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Wizard Slayer led Anti-Arcane-Magic Party - custom party of six mage-killers (spoilers)

LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
I think when I finish my current game, I am tempted to try SCS again with the following custom party:

Dagger & Axe Wielding dual-classed Wizard Slayer 3/Thief (main character) - backstabs with Dagger of Venom then switches to dual-wield axes (and there's two really good ones now in EE for a WS)
Dart and Suriken Hurling Fighter 3/Mage
Dart hurling dual-classed Assassin/Fighter
Inquisitor
Barbarian
Cleric of Talos
undecided re: sixth slot

They're a band of wizard hunters who hate arcane magic. So naturally there are no arcane spellcasters. The main tactical challenge here is to win the game without arcane casters.

So they would be fighting SCS's wizards with martial skills and divine magic (from at least one cleric, perhaps two). I would at least have Smarter General AI, Smarter Mages, Smarter Clerics, and Better Calls for Help installed--although I don't want to make the game unfun (for me) by increasing the difficulty so greatly that I'm constantly reloading to get wins.

I could make the dart hurler a Berserker. But from the character concept vantage that doesn't mesh well with the control, concentration, and precision required for aiming darts. I.e., it would be cheesy, I think.

For the final slot I have it narrowed down to:

Berserker (useful here obviously, but ho-hum)
Assassin (I've never tried one before, and the additional thieving skills will be needed)
another Cleric of some sort for more divine magic (I guess it could be a Cleric/Thief)

Anyway, do you think SCS will make this game too difficult to enjoy? I played SCS a lot years ago, and loved it. I just wonder if it is biting off more than I can chew for this particular RP concept.

Post edited by Lemernis on
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Comments

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    Berserker dart thrower would be weak as Berserkers cannot specialise in ranged weapons (other than axes of course).

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    Gah, right, lol. *Facepalm*

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    Why is there a fighter/mage in a arcane-magic-hating party?

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    Drat, right, I can't have him in there. I'm still sipping my coffee, getting the cobwebs out.

  • mjsmjs Member Posts: 742
    what about assassin to fighter? gives grandmastery in darts. a bit of stealth. +1 to hit and damage and you can throw 3+ darts per round all poisoned to disrupt enemy casters

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited June 2013
    I like Assassin to Fighter dart/suriken thrower a lot!

    If the character is a dart hurler then I don't need to worry about getting the 3x backstab multiplier at level 5, and I can dual from Assassin earlier.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    It's been a long time since I played SCS... How susceptible are enemies to traps in EE? Because if they work fairly well, I might want to invest skill points in that for at least one of the Thieves in this party.

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    Might also consider giving the assassin the dagger of venom - poison weapon stacks.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited March 2013
    DoV is integral to the tactical approach I envision for the WS/Thief, though:

    Axe +++
    Two Weapon Style +++
    Dagger +
    Single Weapon Style +

    This fellow will launch his attacks via backstabs using the Dagger of Venom (single weapon). Then he'd immediately follow by switching to dual-wielded axes (eventually the Golden Axe +1 and Bala's Axe). I want the DoV's poison to slow mages down and work in combination with the progressive spellcasting failure from his further hits at 2.5 APR plus the effects of the axes. I'm basically looking to get the most out of a Wizard Slayer here.

    I mainly wanted to try a dart thrower with what is now an Assassin/Fighter, so it's okay for this game if that character sticks with that dart hurling role.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
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  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited March 2013
    Another consideration for this game is to test a premise that I often read regarding the Wizard Slayer. The claim is that a WS is essentially useless because if any Fighter hits a mage 10x he's dead anyway. But 10 hits is what's needed to induce total spell failure. Why should this be measured only in terms of total spell failure? With each successful hit by a WS the chance of successfully casting is reduced by 10%. If you even get 5 hits in that's 50% failure--which seem pretty dramatic, really. So this still seems like a useful kit feature to me. (I have never played one, so it's all theoretical for me as yet.)

    But anyway, with SCS it seems like a fairer fight between wizards and fighters. SCS's wizards use better buffs (eg, they use Stoneskin don't they?). And with SCS mages' superior spellcasting scripts, progressively inducing spellcasting failure by 10% with each hit could make a real difference (and with this build there will be the effects of the Golden Axe and Bala's Axe as well).

    So I'm thinking SCS kind of calls out to find a way to come up with an effective Wizard Slayer. Again, though, without any arcane magic at all... including no wands, and no potions that aren't sold at a temple... it might just be too hard to take on SCS wizards to still be fun.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    I'd go for grandmastery in axes for your first character, it's just too good to miss on anyone that can have it.

