure Fighter is probably the better choice. If you are playing the classic RP way and don’t max stats, then Ranger has a bonus when 2 weapon fighting over the Fighter. This CRPG was built from a pnp system designed with limitations to stats at creation. The max stats at creation option was to appease the CRPG heretics.
     
  4. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Hmmm. Yet almost every source insists that one must max out stats to be able to survive certain groups of monsters. But even if I were to create a character in the more familiar way of choosing where to allocate a set number of points, for a F/priest I'd max out Con, Wis, Dex, Str (in that order) and dump Int, Cha. A halfling F/D created this way might not have enough points left over to reach 22 dex but with the knowledge of dual-wielding, I'd make sure it was at least 20 and compromise on Str if required. Or I'd pre-plan my route to start off with lower Dex but give him a Dexterity ring ASAP.

    If I were going with the dice roll method of creating characters, I'd keep rolling the die until I achieved a combination of 19+ Dex and 19+ Wis with decent (16+?) Con and Str. (or plan for getting Dex and Wis rings)

    This raises yet another question: is some min Int required for using items? In IE games you need 9 Int to be able to cast spells from wands and scrolls.
     
  5. 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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    Right…. You are more of a min-maxer type player, which is quite common these days. There was a larger % of pnp players who also played video games back when this game was developed. You have to take that into perspective is all. They didn't all min-max stats as thar was not necessarily the desired game experience they were looking for, they wanted something closer to pnp. Not saying you are wrong as I agree the Fighter is the better choice in this game. But if you were a type of player from those days who didn’t just max character stats, you probably weren't going to just keep rolling 1,000 times until you got the stats you wanted. You took the 1st or 2nd roll. No changing them. Hence the Ranger had benefit. Still does depending on one’s class combo wants/desires. Dual Ranger Cleric is on par with a Dual Fighter Druid.

    You don't need to max your stats to beat the game btw…. I never max and beat this game a half dozen times over the years. Using all your spells/psionic powers to boost melee damage output and protect from enemy buffing carries the day. 19 Str is good enough, even for a Half Giant.
     
  6. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Agree. I'm not saying that any playing style is "more" than any other. Just that the ability to max all stats seems to have broken Ranger (for me). My very first question/awkwardness with this game was about max stats. My head exploded when I saw that.

    I did grow up playing quite a bit of pnp -- except that I have never wanted a literal translation to computer games. I've wanted computer games to have their unique quirks, rules, etc because to me the fun of pnp is playing with/against actual friends. Sometimes we'd modify rules (only with 100% agreement across the room) to suit us. Computer games have to generate fun (for me) in a different way because I'm the only person in the room. I want to play within their rules but I'm also averse to making my characters weaker than they can be just because.

    To me, certain min-maxing also makes "story" sense. E.g., if someone has spent the prime of his life only pumping iron (Str 22), he'd have almost no time to study (Int 3) and would be quite intimidating to people around him (Cha 3). However, if someone has built Str through manual labor (Str 16-18), he'd have a more "balanced" life (Int 9) and would be more affable or at least less intimidating (Cha 12). Some min-maxing is harder to justify -- and we can make up any damn story we want to justify our choices, or not. That's the beauty of role playing :D
     
  7. 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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    Well, if SSI didn’t implement stat modifying after character creation, like BG1 or ToEE, the game would still be very beatable. I’ll leave it at that.
     
  8. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Want to play again but am muddled about party: I want to build a good party to take into WotR. My current party is good but I enjoyed this game so I want to play it again with a focus on WotR. Please suggest:
    1. I will be maxing stats
    2. I've given up on Ranger (personal hangup, please don't hate me)
    3. Levels cap at 15 in WotR so dual-classing in this game is bad? Would you rather have 10 fighter/gladiator levels before dual-classing? (HP after L10 is miniscule) To dual-class in this game and have a good character one would have to dual at L8.
    4. Same question as before (TU vs Spells) but with WotR focus: do I need a cleric?
    5. I want a more spell-based experience in WotR. Don't mind if I have to grind with low-HP Preservers and Psionicists in SL. I'd like WotR to be less hack-n-slash than SL.
    6. I know things now ;) Like not opening an attack with a thief. I want to use that to my advantage.
    7. If you tell me to take all single-class characters in SL and dual them in WotR, that's what I'll do. When suggesting a party, please keep in mind that I'm creating this build purely for WotR. I don't mind how difficult SL gets.
    Yes, the party @Blades of Vanatar recommended earlier in this thread will do fine in WotR. My guess is that any party that completes SL will do just fine. However, a spell-oriented party composition specifically for WotR would be much appreciated.

