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Nobear

A3: Kaamaria the (Torment singleton) Shaman

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I would really like to insert images for this post. Following advice from the General forum, I created a post on imgur. Sadly, choosing "Insert image from URL" with either the multi-image post, or an individual image on imgur, fails. So here's a link to the imgur post I made: Kaamaria Resistance-Capped.

 

I explain a lot in the image captions. Here are some additional notes.

 

The Character Concept

 

While I call Kaamaria a shaman, she's fully custom, and more similar in build to a hedge wizard if anything. I owe the name and character concept to when I let my mom play World of Warcraft, and she made a female Dranei shaman which — after she lost interest — became my main character. In WoW, shamans have both elemental damage and healing spells, like mage-priests do in Avernum. The inspiration for actually taking this character concept to Avernum came from this thread, in which Superteeth asked if a full mage-priest (19 in both) was feasible as a Torment singleton. He was told no by conventional wisdom, and I thought the conventional wisdom (that assigning points to Resistance is "necessary") was outdated due to OP blessing boxes and skill crystals up the wazoo in A3. Moreover, I thought Kaamaria could kick significantly more butt than singletons of a more conventional build, and I was excited to test my reasons for believing this, and share the results.

 

Tips for Prioritizing Skills

 

I started the game with 2 Mage, 2 Priest, and 1 Tool Use. Level 2 is perhaps the only level where I raised both Mage and Priest. (Recall that I raised Melee Weapons each level from 3-10.) Levels 3-5 I raised either Mage or Priest each level to get the key spells Pool of Fire, Call the Storm, and Summon Shade (insanely better than Call Beast) early. Levels 6 and 7 I raised Tool Use so that (combined with 2 Nimble Fingers) I could complete the Agate Tower. Then I went back to leveling either Mage or Priest each level, timing Icy Rain — the first spammable AoE — at level 9 just before AR at level 10. Levels 11-20, Mage and Priest (and Hardiness) probably make a bigger difference than any of the utility skills. After that, I would assign 4 each of Arcane Lore, Tool Use, and Nature Lore, in that order. Since I plan to cap out at 19 Mage, 17 Priest by level 35 (unless someone can convince me of the value of Divine Restoration), that leaves 4 points I will assign to Tool Use and/or Nature Lore, I just haven't settled on the exact distribution I'll take.

 

Finally, a friendly reminder. In order to get a skill as high as possible, you need to first assign the maximum possible points (10 for skills other than weapon skills and Luck), then buy two levels from a trainer, then use other sources like quests or crystals. Not even the character editor will save you from the grave — and really arbitrary — sin of violating this order.

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Well, Kaamaria beat Sulfras and the game at level 40. Sulfras was not hard, just long. I stood in the back near Sulfras' room, summoned an Eyebeast, kept up Pool of Ice on Sulfras, and took out the adds when they came. Sulfras mostly death cursed my Eyebeast, who's immune to the magic from the curse :). I used 2/3 of the basins. Blink is your friend. 2 AP items + plenty of Gymnastics (none assigned) + Haste + long-lasting Battle Frenzy from your Eyebeast + Skribbane = speed demon.

 

The whole time from 29 to 40, she was resistance-capped or one point off, even with two pieces of AP gear.

 

Conclusion: Assigning any points to Resistance is completely redundant in A3, as long as you get 15+ Priest Spells for Ward of Elements. And then you might as well go two more for Divine Retribution. The combo with Cloak of the Arcane kicks just as much butt as I thought it would. You can also finish the game with 11 Spellcraft without assigning a single point to Spellcraft, so your damage will still be great all around.

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