Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

ToEE, first playthrough.

GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
Early this summer, and before learning of BGEE, I happily snapped up the D&D anthology. Two titles therein I haven't played are Planescape, and Temple of Elemental Evil. This thread will be about some adventures in the latter.
Firstly, I found the text in ToEE unreadable on a 26" Planar TN panel. Fortunately, the game allows alternate resolutions via modifying the config file, to an apparent max of 1600x900. 1080p loaded, but characters were not displayed.
Having found a readable resolution, we then went on to character creation.
ToEE is probably what a BG3 would have resembled, at least graphically and mechanically. We have 3.5 rules at play here for the Gygax/Mentzer classic. Although my experience in pnp gaming with these rules isn't pleasant, in a CRPG all the additional mechanics run under the hood, and arguably have more place here.
Selecting CG for party alignment, I created:
Fennis Twee, male halfling sorcerer & party leader. CG.
Arnold, male half-orc fighter. CG
Laurana, female half-elf bard, NG
Rain, female elf druid, CN
Reghar, male dwarf barbarian, CG

Thusly forged, the party arrived in Homlett, looking for one Black Jay. After some equipping, they headed to the Inn, and took a meal from their famous kitchen. The innkeep's wife told them where to find Black Jay. There was much exploration of the village, and conversations had. Eventually the party decided to head up to Emridy Meadows before attempting the Moathouse.
While exploring the fields, the party encountered some skeletons, and made handy work of them, particularly Reghar, who was armed with a great club. Unfortunately, a skeletal gnoll would soon prove his undoing, scoring a devastating blow that reduced the dwarf to -10hp. No matter which edition is your favorite, -10 is...bad. Beyond the party's curative power, and its purse, Reghar's body was left in front of St. Cuthbert's. The dwarf had potential, but such are the perils of adventuring.
While resting at the Inn, the party took on Zert as a replacement, a 2nd level human fighter. Determined not to let the Emridy Meadow best them, the party returned, and cleared many undead there. Zert, not terribly effective, was mortally wounded, brought back from -3hp by the druidess.
Although this second trip to the meadow was more successful, Zert required a week's rest to fully heal. The party decided to part with him then, and hired the duo of Turuko, a monk, and his rather large companion, Kobort. They then headed to the Moathouse. Upon arrival, they were attacked by four giant toads, the defeat of which triggered levelups for the four original characters. A trip back to Homlett was called for, resting, and new magic.



* So far, I am finding ToEE an enjoyable game. I like the turn-based combat, which is a bit more D&D than the Infinity engine's excellent adaptation. The look, animation, and weird soundtrack all work for me. (The special attacks of the giant toads are awesome, and straight out of T1) After some experimenting, the text on this rig is better at 1280x720 upscaled than 1600x900 raw or upscaled.

Now on to the Moathouse....

Infern0Fredjo
«1

Comments

  • Space_hamsterSpace_hamster Member Posts: 950
    edited October 2012
    Apparently there is quite an active mod community for ToEE and they have created some excellent patches and mods to fix the game.


    edit: oh here they are: http://www.co8.org/forum/


    I remember playing the Demo, the graphics were a step up from BG, and the spell and music effects were great too. I didn't quite like the spiral spell selector though, seemed overly tedious in drawing out the fights.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    Yes, the combat is fiddly compared to the Infinity engine. IWD2 handled 3E in a more transparent fashion.

  • bigdogchrisbigdogchris Member Posts: 1,336
    I think ToEE is more respective to D&D rules than Infinity Engine games are, but that doesn't mean it translates to better game play.

    I enjoyed ToEE, but quit playing after I entered the big temple towards the end. I got bored of the same tile set after all those hours.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    The Temple is a hurdle to overcome (especially if you do it all-combat) but there are so many secrets and special things to unlock, it really begs for several replays.

    Love the ToEE engine, and the radial wheel thing, it allows for a lot of tactical options (coup-de-grace, defensive fighting, non-lethal damage, etc) while not looking like a cluttered mess. It takes some getting used to though.

  • LadyEibhilinRhettLadyEibhilinRhett Member Posts: 1,078
    edited October 2012
    You planning on taking any joinable NPC's with you? They can be a pain in the ass sometimes because they take your stuff and you dont even get to choose what they take, but I enjoy them.

    EDIT: Ah. I reread it. You have Turuko and Kobort with you. I can't remember if you have space for one more or not. I never liked them much. They take more of your stuff than the others. Also they are evil.