    I have zero knowledge of WotR -- which spheres have more damaging spells, which spheres have more disabling spells, whether spells work at all or if most monsters save against them, etc. So throw a couple of tactics in please. Prefer AoE tactics. I'm also very hazy on including psionics in combat. @Beren has suggested a few good ways to use them. More will be appreciated.

    Just thinking aloud: all games favor starting out as a warrior for dual-classing. In the Dark Sun series, is there any benefit to starting out as a caster and then dual-classing to a warrior? E.g., are high-level priest spells not very useful so it's okay to dual class them before they achieve all levels? Or preservers? What about giving only 1 level of psionicist to a human to get all three schools and then depending on bracelets for more abilities? Or 3-4 levels of psionicist to learn certain abilities that are not available on bracelets?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2023
  9. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    IIRC the Thri-Kreen have racial armor restrictions, so making them a ranger/cleric/psionicsit essentially carries no penalty.
    I hate to say it, but the part about the high dex removing the advantage of a ranger is not true.
    A high dex character still gets the penalties, but the dex helps offset/negate them. A high dex ranger on the other hand will not only not get the penalties, but benefit from the bonuses as well.

    Also I thought in 2E that it wasn't dex but Strength that affected hit rates with melee weapons. Dex only affected hit rates for ranged weapons.
    I don't know the Dark Sun setting, only P&P and I only really remember the Forgotten Realms because that's what my group played in 99% of the time, with the 1% being the default generic setting. Technically that's supposed to be Greyhawk, but the core rulebooks don't really go into any detail about it.
     
  10. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    I'm only stating what the manual says. If the manual's version has been correctly implemented, then your interpretation doesn't match it. Of course, there appear to be some things in the manual that have not been implemented as stated, in which case I don't know.

    "A character can ready two one-handed weapons, one in each hand. Rangers and characters with high Dexterity do so at no penalty. Others use the second weapon at a disadvantage." If this has been implemented in the game, then dual-wielding high-dex characters in any armor should be just as good as dual-wielding rangers in light armor. Moreover, according to the manual, Str determines "combat ability with weapons" and Dex determines AC and ranged weapon to-hit. If this is true, then there is no melee combat "bonus" to be had from high Dex as you suggest.

    I don't know this game well enough and without combat logs can't say deterministically what has been implemented and how. My argument flows purely from what the manual states. I'm referring only to the SL manual, haven't read the WotR manual yet.

    My own unsubstantiated interpretation is that the dual-wielding penalty is an on-off switch. Either having Ranger class or having high Dex (20+?) turns the penalty off -- again, only if it's been implemented as stated in the manual. There is no way for me to know if non-rangers get a gradation of penalty that is inversely proportional to Dex value or whether it's a static penalty (e.g., 3-19 dex = +4 THAC0, 20-25 dex = +0 THAC0 -- + because lower THAC0 is better).
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2023
  11. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    I've run some quick tests in Cheat Engine with non-ranger and this is what I have determined so far:
    • With 1 weapon, dex is not taken into account at all (as expected).
    • With 2 weapons, dex is checked ONLY for the off-hand weapon: there is no penalty for the primary weapon and dex is checked to apply a penalty (or not) only for the off-hand.
    • I have not yet determined what exactly that penalty is or whether it is a graded penalty. That will take a much deeper dive into the code and reading so much assembly within a dosbox environment is quite painful. I don't think I'll be doing it.
    • Contrary to what I am used to, primary weapon is on the right side of the character portrait on the inventory screen. Off-hand is on the left-side. So if you're wielding El's Drinker, Dragonsbane or Dark Flame on the left side (as I am), you may be using it with a penalty. In the portraits, the characters are facing us, and the left weapon slot is correctly named as Right Hand. I guess all non-rangers on Athas are left-handed then :(
      • This behavior is further confirmed when you simply Start Game in WotR: weapons are placed in the left hand (right side) and shields are placed in the right hand (left side).
      • However, Start Game in SL places weapons on the left side (right hand) and shields on the right side (left hand). :mad:
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2023
  12. 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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    . 2 weapon style works like this…..

