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About fractalnavel

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  1. It "drops" random vegetation scenery when you are indoors. Unfortunately (to my way of thinking, anyway), they aren't permanent. Not items, it's temporary landscape tile changes.
  2. Once you use the fake rings to get past the barriers to the Anama-only area in Shayder, it stays accessible even after you get rid of the rings. You can remove the fake rings one of two ways: ask Ahonar, after which you won't be able to join the Anama, or by praying at the altar, which also gives you a dread curse (which Ahonar can cure). Caveat: last time I checked this was v1.0.
  3. I'll jump in here since I did get all the way to the final battle with Rentar, then backed out to thoroughly explore Valorim (as opposed to just focusing on the mainline quests). I didn't open the Bunker until I started exploring, and I did get the option to get a Vahnatai item - a "thought crystal". Would have been interesting to have had this for the golem factory, but I can't remember if the Vahnatai had been identified as the culprits before that point, or whatever other condition is needed to get this from Ostoth. There's also the crystal souls in Tinraya so maybe it would have been useful there too. Something to check on during another replay sometime. When I visit Erika now, the dialog branch about suspects now involves the Vahnatai. I'd guess it was available earlier too. Doesn't lead to much though.
  4. Avernum 6 - September update.

    Originally Posted By: Earth2025 ... That's disgusting. or, um - tasteless ?
  5. Avernum 6 - September update.

    Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity ... drop meat ... upon death, including PCs. ... lee-tle packets of soylent green ... "dammit, cordelia - that was my ear!"
  6. Avernum 5: Death of the Hybrid?

    The counter-example to "hybrid characters suck" are "successful" singletons. The primary difference appears to be XP/SP accumulation / distribution, which appears to be just a bit too low in A5 for full parties to allow adequate hybrid character creation. It's a different sort of game balance variable that was affected (inadvertently? intentionally?) when other issues were being addressed. The knowledge / wisdom items can help offset this to a limited extent, for maybe one or two hybrid PCs out of a four PC party. I dunno; it's probably a good thing that parties with more PCs don't have all the advantages in the game. Want effective hybrids ? Go with solo / duo playing.
  7. tormented torment

    In a brave and epic battle he defeated Dirty Dan, collected his reward, and semi-retired as a corporal of the mess. Those bunions can be a [censored].
  8. Party Design

    Originally Posted By: Untamed Banana Slug ... the discussion I'm having with fractal. 'Fractal' is the other guy ;-) Yeah, someone else picked up part of my handle some time back. There's still room here for 'untamed' or 'banana' or 'slug', or combinations thereof. *** Originally Posted By: SacredPath_82 ... As for archers tanking... The bonding knife is helpful for this. A tank role seems unavoidable unless you are one-shot'ing everything. UBS: thanks for posting the links; I greatly enjoyed those threads the first time around. My 'challenge' build was partly motivated by those discussions, along with Alorael's occasional mention of his builds / playing style. It speaks well of the design of the game's mechanics that these types of discussions are largely inconclusive, despite (or because of?) various - idiosyncrasies.
  9. Party Design

    I was thinking more in terms of poles/blades v. bows, not poles v. blades v. bows. Close combat v. ranged. I've always wondered why the term "melee" was reserved for blades in these games, since there isn't a blade v. pole combat technique difference. I wasn't really favoring anything, only attempting to offer an alternative perspective with respect to the following exchange: Originally Posted By: Untamed Banana Slug ... Originally Posted By: Earth2025 Bows suck on damage until you reach Harkins/Tranquility so 2nd swordsman or polefighter would be better than archer. Why would a swordsman be any more effective than an archer? Longbows use the *same* damage multiplier as swords, except the enemy is less likely to parry them and you don't need to be next to an enemy to connect. Furthermore, you can get the Blessed Longbow and Farsight Band real early in the game. Waveblade vs Blessed Longbow and +3 to Sharpshooter = No contest!
  10. Party Design

    Oh, no - I'm not "arguing" in favor of bows at all - quite the contrary: Originally Posted By: fractalnavel ... Blades / poles and the many more enhancing skills associated with them are far more effective than bows. Just commenting on my experience re: Originally Posted By: Untamed Banana Slug ... Why would a swordsman be any more effective than an archer? ...
  11. Party Design

    Originally Posted By: Untamed Banana Slug Do you think a party of 4 swordsmen would have fared any better? Yessir; and now that you mention it, I guess I'd actually have to try - all blades, no bows. Four sliths with poles, perhaps ? But the blades offer more options and better stat buffs, usually. No bows at all could be a real problem, whereas at least bows can be used in close quarters. Hmm... I think too one has to consider the effect of a magic prohibition from the start, not just from Ahonaria on. It sure is difficult to isolate variables in this game. But yes, melee + quick action + blademaster + anatomy + lethal blow, along with better weapon numbers, sure seems to beat bow + sharpshooter (battle disciplines, quick strike, and strength/dexterity being "equal"). Battle disciplines: not so equal, perhaps, as a blade/pole user gets benefit from those primary weapon stats in addition to the +1 to BD, whereas a bow user merely gets +1 BD from them, and +.5 BD for its primary weapon. Strength v. dexterity: I've been having a tough time with encumbrances. I'd have more motivation to pump strength if it affected offensive skills as well. The armor bearing increase associated with more strength has to be compared with the defensive increase of pure dexterity. Nahhh - bows don't even compare. A quickly dead enemy is the best defense ;-)
  12. Party Design

    Bows: Just for kicks, my last run-through I decided to use four (custom) nephils, and, as far as possible, identically train & equip them. You know, a litter. And I figured, being a kinda sorta role playing run, I'd give them all fast on feet plus deadeye - I mean, they're cats, right ? And a couple more restrictions: (1) no melee or pole weapon use - nary a blade has been lifted; (2) no magic spells (wands etc. ok). They were to be be Anama pin-cushion kitties, all claws & spirit. Now, suspecting this was a difficult combination, I played on Easy. It wasn't until after Harkin's Landing that one of the cats began priest training (up to then healing with potions & food), and this character has been consuming nearly all the knowledge brews / wisdom crystals in order to try to keep up with its litter mates as well (but still falling behind a bit). Gotta say, it's been tough. Blessed longbows are ok, but those bad guys have to be looking like porcupines long before they fall. It's been living on the edge the whole time, even with liberal use of "iampoor". And yes, I've been pumping bows, sharpshooter and dexterity, and also the other battle skills in order to maximize battle disciplines per skill point spent. Tactics are everything, and keep needing to be "kicked up a notch". Divine restoration is a (ha!) godsend. Divine retribution, on the other hand, is just about useless, unles the priest is unreachable. Nothing like agro-ing everything in sight. Equipment distribution has been challenging. I probably should have "stolen" the Fang Clan trials equipment, and it certainly would have been in character to do so, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it (this was before I gave up on the living with the money shortage). Just wanted to add a bow v. melee counterpoint here. Blades / poles and the many more enhancing skills associated with them are far more effective than bows.
  13. Magical efficiency

    Originally Posted By: Randomizer Your line is over estimating efficiency at the high end. Jeff usually has a point of diminishing returns so it plateaus about 70% spell energy. With everything pushed to ridiculously high levels artificially, I have been able to cast spells using -0- spell points / energy, except for non-divine-retribution AoE spells, which seem completely unaffected. That line looks right to me.
  14. Avernum 6 - August Update

    For some ideas: Beta Testers: Getting Them. Keeping Them. -- Jeff Vogel, The Bottom Feeder
  15. Avernum 6 - August Update

    No - having a - william - shatner - moment ... Rrentaaaaaaar!