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Grimm

A:EFtP duo run advice

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Any advice in playing the A1 remake while running a duo party? I figure one melee and one magic character would be best, but beyond that I'm not sure how to approach it. 

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It depends how you play. You have more flexibility with two characters on dividing up skills so you can do more. The main concern is making sure you can go first when fighting outdoors so you don't die or get significantly injured before you can act.

 

Dynamic Duo is an example of how you could do it from Avernum 5.

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I drafted a build for this once but never got around to running it. I had one mage and one priest-tank. Both had points in Melee to max Hardiness and to sum with trainable points for Adrenaline Rush. The priest-tank also aimed to max Parry and took defensive traits while the mage was on offense.

I think this would have worked, but I usually play on Normal.

 

Because the duo will level faster than a full party, there will be enough skill points by the end of the game to hit the effective max on lore skills, assuming you buy all the trainable points. You will still have to decide how early you want to max out lore, as that may mean not maxing out something else until the endgame.

 

I'm not sure how a duo does with money. A singleton has enough for everything without Negotiator, but now you're buying spells or skills for two.

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A duo does not need Negotiator.  Good question though.  Might still accelerate skill/spell purchases enough to be useful.

 

You are 100%, no questions asked, going to want maxed defensive skills (Hardiness, Resistance, and Parry) on both characters, which helps you get to Adrenaline Rush quickly (also critical, obviously).

 

I'm torn on including melee at all, versus just having two casters.  It could be done either way.  I'd probably go with two casters, personally.  Two Adrenaline Rush casters tossing out 10 SP lightning cones can deal with a lot in this game.  And casters can potentially be a tad tankier than melee, since good melee damage requires giving up a shield.


I would be careful about putting points into lore skills manually.  Plan ahead, since you stop getting most skill points from level ups after you hit level 30.  I'd just use 2 Sage Lore traits + trainable Arcane Lore for spells -- beyond 10 isn't needed and can't even be used till what is essentially the postgame.

 

Assuming +2 from trainers on everything, I'd imagine something on the PCs like

 

8/8 Melee

10/10 Hardiness

10/10 Parry

10/10 Resistance

14/6 Mage Spells (to Cloak of the Arcane / Lightning Spray, with trainer)

4/12 Priest Spells (to Call Storm / Ward of Elements)

7/6 Spellcraft

0/1 Tool Use

 

1 Sage Lore

2 Nimble Fingers

2 Parry Mastery

5 Improved Intelligence

3 Health traits

5 Improved Endurance

5 slots left for some mix of Negotiator, Elemental Focus, Luck traits

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Melee fighting is useful in the early game where you still lack enough spell energy to kill everything you face and for finishing off the few single monsters still out there that are almost dead.

 

You will probably have enough money to never need Negotiator. You could use that trait for Summon to improve Priest spell summon monsters and some Mage spell summons, although those are a bit of luck on getting a useful one. It helps to have a summoned monster as a meat shield and the Priest ones are immune to mental effects like charm.

 

You will be bored and finish before you hit the level cap. However getting past levels 35 to 40 is likely as far as you go.

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Negotiator isn't necessary but it WILL speed up the acquisition of spells and skills from trainers, which is not a bad thing.  Until you've bought everything you need, which will be quite late in the game, that's honestly a lot more impact than +3% to summon level will ever have.

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IIRC Summoning Focus gave you +2 levels to your summons instead of a percentage bonus.

 

What about Swordmage? In A:EftP you could still use the broadsword and longbow exploit to get -15% hit chance and still cast mage spells. Is that enough for all the armor you want? If you have two mage casters (major/minor) I think there is only one Runed Plate.

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Swordmage is useful because you don't see Runed Plate and other armors with no to hit chances until the middle game. It makes some difference against boss monster that you might miss while letting you wear better armor. You don't need all 4 Swordmage traits to be effective.

 

You can use Singleton build tips as a guide for one character while splitting off skills between the two characters like Arcane and Cave Lore.

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I really disagree on Swordmage.  There is not a delay in getting multiple good armors (Runed Plate isn't even the best one, there are plenty with bonuses on top of it) with no hit chance penalty -- this is Avernum 1; practically everything is accessible right away, you have a kazillion friendly towns to explore and loot and do quests from before you have to set foot into a single dungeon. 

 

Also, for that reason, it's important to note that Randomizer linked you to tips for Avernum 2, not Avernum 1.  In A2, most areas aren't accessible until well into the game.  So take that into account when reading that advice.  And remember that there WERE mechanics that changed between A1 and A2, some item bonuses that were toned down, etc.

 

Similarly, the summon traits are a lot more valuable in Avernum 2 because of Simulacrum, which is phenomenal.  Summoning isn't even remotely as good in Avernum 1.

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