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I am sure the forums have gotten plenty of posts like this in the past, but most of them focused more on starting builds and not so much on progression. (Also, it is excuse for this board to be active once more.) Anyway, I would like some guidance on how to further advance my specific party. Here were their starting stats: Maverick - Level 1 Human Custom Pure Spirit Elite Warrior 22 HP / 15 SP 2 STR, 2 DEX, 2 INT, 2 END 0 MEW, 0 POW, 0 BOW, 0 THR, 0 QA 0 MSP, 3 PSP, 0 ARL, 0 SPE 0 HRD, 0 DEF, 0 TLU, 0 NAL, 0 AID, 0 LUC 2 PRR, 2 BLM, 2 MEF 71 Unspent Skill Points William - Level 1 Human Custom Nimble Fingers Deadeye 22 HP 2 STR, 2 DEX, 2 INT, 2 END 0 MEW, 0 POW, 0 BOW, 0 THR, 0 QA 0 MSP, 0 PSP, 0 ARL, 0 SPE 0 HRD, 0 DEF, 5 TLU, 0 NAL, 1 AID, 0 LUC 2 SHP 71 Unspent Skill Points Isaiah - Level 1 Human Custom Frail Natural Mage 22 HP / 15 SP 2 STR, 2 DEX, 2 INT, 2 END 0 MEW, 0 POW, 0 BOW, 0 THR, 0 QA 5 MSP, 5 PSP, 0 ARL, 0 SPE 0 HRD, 0 DEF, 0 TLU, 0 NAL, 0 AID, 0 LUC 1 MEF 35 Unspent Skill Points Leah - Level 1 Human Custom Strong Will Pure Spirit 22 HP / 15 SP 2 STR, 2 DEX, 2 INT, 2 END 0 MEW, 0 POW, 0 BOW, 0 THR, 0 QA 0 MSP, 5 PSP, 0 ARL, 0 SPE 0 HRD, 0 DEF, 0 TLU, 0 NAL, 0 AID, 0 LUC 2 MEF 62 Unspent Skill Points Here are their current stats (without gear equipped but including points from trainers and traits). Maverick - Level 14 Human Custom Pure Spirit Elite Warrior 65 HP / 41 SP 6 STR, 3 DEX, 2 INT, 6 END 4 MEW, 0 POW, 0 BOW, 0 THR, 3 QA 0 MSP, 6 PSP, 0 ARL, 0 SPE 2 HRD, 2 DEF, 0 TLU, 3 NAL, 3 AID, 1 LUC 3 PRR, 3 BLM, 4 MEF 46 Unspent Skill Points William - Level 15 Human Custom Nimble Fingers Deadeye 44 HP / 43 SP 5 STR, 7 DEX, 2 INT, 3 END 0 MEW, 0 POW, 8 BOW, 0 THR, 0 QA 0 MSP, 1 PSP, 0 ARL, 0 SPE 2 HRD, 0 DEF, 10 TLU, 0 NAL, 2 AID, 0 LUC 4 SHP 41 Unspent Skill Points Isaiah - Level 17 Human Custom Frail Natural Mage 38 HP / 83 SP 2 STR, 2 DEX, 4 INT, 2 END 0 MEW, 0 POW, 0 BOW, 0 THR, 0 QA 14 MSP, 11 PSP, 3 ARL, 0 SPE 0 HRD, 0 DEF, 0 TLU, 0 NAL, 1 AID, 0 LUC 2 MEF 2 Unspent Skill Points Leah - Level 15 Human Custom Strong Will Pure Spirit 36 HP / 123 SP 2 STR, 2 DEX, 7 INT, 2 END 0 MEW, 0 POW, 0 BOW, 0 THR, 0 QA 1 MSP, 14 PSP, 3 ARL, 0 SPE 0 HRD, 0 DEF, 0 TLU, 0 NAL, 0 AID, 0 LUC 4 MEF 44 Unspent Skill Points Some things many of you will notice immediately is that most of my characters have a ton of unused skill points, and I did not pick optimal traits for my characters. The latter was intentional; I think it's pretty boring to pick the same traits every time; the character building is arguably one of the most fun parts of the game. As for the former, I always found it weird that most of the character development is done upfront rather than gradually like in most of Jeff's newer games and in the Geneforge series. (The latter has some upfront choices, but it is far less than in Avernum.) Thus, I was very conservative with the initial skill point allocation and only trained what was absolutely needed for the start. I then spent between 5-10 skill points with each level up. I plan to keep that up, but I'm not strictly opposed to using up all my unspent skill points. As to the party composition itself, the roles are pretty basic. Maverick is my tank who is also good with a blade. William is a thief/archer hybrid. I kind of did mess William up. I didn't realize I should've put the tool use on my mage, and by the time I learned that, I was already a few hours in. Isaiah is mainly a mage, but he has substantial skill in priest spells as well. He has to stay out of trouble though; he dies immediately from pretty much anything that is not poison or acid. Leah is my primary priest. She has a point in mage spells because Smite was very expensive early game so I thought giving her Firebolt would be useful. That seems to have been a poor choice as she does about as much damage with a bow, and energy is more plentiful. Overall, the party has done pretty well so far. (Please note: I am playing on Normal difficulty.) I've managed to sneak past Almaria without too much difficulty, and I have explored the vast Great Caves. I've managed to make it as far as Fort Saffron. I've also done the first shade-related mission (the one where you get the essence from the shade in Blosk). I am however stuck on the sulfurous flats mission. That mission feels like it is more difficult than it needs to be. The party works really well against single targets, but it struggles with scripted ambushes. One thing I am considering is adding enough mage spell to William to cast Unlock Doors, but that seems a bit expensive. Being able to unlock every door isn't a high priority, but it would be nice. On the other hand, I would prefer not to miss anything major due to a locked door (such as a spellbook or really strong weapon.) Another thing I am wondering is how I should build up Leah. She already has some mage skill, so it would seem logical to give her a secondary role as a mage, but my party could use a second tank. As I mentioned, ambushes are a weak point of this party. I think a second tank may help balance things out. I am also trying to decide which skills to leave to trainers; originally, it was going to be "pretty much everything", but in hindsight, that's a really bad idea. I am thinking I will just train the lore skills and hardiness normally though I might try waiting on the others. Anyway, this is a lot of words just to request some advice as to how to proceed with building my party. Also, if you have any tips for the sulfurous flats, those would be appreciated as well. I have already destroyed the pylons, but the wyrmskins are deadly considering I haven't figured out how to get only one of them to attack me at a time.
With the help of Tridash, I was able to get CBoE compiled for 64-bit windows! Probably not too much in the way of a point, but native 64-bit binaries for a game released in 1997 isn't too bad I dinked around and didn't notice any errors, but it's best to be considered experimental. Download the game (with 64-bit boesounds) here. Next up: Getting ScenEdit and CharEdit to compile at all on my new system :|