    -wielding a second weapon gives -2 penalty to the main hand and a -4 penalty to the off hand (the 2nd weapon must be either a Small weapon (Dagger) or a non-metal version of any other one handed weapon. You cant wield a metal axe in your off-hand… try it and see. So Note - This game does not allow for 2 metal medium weapons to be wielded. That is specific to this game…. In pnp you can with bigger penalties, but not in this specific game…)

    - your DEX reaction adj modifies that penalty WHEN wielding 2 weapons. So 21-22 DEX negates. (So only Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Thri-Kreen can negate it fully non-buffed and Half-Giants must fully suffer it unless buffed) I BELIEVE the modifier never modifies the THACO, only negates the penalty….

    - Rangers ignore the penalty when wielding 2 weapons IF lightly armored. So an Elf Ranger with 21-22 DEX will not suffer the penalty even if in heavier armor.

    Strength modifies your THACO (to hit AC zero). A level 6 Warrior type has a 15 base THACO. If he has 19 STR, 18 DEX (+3/+7 STR bonus and a +2/+2/+4 DEX bonus) you have a 12 THACO due to the STR +3 modifier. If this warrior wields 2 weapons his penalties are 0/-2 due to DEX. If he is a Ranger wearing light armor, he gets no penalty. So if you max stats on race with 21 or higher possible Dex, Ranger is obsolete other than giving a 2nd sphere to a Cleric mix-in if dual-classing and more 1st level spell capability. Otherwise he just takes longer to level-up. Small difference for sure to us old-timers/RP fanboys, major difference to the modern gaming min-maxer crowd. :p
     
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  13. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Thanks for the very detailed explanation. I'm a little unclear on certain things (specific to SL):
    1. This does not correspond with my tests where Dex is not checked at all for attacks with primary weapon. My own conclusion is that no penalty is ever applied to the primary in ANY scenario. This would match the text in the manual: "Others use the second weapon at a disadvantage."
    2. What do the notations +3/+7 STR bonus and +2/+2/+4 DEX bonus imply? Are these individual bonuses for Offhand/Primary/Ranged?
    3. "modifier never modifies the THACO, only negates the penalty" -- now I'm quite confused on what the penalty is. I thought the penalty was for to-hit but are you telling me that the penalty is for damage output? In IE games the penalty is to your THAC0 with each weapon. In those games you can actually see your THAC0 going up or down as you equip/unequip a second weapon or modify character abilities/stats depending on the ruleset.
    Yes, I've seen that you cannot wield two "heavy" weapons simultaneously. Your description of "metal weapons" is not entirely accurate: Draketooth is a bone sword. There's also a +2 bone mace and a +1 obsidian mace. All are classified as heavy and hence you can only use a light weapon in the other hand even though they are not metal.

    "Ranger is obsolete other than giving a 2nd sphere to a Cleric mix-in if dual-classing" -- this is also not entirely accurate (though it is quite close to the truth). As you can dual-class only humans, you will have max 20 dex for an unbuffed dual-ed ranger. That would be -1 penalty for off-hand in medium/heavy armor, right? A multiclass ranger can have 21 natural dex.