    I'd fit a druid in there. Call Woodland Being and Insect Plague will solve a lot of the group short falls. Make it an Avenger to cover even more missed stuff.

    NifftTinter
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    If you're okay with reloads I'm sure you can manage it with the group that you have, just really work on fine tuning (aka min-maxing) the concept.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited March 2013
    @Wowo Grandmastery is very tempting. But I'm thinking that dual-wielding both the Golden Axe and Bala's Axe, plus 10% spell failure for each successful hit, would in some ways be more interesting to watch. I'd have 2.5 APR which is still quite good.

    Golden Axe: 10% chance to cast Dispel on target
    Bala's Axe: Miscast Magic (80% spell failure) on each successful hit

    A druid might be kind of cool. I almost never use them. So that would offer a nice change of pace too then.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    Wowo said:

    If you're okay with reloads I'm sure you can manage it with the group that you have, just really work on fine tuning (aka min-maxing) the concept.

    Oh, yeah! I would never attempt a no-reload game with SCS.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    decado said:

    Berserker dart thrower would be weak as Berserkers cannot specialise in ranged weapons (other than axes of course).

    Daggers as well as axes, @decado.

    For a straight Berserker, I agree that axes are likely to be more useful, but I'm currently running with a Berserker dual-classed to Druid who therefore can't use axes, and he's turning out to be pretty effective with his throwing daggers when he wants to attack from range. When he gets to BG2, where there are poisoned and returning throwing daggers, he'll be even better at range.

    I reckon a Berserker->Druid build might suit @Lemernis's party-concept quite well. Scimitars for melee and throwing daggers for range, specialisation in both, and some useful Druid spells. If dualled at 7 and specialised in Daggers, then that's 3 APR at range which substitutes nicely for Darts. Druids level fast, so the downtime during dual-classing shouldn't be crippling.

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    I agree on a druid, but not sure about Avenger. I think it's the strongest out of the druid kits, but one of the reasons for that is - access to arcane spells. So this may not fit your roleplay. You could, of course, just not memorize these spells and only use the shapeshifting, but it's kinda gimpy to use spider shape, but not cast Web...

  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 679
    Lemernis said:

    Another consideration for this game is to test a premise that I often read regarding the Wizard Slayer. The claim is that a WS is essentially useless because if any Fighter hits a mage 10x he's dead anyway. But 10 hits is what's needed to induce total spell failure. Why should this be measured only in terms of total spell failure? With each successful hit by a WS the chance of successfully casting is reduced by 10%. If you even get 5 hits in that's 50% failure--which seem pretty dramatic, really. So this still seems like a useful kit feature to me. (I have never played one, so it's all theoretical for me as yet.)

    One problem with the WS is that you have probably killed your opponent by the time you have hit him even 5 times, let alone 10 (5 hits from a good strength fighter with a decent weapon is a lot more health than most mages have).

    A second problem is that if you can hit your opponent, the damage will interrupt most of his spellcasting anyway.

    So really the only point of having a WS is for hitting a stoneskinned mage, i.e. where stoneskin prevents simple damage from interrupting spellcasting. But even in BG1 there are elemental damage weapons to interupt spellcasting through stoneskin (e.g. fire arrows, electrical hammer). In BG2 there are many elemental damage weapons (and breach for removing stoneskin).

    So overall, there's only a tiny niche of usefulness for the WS to try and balance against the drawbacks of the kit. On the other hand, for roleplaying reasons a WS would fit really well into your party.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited March 2013
    Okay, getting the line-up narrowed down a bit more:

    Wizard Slayer 3/Thief
    Assassin 2/Fighter
    Inquisitor
    Barbarian
    Cleric of Talos

    The Assassin 2/Fighter can get 80 skill points in Open Locks, which takes care of locks. And she'll get Lockpicking and Poison Weapon back right away.

    She gets Poison Weapon (12-24 points poison) only once per day. But I think that's acceptable. Because she'll have:

    Grandmastery in Darts (4.5 APR, and she'll be using Darts of Wounding, which for failed saves deliver up to 20 poison damage in 20 seconds)

    Crossbow ++ (3 APR, and she'll be using the Light Crossbow of Speed with using Bolts of Biting, which for failed saves deliver 30 poison damage in 15 seconds)

    For the final slot I think I may go with

    - Cleric/Thief - probably a half-orc, as ideally I'd want full progression in both of those classes, I think... or
    - Fighter/Druid multi? Or maybe a dual-class Berserker -> Druid?

