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Challenging Nethergate "Role-Play" Character Builds


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I've read some people going for "singleton" campaigns, but I like my challenges to be in flavor with the setting, so I'll throw out some challenging builds and see what you guys think.

 

The idea is to avoid investing only in the commonly agreed upon "best stats". Also a challenge will be to resist the temptation as the characters level up, to add points to the typical "best" stats, and keep focusing on the "role-play" stats. A point added here or there, for something like Armor Use as the game progesses is allowed.

 

The point is, like a single-character campaign, to focus character builds on a commonly agreed on "weaker" (but not impossible to play) skill focus.

 

Since Nethergate does not have classes, we can make our own. Here are a few examples I came up with:

 

Hippocrates, Roman Medic. Focus on First Aid and Herbcraft. A decent slinger to back up the team. Hardy and healthy (toughness/good health) from taking good care of his own body and drinking herbal supplements - ha).

 

(Edited for playability, see post #9 below)

 

hippcrateshg6.jpg

 

Team make up would be something like this:

 

1. All-around Centurion (Primary Spear use with some melee - backup Roman short sword - some Javelin for when distance can't be closed)

 

2. Anateus (see below)

 

3. Hippocrates (see above, replaces Javelin focused pre-created character - Javelins gimped because they can't be recovered and weigh alot, leave a few Javelns to the All-Around Centurion above)

 

4. Worldly War Druid-wannabe Roman - as in the pre-created, focus on WAR spells, Hippocrates is supposed to supply potions and first aid for most of the healing. Yeah, you'll actually have to use those first aid kits and herbs you collect more.

 

Antaeus, Roman Wrestler. Focus on Strength, Endurance, Hardiness, Defense. Some points (about half of what is put in hardiness/defense) in Roman Training, melee weapons. Mighty Warrior and Toughness traits. Idea is to have a "tank" character who isn't the best at landing blows but absorbs a lot of pain even when circumstances deprive him of armor - give him armor and he'll be unstoppable!

 

For the Celts:

 

Perhaps some kind of Faerie-Focused Female character with Druid spells appropriate and Faerie Blood/Faerie Familiar Traits.

 

Or a Celtic Beastmaster, a front line fighting character who splits his Warrior skills with Druid Skills in the pursuit of Beast Circle spells (he only takes other Druid skill points in the pursuit of Beast Circle - but you can't blame him for casting the occasional heal spell or whatever he's gathered passively if they're in his list). Armor use strictly limited in favor of Hardiness and/or Defense. Some points of Berserker (Letting the "Animal" loose). Has the Beastmaster Trait, of course. Maybe Faerie Blood to explain his affinity for magic.

 

The hardest part in "role-playing" will be to stick with an axe, for instance if you're playing a "Berserker", even if a fancy sword comes along. Or to stick with your pole weapon/short sword/javelin trio as the Roman Centurion even when a more tempting weapon appears. Or stay in a toga if you're Anateus (ha). That sort of thing. In other words, you can make things difficult for yourself without going Singleton. (Of course, some of the singleton players are going for the "ultimate tough guy" thing, not so much the "challenge" aspect, and certainly not the role-play aspect since from what I've seen of Nethergate it refers to "your group" more than a few times)

 

Any other ideas?

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It occurred to me that this is where the Rational Mind "bug" could be a stinker - in Hippocrates' build - Western science over spirituality. But unfortunately the Rational Mind skill seems to work against ALL items, and that would include first aid kits / potions (but not brewing them) if it includes torches, no? frown

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I might be off, DanielJackson, but "brewing" doesn't require "using" an item, so it still might work. I can't remember using first aid on my own character...? I'd have to go in and try that.

 

So you could do Rational Mind, he'd just stay away from USING the potions on himself, but I had him cut out as a kind of strong medic with some apothecary skills. If he can just use First Aid on himself, then he wouldn't need potions.

 

I guess it depends on what the game designer thinks of potions. Are they "magic"? Or could they be considered herbal remedies / medicines / supplements with near-magical efficacy? Or to take that one step further, the components themselves have "magical" qualities, but the art of brewing the potions could be considered strictly scientific?

 

Obviously the torch, candle, etc. examples of Rational Mind not working don't make sense, but I'm guessing there's no easy way to program around that, and in reality you only need one person holding a torch.