    Finally, please see my earlier plea for a new party to play SL and take into WotR. Thanks much.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2023
  14. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    What do you think about this party?
    • Elf F/Pre/C (Water, Metab)
    • Half-Elf F/Pre/D (Earth, Metab)
    • Human Psi3/T2/G*
      • 3 Psi levels because that's what a human starts off with. In practical terms this guy will start off as T1.
      • My thinking is that having only 1 level of thief is enough for all the climbing, backstabbing and lockpicking in the game. I don't believe there is a "backstab modifier" that grows with thief level.
      • Instead of T3/Psi2 I've gone with Psi3/T2 because the thief levels up faster so this guy will become a gladiator super quickly, possibly even after my first visit to the arena.
      • I'm assuming that 4th level Gladiator will reactivate both Psi and T? If not, I'd rather take T3/Psi4/G* to learn/upgrade an extra psionic ability.
      • New psionics will be learnt/upgraded only via bracelets.
    • Human T3/G8/D* (Fire, Metab)
      • All grinding will be done within SL. Dual-classing will be completed well before the final battle (T3/G8/D9).
      • Now I know how to use thieves correctly so I intend to make the most of a second thief in the party :)
      • As I did in the previous game, I will grind him alone in the arena to T3/G8/D1, add others to the party and then level them all up approx 4 levels together.
      • I'm conflicted about the dual classing. Should I take him to T3/G10 (in WotR) and then dual into Druid? If that's the case then the Elf will get the Fire sphere and this one will get Water.
    • Optional: Instead of T3/G8/D*, I take a Mul F/T/D (Fire). It will mean far less grinding with similar benefits though I suspect my final HP will be lesser.
    If I am to attempt @Beren's tactic of Id Insinuation+Disintegrate, I will have to either depend on item charges or spread that across two rounds because only the human psionicist will have innate capabilities to cast both.

    Why so many priests and mages? I want WotR to be a more spell-based experience, less hack-n-slash if I can avoid it.

    Is Air the best sphere to miss out on (especially with a focus on WotR) in terms of spells? My preference is for disabling and damaging spells, not buffing and curative spells. Note that none of these people will have any item restrictions as they all include a warrior type. Instead of G* I could take Ranger (Air) but even in WotR he'll get max 3 cleric spell levels and I don't think that's worth it -- correct me if I'm wrong, I don't know anything about WotR.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2023
  15. 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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    Looks good to me.

    One thing to keep in mind for the final battle, it is entirely possible to win it while keeping Jasmine and that other oaf alive.

    Set up two Fire Walls near where you want two bottlenecks, one up against the north cliff wall and the other near the southeast corner. Then link together two Ice Walls to create the two bottlenecks.

    Set up your warriors at each bottleneck, so that neither Jasmine nor the oaf have reason to really put themselves in danger.

    Cut down any who come through, and let the rest roast on a spit in your Fire Walls. Your party looks set up to be able to do that.
     
  16. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Which party? 2 humans or human and mul? Psi3/T2 or T3/Psi4? What about T3/G10? Haven't addressed any of the questions I have raised either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2023
  17. 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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    The Elf can set up the Ice Walls while either the Human or the Mul can set up Fire Walls.

    As for domains, my preference has either tended to be Fire for the offensive damage, or Earth for the offensive damage plus Iron Skin. I never missed Air spells at all.

    There is a bit of a fragility concern with all four of your party members being dual or multi-classed.

    So I know Slick likes triple-class characters. Personally I still think there's something to be said for a Half-Giant Gladiator with LOTS of hit points, and packing a shield, to absorb the oncoming crowds. His Dexterity cap of 15 won't even matter either once he finds a ring that adds +3 Dexterity. On reflection, I think either your Elf or Half-Elf is expendable to make way for a pure tank. I know you want to get away from pure hack n' slash, but three other characters packing spells and psionics will still give you a lot of what you're looking for.
     
  18. gibberishh Gems: 13/31
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    Were I to take a half-giant, I'd probably end up making him F/C and not Gladiator. The average of F/C HP (10/8) will not bring down the overall HP too much and beyond a point I don't really value a massive HP pool. The -1AC from gladiator that I'd miss out on is okay. Half-giant gets max 17 Wis so I'd miss out on a lot of L4 bonus spell slots but if he is designated to be a tank, that is an acceptable compromise (kind of). Clerics don't have access to L4/L5 spells till quite late in the game anyway so I could plan to give the Ring of Insight to him (+2 L4 slots).