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    @karnor00 Yeah. No doubt that for the vanilla game that must be true.

    The SCS enemy mages and clerics are considerably better buffed, IIRC. I just can't recall specifically anymore what spells they use. I would think probably Stoneskins and Mirror Image, at least. Anybody know?

  • Copastetic1985Copastetic1985 Member Posts: 277
    edited March 2013
    Lemernis said:

    @karnor00 Yeah. No doubt that for the vanilla game that must be true.

    The SCS enemy mages and clerics are considerably better buffed, IIRC. I just can't recall specifically anymore what spells they use. I would think probably Stoneskins and Mirror Image, at least. Anybody know?


    About 90% of SCS Mages have 2-3 Stoneskins and at least two Mirror Image. All aside from a few early game ones use Minor Globe, and a few use Globe. Practically all have Spell Sequencer with Invisibility and Armor. A lot of Contingency-Stoneskin, Improved Invisibility, Mirror Image etc.

    In short, they have the same access of spells as we do, just at a higher level.

    However, I'm convinced you won't have a challenge past level 5 due to your Inquistor. The WS and Bala's Axe are going to struggle being useful due to the high level Dispel Magic and True Seeing.

    Also, combine the fact that the Cleric gets the spell Miscast Magic and well, it's game over after the Inquistor uses Dispel. You might get some excitement from multiple Mage battles like the Thay Wizards near Gullykin, or a few fights in Durlags and, the Final Battle. But most are one-two at a time which is perfectly manageable with your party.

    Edit: I'd go with a Druid Kit. Insect Plague, a level 10 Dispel Magic, and some heals to compliment your Clerics buffs. As for RP purposes, I probably wouldn't go with an Avenger. A Totemic or vengeful Shapechanger that hates Mages because they made him a lycanth unwillingly.

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    @Gallowglass

    Good point. I was thinking back to my berserker days where I subbed in an axe for those instances where out and out melee wasn't an option.

  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065
    Wowo said:

    I'd fit a druid in there. Call Woodland Being and Insect Plague will solve a lot of the group short falls. Make it an Avenger to cover even more missed stuff.

    This. Druids are amazing at ruining a Mage's day, and Avengers are the best Druids thanks to their extra spell access.

    Also I'd use a Cleric of Helm instead of a Cleric of Talos. The extra True Seeing will help much more than a lightning bolt.

  • LuigirulesLuigirules Member Posts: 415
    Make sure you invest in plenty of Silence 15' Radius spells.

    They're a must for groups of mages *cough cough RED WIZARDS cough cough*

  • Copastetic1985Copastetic1985 Member Posts: 277
    How's your game going, OP? You got me thinking on rolling a WS dialed at 6 to Druid. The stat reqs. for that are pretty demanding though.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    Thanks for asking but I'm fairly still early on in a sort of unusual game that's going to take a long time to complete. I'm sure I'll be at it for months.

    I'm really looking forward to this wizard hunter game a lot, though. In the coming weeks I may at least roll up the characters up, though, and if I do I'll post what the party looks like.

    Wizard Slayer 3/Thief
    Assassin 2/Fighter
    Inquisitor
    Barbarian
    Cleric of Helm
    Totemic Druid*

    Thanks for everyone's help. A few more thoughts:

    In order to have the Wizard Slayer's 10% spell failure on hit be meaningful I wonder if I'll have to have SCS's "Tougher ___" installed for all the fights for which its available.

    I'm especially curious to see how the poison stacking will work with the Assassin dart thrower/crossbow user. (May well be overpowered.)

    And with all but one of the other classes or kits in the line-up, this will be the first time I've tried using them, so that should be fun too.

    I do agree with @Nifft that Cleric of Helm makes more sense for this game than Cleric of Talos, and I'll probably go with that instead. One of these days I do want to try a lighting specialist, though. I'm interested to try to get the most out of an ability like that. It's different. (Because of the collateral damage from lighting, it might be better suited for a solo run, and maybe dualed to something else.)


    * Avenger definitely doesn't work with the arcane magic-hating RP concept. Shapeshifter is tempting, especially if the werewolf form has some MR. (Am I recalling correctly that is does? It's been many, many years since I played one.) I'm not all that keen to play a werewolf, though. I think I'd rather have this priest casting divine spells most of the time, anyway.

  • Copastetic1985Copastetic1985 Member Posts: 277
    Lemernis said:

    Thanks for asking but I'm fairly still early on in a sort of unusual game that's going to take a long time to complete. I'm sure I'll be at it for months.