  • HowieHowie Member Posts: 136
    Played ToEE tabletop twice, didn't end well lol

  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    DM'd ToEE once using the 2nd ed rules set...great module...
    got to DM the campaign thru the GDQ modules...epic

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201

    You planning on taking any joinable NPC's with you? They can be a pain in the ass sometimes because they take your stuff and you dont even get to choose what they take, but I enjoy them.

    EDIT: Ah. I reread it. You have Turuko and Kobort with you. I can't remember if you have space for one more or not. I never liked them much. They take more of your stuff than the others. Also they are evil.

    Are they? Well they joined a CG group at any rate....
    Yes, well, there were probably three trips to the Moathouse before clearing out the bandits. A couple of TPKs with the gnoll and bugbear encounters....the core 4 ( sorcerer, bard, fighter, druid) were level 3 when they reached the bandit leaders. Some cool tactical stuff with a druidic fog, a snake summoning, numerous sleep spells, and the party surged through.
    Turuko, however, fell and reached -10 before he could be aided. I let him go, however. Loved his animation, but we need more people full plate and packing steel if this party is to survive further. His 11hp weren't cutting it for a 3rd level front liner, which is how I used him.
    So, we dumped the monk next to the short lived dwarf. Will keep Kobort, as he hits hard. Looking for others. Nulb just opened via conversation, maybe there are NPCS there.
    I like the odd core group, though if I replay I might purposely make 1st edition style characters.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    As to the engine/gameplay....its almost there. I like the turn based action, but am starting to dislike all the AoO. In tabletop, I despise them. And they trigger sometimes for no logical reason. A character will run up to a monster, which is already engaged, and the monster get AoO on the PC. Well shit. If a monster takes an AoO, shouldnt another PC get AoO on the monster while its taking its stupid AoO? Once you open the door to this madness....
    But yes, still enjoying the game. I also like that there is no repetetive chanting when spellcasting. But overall I like the BG engine better.

  • LadyEibhilinRhettLadyEibhilinRhett Member Posts: 1,078
    Yeah. Turuko and Kobort are evil. There was this one playthrough where I ran around going all trigger happy with Detect Evil, and...they're evil. It kind of surprised me, but they are.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566

    As to the engine/gameplay....its almost there. I like the turn based action, but am starting to dislike all the AoO. In tabletop, I despise them. And they trigger sometimes for no logical reason. A character will run up to a monster, which is already engaged, and the monster get AoO on the PC. Well shit. If a monster takes an AoO, shouldnt another PC get AoO on the monster while its taking its stupid AoO? Once you open the door to this madness....

    If a monster has reach (like an ogre or a giant crayfish or a monster frog) and you move through that area, they get a free hit while you're moving. You can take advantage of this yourself by equipping someone with a spear, guisarme or similar polearm, giving that person reach.
    I had a high-dex fighter with Combat Reflexes and a guisarme in a game a while ago (combat reflexes gives extra Attacks of Opportunity up to your dex mod, as opposed to a max of 1 per round), started the Lawful Good opening where you're surrounded by archers.
    He was first, smacked an archer dead. Another archer tries to fire, but firing a (cross)bow in melee grants an attack of opportunity, smack, dead. And then another did the same, dead. And another, dead. He was vicious, and v. effective. Also helps that the reach allows him to stand behind other characters while stabbing enemies to bits.

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355
    @LadyEibhilinRhett

    Turuko is Lawful Evil (he's the contact for the Lawful Evil party Church of Hextor quest) and Kobort is of a Neutral alignment (TN or CN) from what I remember.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    Well, Turuko is dead, and they took his stuff. Dude had hoarded all the potions. Kind of violates the unwritten adventurer code. Kobort is better off with my characters. CG is I, is I...
    @Drugar : actually I gave the druidess weapon expertise, ( she of high dex, low str) and she carries a spear behi nd the front rank, which gives solid advantage in whichever edition.
    The problem though is not in reach attacks, but a fighter stepping into the front rank alongside an engaged ally, and triggering an AoO somehow. I think if a game is to use AoOs, you need to use a grid. The movement is very imprecise in ToEE. But I also just don't like too many AoO to begin with. The mind numbingly slow, needlessly complicated and empty skill check rolling Pathfinder sessions I played in last year may have me biased. At least by computer, its quick.
    AoO could be the basis for its own, non D&d combat system, maybe it already is. Melee combat is kind of a rolling series of AoO's, isnt it? But I dont like em in turn based combat.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    So, the party picked up Zert again, before heading north to Nulb. Nicely rendered, with its lamps and docks, they wandered about, chatting, nearly getting into a brawl, buying a gypsy girl's freedom, etc. One of the first NPC's met was Otis the blacksmith, who they decided to take a gamble on and pay to join up. Turns out, he is a 10th level fighter!
    Being a 10th-level fighter, however, would not save him from a TPK on their first foray into the Temple. After much poking around, and starting to think the place abandoned, the party encountered a few undead, the few Earth Temple Guardians, and then some gnolls and bugbears. They handled that fairly well, rounded a corner, and found more monsters, including an Ogre Chief that mowed them all down rather easily, with extra help from the cleave mechanic, which seems overpowered.
    Clearly, some better stealth is in order. Prior to the TPK, it became evident a lack of thief skills might become problematic. I'd thought to cross-class those with the Bard, but this may not be enough.
    So I think the party may be headed down to Hommlet to pick up a thief at the Inn there, and probably dump Zert again. Poor Zert.

