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Matchstk

A-EftP - First Singleton attempt ...

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Matchstk   

So now that I'm almost done with a Torment run (1st time, very tough, though easier now that my team is 37th level) I'm thinking about a singleton run.

 

I get the vibe of a multi-class character, little bit of everything, the Stagnant Tunnels for free level 2 spells, the easy Steel Broadsword in Giant Lands. It's difficult to imagine how a single character will face the overwhelming hordes. Lots of Speed potions, Mercuric Plate. Summoning seems essential.

 

Any advice for a first-timer looking to avoid mistakes that will make me restart.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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Jerakeen   

I haven't done it, so I'm not offering advice. I'll just remark that you probably won't need to worry about money, so no need to wait for the stagnant tunnels.

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You need to start with swords for damage since you don't have the spell energy to start to attack monsters. By the middle of the game you are dual wielding and using magic. By the end you are mostly magic except the monsters that are highly or completely magic resistant.

 

Pick either mage or priest spells for your second class after fighter. You will need at least one level of priest spells for healing and two levels of mage spells to get daze. You can hold off on tool use for stealing and arcane and cave lore too.

 

Plan on reaching over level 50, but the last part is a sheer grind to get enough levels if you want dispel barrier level 3. You can pretty much kill everything in the game, but some things like Kyass are plain hard because of scripted invulnerability and regeneration, and some are luck because of terror spell.

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Zummi   

Try going sword-and-board. The Quicksilver Bulwark is pretty easy to get and so is one of the Mercuric Leather. That's two actions per round there so, you'll be balling hard!

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Matchstk   

Thanks for the replies.

 

Crunching the Skill Point numbers, it seems unlikely I would be able to max out both Mage and Priest spells, that I'll have to make a choice. Mage spells seem better - Cloak of the Arcane and Arcane Blow. Though Divine Retribution is nice.

 

Hm. The Skill Points must be tight - Hardiness and Resistance seem essential, plus Luck for further defensive bonuses. Getting the battle skill Adreneline Rush as well.

 

Fascinating, can't wait to get started.

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Luck is not very efficient at giving you defense bonuses. 5 skill points for 5% damage reduction is simply not something you can afford.

 

Looking at skill point crunches, remember that you can buy 2 of almost EVERYTHING:

 

8+2 Melee Weapons

+6 from the other 3 weapon skills

10+2 Hardiness

 

15+2 Mage Spells

3 Priest Spells (for Minor Heal, Protection, War Blessing)

8+2 Spellcraft

10+2 Resistance

 

That's 54 so far; you'll have 63 total at level 30. Uses for the last 9 points:

 

- Tool Use... skippable, that's a tough call though. You need to use 5 skill points and 2 trait slots for this.

- Cave Lore for the herb circuit - skip it otherwise.

- Arcane Lore -- training, Drath, and 1 trait get you to 6, so 4 points of this will get you a bunch of level 3 spells. However, many tomes are behind locked doors so you need Tool Use too.

- More Parry

- More Quick Action - unlike with a party, you WILL get the chance to benefit from the fatigue recovery for extra Adrenaline Rushes

- More Priest Spells for the Wards (at 5, 9 and 12) or Divine Fire (at 10, provides alternate AoE)

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wasbear   

Here's the singleton build I finished the game with on Torment:

 

I basically followed Randomizer's suggestions from a previous thread. Start with some mage spells (1-2 points), some priest spells (1 point) and some melee weapons. First raise melee weapons, hardiness and parry to 10. Then raise priest spells to 12, mage spells to 4-5 for icy rain, spellcraft to 10 and resistance to 10. Finally, finish the game after raising mage spells to at least 9 (for blink, which is helpful in the Adze-Haakai, Grah-Hoth and Hawthorne fights for positioning), and ideally 14 - so you can cast cloak of the arcane with items.

 

With regards to stats, raise strength until you can hit enemies reliably, then endurance so you can survive, and then focus on intelligence by mid/end-game since spells will become the main source of damage in many fights.

 

You don't need to buy cave lore/tool use/arcane lore, if you use a little trick, although it may not be for purists. Simply create additional characters with the required skills, then delete them afterwards. I see it as bringing an expert to help you out with a specific task, rather than having a companion. Torment can be hard enough without diluting your build into non-combat relevant skills.

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Matchstk   

Great suggestions. I'm seeing that Tool Use and Arcane Lore might not be needed. It's easy to see that gold won't be a problem. There are many spells I won't need to learn (Mass Healing, Mass Curing, Unshackle Mind) and I only have to buy skills for one character, not four. So not getting loot won't be a big deal. And I can always bump it a bit at levels 35, 40, 45, 50.

 

Gotta have the Cave Lore though, have to make those herb runs. In fact, getting Cave Lore to 10 for the mandrake seems to be a priority.

 

The idea of "hiring" a specialist is interesting, but going outside the game engine to create then delete a character seems to negate the challenge of doing it all solo.

 

And good to know of another account of the transition from melee to magic.

 

The big choice is how advanced I make Mage or Priest spells. I hadn't thought about the Wards. Ward of Elements was a must-have in a regular four-character game. Perhaps I'll need to abandon the idea of any top-3 spells.

 

Hmm.

 

Thanks for the tips.

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An alternative to bringing experts along: just be the expert.

 

I haven't tried it in AEftP, but on previous Avernum games I found I liked the challenge of singleton combat, but hated having to pass up caches or locked doors or spells, and resented having to pack a full party's worth of points into my singleton's lore abilities. So I decided I would just edit my character's lore abilities up as high as I needed in order to open or read everything, and not put any points into them.

 

Does that still count as a 'real' singleton? Probably not, but I didn't care. I found the game quite challenging enough that way, and not so frustrating, so I thought it was a good idea.

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Matchstk   

I've indulged in that kind of editor boosting before, but only after playing the game straight a few times. And my character really might not need it. I don't see gold being a problem, and it seems unlikely I'll be able to get the top spells, which would take away the need for exceptional Arcane Lore. Perhaps after running through a few times, I'll let my character be an exceptionally natural sage/thief/botanist.

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I've been running a singleton mage/fighter and found that there are enough spellward and steelward scrolls for the major boss fights so that you don't need to raise priest spells for the wards. It does make it harder since you will spend more time healing.

 

The main thing is to get two bonus action point items so you always have a guaranteed minimum 10 AP per turn as soon as possible. Then you have an attack and a healing action if needed. With Slarty's advice about adrenaline rush you can get more attack per round.

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Note that the scroll versions of the wards are not quite as strong as the powered-up spells. How much a difference that makes, I have no idea, but I imagine it's comparable to the cloaks.

 

I hadn't thought about the actions so much. With two +AP items, that gives you 2 actions per turn, and 4 in the first round of combat with Adrenaline Rush. Since you can always heal and have AoE spells to deal with large groups of enemies, I guess the main concern after that point is simply to reduce incoming damage so you can survive anything. (I don't think there are any fights where 2 spells per turn would be insufficient damage output due to an odd boss script, are there?)

 

Your SP will drain quickly, though. Actually this build sounds less fun than singletons in other SW games.

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On torment difficulty, fights can last long enough to make a difference, but it's usually because you are dealing with a swarm of monsters that can't all be hit with AoE spells at once.

 

The giants outside Bargha is a long fight only because the giant summoners heal the damage inflicted by one AoE attack. Also even with 47% parry you can have a bad round where over half of the 8 surrounding giants hit and do more than 400 penetrating damage.

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