    I'm really looking forward to this wizard hunter game a lot, though. In the coming weeks I may at least roll up the characters up, though, and if I do I'll post what the party looks like.

    Wizard Slayer 3/Thief
    Assassin 2/Fighter
    Inquisitor
    Barbarian
    Cleric of Helm
    Totemic Druid*

    Thanks for everyone's help. A few more thoughts:

    In order to have the Wizard Slayer's 10% spell failure on hit be meaningful I wonder if I'll have to have SCS's "Tougher ___" installed for all the fights for which its available.

    I'm especially curious to see how the poison stacking will work with the Assassin dart thrower/crossbow user. (May well be overpowered.)

    And with all but one of the other classes or kits in the line-up, this will be the first time I've tried using them, so that should be fun too.

    I do agree with @Nifft that Cleric of Helm makes more sense for this game than Cleric of Talos, and I'll probably go with that instead. One of these days I do want to try a lighting specialist, though. I'm interested to try to get the most out of an ability like that. It's different. (Because of the collateral damage from lighting, it might be better suited for a solo run, and maybe dualed to something else.)


    * Avenger definitely doesn't work with the arcane magic-hating RP concept. Shapeshifter is tempting, especially if the werewolf form has some MR. (Am I recalling correctly that is does? It's been many, many years since I played one.) I'm not all that keen to play a werewolf, though. I think I'd rather have this priest casting divine spells most of the time, anyway.

    Your game sounds like it's going to be fun.

    For your concern on SCS, yes. Make sure you install the "Tougher" parts for the Mages. You might want to go down a notch though when it comes to pre-buffing. I had to, especially during the Chess Board battle in Durlags. I only installed the long-term prebuffs, and think it's a lot more fair now since I'm not going all out prebuffing before I engage a Mage. Basically, they have Stoneskin or Armor up when I get to them, then they cast their short-term buffs. Before, man...they had every buff available before I even got to them. All they had to do was cast Chaos and I'd have to reload.

    Now the stacking for poison 'should' stack. It does in Tutu from what I've seen during a solo Assassin run. Haven't tried in EE.

    With the Werewolf form, I'm sure it's been fixed in EE. I think there was a thread about it describing it gaining abilities and what not when you level up. I'm like you though, I'd rather have a Druid casting spells. However, during trash mobs and anytime you're not going against Mages, or bounty hunters and the like, it's a good deal. I don't know if they changed it, but put a * in Single Weapon Style to get a -1 on AC when in Wearwolf form.

  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065

    Sounds like you'll have a fun game. Glad to help!
    Lemernis said:

    I do agree with @Nifft that Cleric of Helm makes more sense for this game than Cleric of Talos, and I'll probably go with that instead. One of these days I do want to try a lighting specialist, though. I'm interested to try to get the most out of an ability like that. It's different. (Because of the collateral damage from lighting, it might be better suited for a solo run, and maybe dualed to something else.)

    Ultimate Lightning Party:
    - Cleric of Talos
    - Avenger
    - Invoker
    ... plus three NPCs who will be replaced many times over, since they all die horribly due to bad targeting.
    Lemernis said:

    * Avenger definitely doesn't work with the arcane magic-hating RP concept.

    Are you restricted from using Hold Person, or Animate Dead, since those are also Arcane spells?

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    5 summoned skeletons handle confusion/chaos pretty well. They handle it even better after being buffed with haste and strength of one.

    I like the prebuffed stuff, its too easy to scout mages (its funny to see them casting detect invis now that I have nondetect cloak) and then rofflestomp them, prebuffed gives them a fighting chance and makes any battle worthy of considering.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited March 2013
    Nifft said:

    Lemernis said:

    * Avenger definitely doesn't work with the arcane magic-hating RP concept.

    Are you restricted from using Hold Person, or Animate Dead, since those are also Arcane spells?
    No, the party leader (WS) would view those powers as okay because they are granted divinely. It's about the source of the magic. At least that's the rationalization to establish the premise. :) (Notwithstanding that Mystra is a deity, but in order to use arcane magic one can simply learn the art of the Weave without any relationship to a divinity.)

    I guess if the arcane-like spells of the Avenger are divinely granted it would be okay. A druid can either get their powers from Nature or a deity, right? I know druids often worship Silvanus, let's say. But I honestly can't remember anymore whether druidic powers come from a god or Nature itself...

    Post edited by Lemernis on
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