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Quote:
Originally written by Ming:
Obviously the torch, candle, etc. examples of Rational Mind not working don't make sense, but I'm guessing there's no easy way to program around that, and in reality you only need one person holding a torch.
There is a way that's fairly simple programming-wise; it'd just require setting a flag (magical/non-magical) for each usable item. Easy enough to do if you plan it in advance, but a nuisance to go back and add to all the items after the fact, especially if it's just for the sake of making torches work.
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It could be as simple as adding one conditional statement to the code - checking item number(s) (170/171/172 = candle/torch/lamp) or, better yet, item ability (#210 for those items) and allowing use if it's a match.

In case of flag proposed by Thuryl, it's not like it would be necessary to add a new entry to item definition data. It could be a hardcoded array of bytes, each representing an item. So again, as simple as one conditional statement and one array.

 

That "nuisance" would take five minutes to do.

Seriously, if I can do it in assembly, there's no excuse for someone with source code. :p

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Ouch - after playing I ran into the limitations of First Aid:

 

1. Cannot be used during combat

2. Can only be used 3 times per day on a character

 

Thankfully Hippocrates can use his own first aid skill on himself.

 

While it is effective when used after combat, and at higher levels will clear other afflictions, you can't hope to rely on it like the heal spell.

 

So....keeping Hippocrates "playable", he will need to split his focus with his Apothecary (Herbal Healing) potion-making skills.

 

Hippocrates - Roman Medic / Apothecary

 

untitlednv7.jpg

 

Party tweaked:

 

1. All-around Centurion (Primary Spear / pole arm use with some basic melee - backup Roman short sword - some Javelin for when distance can't be closed) - Your only real "normal" character, but aside from Spear focus he should spread points amongst every Melee Skill except slings, and every attribute except intelligence, even if you would not. Consider him triathlon man.

 

2. Anateus (see first post)

 

3. Hippocrates (see above, replaces Javelin focused pre-created character as a decent Slinger)

 

4. Druid-wannabe Roman - as in the pre-created, focus on WAR spells, Hippocrates is supposed to supply potions and first aid for most of the healing. Druid provides some back up healing if potions run out or inventory is stripped from characters (no herbs, potions or first aid kits...it could happen) - But will always try to put x2 points into War over Healing.

 

NO ONE BUT HIPPOCRATES CAN HAVE RATIONAL MIND...will make relying on Hippocrates' potions during battle impossible.

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Anyone else have a couple of "different" stats or even special traits that they hyper-focus on to make a type of character that might not be immediately obvious as "playable" (read: challenging)?

 

How about a Celt Berserker --- unlike Blades of Avernum that has a Berserker class but no such Weaponry skill, I noticed you could really make one via the Berserker skill. Heavy focus on that skill to the detriment of others --- how would that turn out? Maybe Mighty Warrior trait on top of it?

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Quote:
Originally written by Vagabond:
Quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:
Celt Beserker is the equivalent of Roman Training. Ups your damage and assures that you will always get hit.
Are you sure about that? :rolleyes:
That's no typo. Every point of Berserker skill you take lowers your ability to avoid attacks.
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Quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:
Every point of Berserker skill you take lowers your ability to avoid attacks.
As in, gives the attacker better % chance to hit you?
Isn't it weird then, that log window shows no hints of such penalty? Tohit percentages are the same no matter how many pts of Berserker someone has. It's pretty damn easy and quick to test this too - summon monster, save the game, hit it once and let it attack you. Then reload, change Berserker skill with character editor and repeat.
Skill description doesn't say anything about lowering defense either (not that it's definite proof by itself - there's plenty misinformation in other descriptions, but still, in this case observations support what it says - increases your damage and gives mental resistance, and that's about it).
So, are you really sure about that? :p
Not that it matters much, because as it was mentioned, most enemies have max chance to hit you anyway, especially on higher difficulty settings. Just busting some myths.

In my experience raising Berserker skill for your melee guys is a nobrainer, and it's as "playable" as it can be. It increases melee damage like Strength - twice more than weapon type skills or Roman training - and it's cheap. It doesn't do much else, as the mental resistance seems to be pretty much useless in this game, but what it does is useful, considering that doing damage is the most important thing in the game.
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Quote:

In my experience raising Berserker skill for your melee guys is a nobrainer, and it's as "playable" as it can be. It increases melee damage like Strength - twice more than weapon type skills or Roman training - and it's cheap. [/QB]
I don't doubt that at all, especially for a more rounded character. I was thinking more along the lines of an almost dangerous focus on Berserker (and maybe one other like Endurance) to the detriment of other abilities/skills like Melee Weapons, or in lieu of where you might put your points into a more generic fighter - in things like Strength or Dexterity.

But the way you put it, it certainly seems playable.
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