  • DrugarDrugar Member Posts: 1,566
    If it makes you feel better, if you talk to (but don't recruit) Turuko, Cobort and Zert in the inn, then clear the moathouse, when you get out they're standing there with a bunch of bandits and gnolls because you've interfered with their plans.
    Then they try to murder you.

    So, it's not like you're dumping a kind and noble soul.

    Good luck in the temple!

    saffon69
  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    I didn't like TOEE at all. I tried to like it, but it didn't work for me. The frogs were cool though.

    mlnevese
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,711
    Same here, I´d love to see BG with that kind of graphics, but ToEE just didn't work for me.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    Thanks all.
    I didn't realize Zert was such a bastard, though I have a nice mono T1 aquired in a lot. It's cool to see bits of it, including many Homlett NPCs, the descriptions of foods at the Inn, etc. in the game. AFAIK, Homlet and the Moathouse are all Gygax, while the Temple itself is mostly Frank Mentzer. From the hands of the Masters...

    But seeing D&D combat so displayed is also what is exacerbating my bias against 3rd Edition. I am rethinking also which game - BG or Temple, represents the combat better. Because in BG, your characters are doing stuff, albeit simply animated, for the full round, before the hit or miss registers - if I remember correctly - that is itself a good approximation of D&D combat - not this stand there like a stone business, swing, and wait to get whacked. Add in AoO , and various feats, and it looks even dumber.
    So I'm thinking that maybe Temple does approximate how a lot of D&D combat was/is envisioned, and I do recall saying, many times back in the 1e days, "i run up to the goblin, and swing my two-handed sword at it". But we did also keep a sense of melee ensuing, which is what BG shows us, with an abstracted damage toll each round.
    ToEE is a fairly brutal campaign so far. One of my 1E DM's used crits, negative Con=death, so the many combats with PC's laying on the ground and dying/bleeding out does in part remind me of the old days. You have a larger party than BG engaging often larger numbers of foes, critical hits abounding on all sides, and much hilarity ensuing. Such as the aforementioned Ogre Chief essentially hitting a grand slam with my entire front rank, including Otis the 10th level fighter - save for goddamn Zert, who was in rear guard. He got his in the Ogre's next swing, which also took out the Druidess and the Bard. It was a TPK for the ages really, one which I don't think I fully appreciated at the time. Six characters killed in two rounds by a rampaging, giant spiked club wielding Ogre. And the last, brutal swing mashing the tiny body of the screaming halfling sorcerer Fenris Twee into the stone. It was...beautiful.

  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    @GygaxianProse
    the cover of ToEE says 'Gary Gygax with Frank Mentzer'
    Wiki says the same...
    how is it mainly F. Mentzer?

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    In part because of reading this http://grognardia.blogspot.com/2009/10/retrospective-temple-of-elemental-evil.html , but I think I remember reading a Gygax post to some similar effect...or maybe it was Mentzer...at any rate the Grognardia post states Gary outlined the Temple, and Frank filled in and expanded upon it. Then he goes on to say that only the uncool kids who got into D&D post-1985 probably dig the subpar ToEE. Umm, yeah. I don't have much opinion yet, other than it ate my party. Though "disjointed" might apply....So anyway, my saying "mostly Frank wrote" is inaccurate- depending on pov.

  • saffon69saffon69 Member Posts: 58
    I have this game and played it about 4 times , being chaos evil is a challenge , but aside from that , I have a new PC now and it's windows 7 is there any problems playing or will it not work at all ? any thought are welcome

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,763
    edited November 2012
    saffon69 said:

    I have this game and played it about 4 times , being chaos evil is a challenge , but aside from that , I have a new PC now and it's windows 7 is there any problems playing or will it not work at all ? any thought are welcome

    BG usually works on Windows 7 as well, even the old disk versions, but one thing you need to make sure, is choose an install path outside of Program Files. W7 does funny things with BG files if it's put inside Program Files(*). Choose a path like C:\Games\Black Isle\Baldurs Gate or any other kind of separate folder, don't pick the defealt installation path.