    I think I need two arcanists for my play style in WotR. I've already got thieves and a psionicist. That's why I lumped priests with Preserver. The fighter class gives them survivability, and I want 1 (and only 1) cleric in my party for TU.

    Thus, if I go for half-giant F/C, the second human would grind towards T3/G8/Pre* (or T3/G10/Pre*) or it'd be an Elf F/T/Pre.

    So the party would look thus, is this better in your opinion:
    • Half-Giant F/C (Fire, Metab)
    • Half-Elf F/Pre/D (Earth, Metab)
    • Human Psi3/T2/G*
    • Human T3/G8/Pre* (Metab)
      • Optional: Elf F/Pre/T (Metab)
    My thinking on two arcanists could be completely flawed. There aren't many scrolls in SL to learn spells from, and I don't know how rare they are in WotR. For SL I am prepared to spread the scrolls across both but I'll be going into the sequel blind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2023
  19. 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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    Wake of the Ravager

    If you going to bring your party over from Shattered Lands, know that it automatically raises the difficulty level. You will have more experienced characters and more items, though some items won’t carry over. But enough do to make the difference.

    Building a party for a run through both games may take a different approach, dependent upon what you envision your end-game party to look like in WotR.

    I think your 1st party works just fine. But if you want to maximize your party output, I get it.

    Dual class characters rock in the end game but cripple you during most of the game, especially in WotR. But at least one dual class character isn’t so bad to manage, but will most likely mean you will have a Human single classed Fighter for Shattered Lands. Ultimately making him a Preserver, Druid, Psionicist or possibly 2 of the 3. Personally I like Fighter 9, Psionicist 10, Preserver 15. This way you max the Fighter HP pool, get tons of Psionic abilities and still max out Mage spells.

    A nice, solid party like the below should work nicely.

    Half-Giant Gladiator (Metabolism)
    Human DC Fig9/Psi10/Pre15
    Mul Fighter/Druid (Metabolism)
    Half-Elf Fighter/Preserver/Thief (Metabolism)

    In WotR, the Giant should dual wield with at least on of the El’s Drinker swords. If you multi-class him you take away a chunk of his HP regen capability. 200+ plus HP that constantly regen from the swords is almost game-breaking. It does take away from your spell capability.
    1 - no hit penalty to the main hand would be a big deviation to the AD&D rules at time of development for this game. If you are showing in the code that there is penalty for the main hand when dual wielding, then by all means go with that logic. Its probably right.

    2 - For the stat example that I used for STR its +3 melee to hit, +7 damage. For DEX, its +2 reaction adj, +2 missle to hit, -4 AC.

    3 - I was not referring to damage, only to hit. But if you had a +5 reaction adj, it only negates the penalty, so you wouldn’t get a +1 overall bonus (+5 reac adj / -4 dual wield penalty) to THACO for reaction adj modifier when dual wielding. So it won’t increase your base THACO, only negate the penalty….. and that rule is very interpretable from the old editions. RPGA conventions utilized that ruling. But if you are looking under the hood, what does the code say?
     
  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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    The difference between Half-Giant single class warrior and multiclass warrior/cleric at level 9 is 36 hps. Thats is a lot. Ravager hits for 80+ at 6 attacks per round. Lord Warrior deflects all melee damage back onto the damage dealer. You NEED those HPs.

    Also think on this…. Every round you waste casting or turning or using psionic powers during combat with a dual-wield half-giant warrior is about 60-75+ damage in late game DSSL and 80-100+ damage you could of dished out in WotR. Hasted, it is double that. Wielding El’s Drinker you are healing a ton of HPs as well. Which you will need in late game fights. Your low dex or low AC won’t matter. In comparison, Hasted you still cast one spell or use one ability, just a hair faster in the combat round. There is nothing you are casting as a Cleric that can compare. That is what the rest of the team is for.
     
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