    Edit: (*)the funny thing it does is created a separate folder BG folder inside a folder called compatibility files as it doesn't like Program Files to be altered. This can create problems with finding savegames, with modding and many other irritations that might be most easily avoided if everyone knew to avoid the Program Files with old games like these.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    The party is now on its fourth foray into the Temple. Finding the first level without monsters is a cool touch that builds the tension and mystery.
    On the second level, they encountered grey ooze + gelatinous cube,ghouls, ghasts, a solitary ogre, a small pack of gnolls, and more undead. The Druidess now carries a +1 spear, and the characters have reached fourth level.
    Otis, it turns out, will only go on one expedition, so no more 10th level NPC for this group.
    The animations in this game are nice. The gelatinous cube was well done. Otis' high level maneuvers included a spin attack. The way a character draws a bow is realistic.
    There is a lot ToEE gets right. While not as immersive as BG, the atmosphere is good. It's a fine tactical dungeon romp so far.

  • saffon69saffon69 Member Posts: 58
    never been able to get the magic rope to work , is this fixable by patches or just a over sight , really enjoyed this adventure , shame they never did any more

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    I haven't had to use magic rope anywhere yet...

    The fourth expedition was a PC rout. Again the strange AoO rules producing weirdly inconsistent results...you often just dont know if the PC is going to cross a "square" approaching a monster, because all theyve done is run up and attack. Seeing these rules in action really highlights how little sense they make. Why no AoO for all the quaffing of potions, if we're to use them at all, there is no greater opportunity, except maybe spellcasting.
    Whatever. The Halfling sorcerer took invisibility for his first 2nd level spell, which was put to good use for scouting purposes. I was a little reserved, spellwise, in the bugbear encounter than got everyone killed. Next time we'll keep serving up the spells, the Druidess can do summoning, etc.

  • Arabus13Arabus13 Member Posts: 102
    edited November 2012
    Simply moving into a square to attack does not trigger an AoO. It's when you attempt to move out of a threatened square that triggers the attack. For example, if you move to attack an opponent that has reach (typically 10 feet, though some have more), you would enter his "threat area" at 10'. Simply entering that square does not trigger the attack...however, when you attempt to leave that square and "close the distance" to attack, you trigger the AoO.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    Arabus13 said:

    Simply moving into a square to attack does not trigger an AoO. It's when you attempt to move out of a threatened square that triggers the attack. For example, if you move to attack an opponent that has reach (typically 10 feet, though some have more), you would enter his "threat area" at 10'. Simply entering that square does not trigger the attack...however, when you attempt to leave that square and "close the distance" to attack, you trigger the AoO.

    no, we're not talking reach weapons here. Keep in mind that ToEE has no squares visible, and a lack of precise movement. A pc approaches a monster closely, sidesteps a bit, and takes an attack. They haven't withdrawn, or flanked, apparently. But it must be moving into flank or somesuch nonsense. Yet all this potion quaffing is perfectly safe. Or the universal chivalric code of 3E... an inconsistent mess, and watching it staged out in a computer game just makes it seem all the more absurd.
    The way the Infinity Engine handles combat is much smoother....



  • Arabus13Arabus13 Member Posts: 102
    When you prepare to execute a movement action for TOEE in tactical combat, before you actually execute the move, the engine will show you the path as well as any AOA you may trigger during your movement. Simply closing to an enemy doesn't trigger and AoO. If you close to an enemies threatened area, then attempt to leave or move out of that square, you will trigger an AoO unless you use a 5' step. Also, drinking a potion does provoke an AoO (as I've done it against numerous enemies who drink a potion while in my threat area). Keep in mind, you must have the Combat Reflexes Feat in order to execute multiple AoO's.

  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    Arabus13 said:

    If you close to an enemies threatened area, then attempt to leave or move out of that square, you will trigger an AoO unless you use a 5' step. /blockquote> l

    Lol, ok thanks. This must be whats happening when closing.
    What a PITA this ruleset is. It was far more transparent in IWD2. I don't know if I care to finish it at this point. It's well done, but not my cup o tea...

  • HowieHowie Member Posts: 136
    When you move and will provoke AoO, there should be an indicator. The AoO aims to provide more strategic movements back in Player's Options when playing on a square/hex map. It might be somewhat too easy to circumvent when under a vector based playground.

Sign In or Register to comment.