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The frugal munchkin stat breakdown

Prince of Kitties

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After a long hiatus, I'm playing through Spears, starting with an unedited level 1 singleton. I decided to try a somewhat unorthodox approach to stats. Here is what I am finding so far, for the early game...


Hitpoints: I started with the minimum of 6. Don't boost it, it rises fast enough on leveling if you have enough Strength (and blessing keeps you from getting hit early on).


Spellpoints: Very very useful. I'm finding it's good to put a few spare points here every time I train a character.


Strength: This is the most absolutely vital stat for all characters. Start with no less than 4. In the early game it should be raised as much as possible whenever you train your characters, since more Strength means more damage and more hitpoints.


Dexterity: Useless, except that too little gives you a malus to hit (and to avoid being hit). Start with 3 or 4 and don't bother raising it.


Intelligence: Not actually that useful, because your spells get much more powerful with levels than with this stat. Start with ~5 so Bless/Strength works, and then ignore it for a while. Don't even raise it above 1; Bless works fine early on as long as you avoid the low Dexterity malus.


Edged/Bashing/Pole Weapons: Ignore these. Characters' hit chances improve more with increasing level. Bless gets more much more powerful as you level up, and many high level opponents can't easily be hit without blessing up anyway.


Thrown Missiles/Archery: Ignore. Field spells do more damage early, area spells do more damage later, and these only improve hit chances anyway (and not much). I suppose poisoned arrows may be useful what with their range, but arrow hit chances are invariably poor.


Defense: If you want to wear normal armor while using magery, allocate a few points. Otherwise ignore.


Mage Spells: Includes both bless and haste spells; you want this. Singletons should start with 3 points, or more if you have the skill points and want more SP.


Priest Spells: Less useful early on, but healing is nice. Singletons should start with 3 points, or more if you have the skill points and want more SP.


Mage Lore: Probably good to wait on this for a singleton; maybe throw in a couple points for each character in a larger party, since it's cumulative. Early spells are mostly powerful enough if used correctly.


Alchemy: Maybe a few levels early, for stuff like haste and weak energy potions. However you have to find the recipes and the ingredients... I find it generally simpler to buy potions at an alchemy shop.


Item Lore: Too expensive. Ignore it, buy ID early on, and just use the ID spell in a quiet place once you have enough SP.


Disarming: Ignore it. Instead start with the Nimble Fingers trait, and invest in hitpoints and (later on) Luck.


Lockpicking: Useless thanks to the Unlock spell.


Assassination: Not useful early on. At high levels it's the only think that can damage "invulnerable" monsters, but at low levels it's prohibitively expensive and unhelpful. Actually more useful than you'd think. It appears to use the hit chance table, so even one point of it will double a PC's damage output frequently; and at high levels it is deadly, and the only thing that can damage "invulnerable" monsters. For warriors, invest in a point or two of this ASAP.


Poison: Useless. Use the Envenom spell instead.


Luck: The second most vital stat for all characters, but (as the BoE documentation advises) wait for it. At low levels you need strength and spell points more.


Also, my take on character traits... Of course experience is an unlimited resource, so feel free to just turn on all the good ones.



- Humans are okay, nothing wrong with them.

- Nephils are not convincingly better. They save 3 skill points on Dexterity, and have a bonus for (useless) missile weapons... Boo ya.

- Sliths save a total of 9 skill points, 6 on Strength and 3 on Intelligence. They also seem to get an intrinsic hit bonus with pole weapons... All of which make the early game somewhat easier. IMO this makes up for the experience penalty.


Toughness: blocks 1 point of damage, whee! I use it, but I don't think it's worth much.


Magically Apt: doesn't do much early, and levels are more important later.


Ambidextrous: Enables perfect dual wielding. So good it's almost broken.


Nimble Fingers: Significant flat bonus to disarming. Singletons and thief characters want this.


Cave Lore/Woodsman: Used often enough in scenarios that these should each be given to at least one character.


Good Constitution: Faster poison recovery? Yes please.


Highly Alert: Better resistance to sleep? Yes please.


Exceptional Strength: Carrying more stuff is good. Doesn't affect damage much though, and I don't think it affects HP at all. I'd take it anyway.


Recuperation: Also so good it's almost broken.




That's all for now, I may update my views on this stuff when my singleton levels up a bit.

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In the early years of 'Blades of Exile' a young man named Tarl Roger Kudrik did some research of the Game and posted several documents for the Community. I have them on my computer, along with a LOT of other information, but no matter how I go about it, I cannot get the File to show up in a reply to you. The file, (updated *.txt to *.doc), I try to add to the reply just doesn't seem to "attach". I'm on a "Land Line" and although I waited a full five minutes for an eighty-four MS Word document to appear, it didn't, I just want to let you know the documents are "out there" somewhere.

One of the documents that he made is the "Attributes" of a PC. He details what effects and affects each attribute has and the advantages/disadvantages for Human, Slith and Nephil characters. I don't know if there are any existing Sites that would have these documents, but If you cannot find them, let me know and I'll type the document into an E-mail, verbatum.

Hope this is of some assistance,


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So, further updates based on some testing outside of Spears, with a Slith singleton vs. a Haakai.


Strength doesn't help much against heavily armored opponents. You want a lot of it for the HP though (and for mowing down zombies).


Dexterity and other accuracy-boosting skills are still pathetic at medium levels. +50% hit chance vs. +80% is not a big difference when you're hitting a Haakai for 5-7 damage per turn.


(Note also that the maximum hit chance bonus is apparently 80%... If you have 20 Dexterity, then Sword/Bashing/Polearms skills are probably redundant.)


Intelligence is useless. Bless and haste spells reach their peak power from leveling, without any need to add to this stat. Damaging spells like Fireball also get boosted by leveling, and Firestorm and other high level spells are powerful no matter who casts them.


Defense skill is worthless unless you have some really good armor, and not above 2 encumbrance (because that's the maximum it can counteract). Most armor doesn't block nearly enough damage to be useful. I'd recommend giving warrior characters Recuperation and lots of strength (for HP) instead


And of course, with the exceptions of HP, SP, and Luck, items matter much more than stats.


In conclusion, a really powerful BoE character should be a musclebound dimwit, with some magical training and a tendency to hoard powerful items. Oh well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A couple more points for munchkining a singleton:


1) Frrrrrr starts with more skill points than anyone else, so don't make a new character, use him and modify him as you wish.

2) Mage/Priest skill is great to get at character creation, because each level comes with 3SP if you buy it then (and it's also expensive gold-wise to train it later).


IIRC my normal starting singleton was 5 each mage/priest and everything else in strength.

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I have problems getting singletons off the ground with less than 3 Dexterity or 4 Intelligence; bless doesn't work well and they don't hit often enough.


(Though come to think of it, I haven't tried with just Dexterity. The low Dexterity malus might be the issue there.)


Edit: yeah, Dexterity is the issue. A blessed L1 singleton with 9 Strength, 3 Dexterity, and 1 Intelligence hits often and hits hard. I will change the OP to reflect this.

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I played through most of the Adventurer's Club 1 and 3 with a singleton. In both scenarios I started using Frrrr (for the bonus skill points), maxed out Mage/Priest spells and threw everything else into Strength.


I found it wasn't even worth my time to spam blessings until I had a few levels - Sleep Cloud is a strong enough shutdown spell, and if you can find places to abuse terrain, I found Flame Cloud/Conflagration to be fairly effective. I don't know what the malus is for sleeping enemies, but it's a lot - more than enough to compensate for my singleton's idiot flailing, and it remains wonderful so long as you can find non-immune targets.


Obviously in other scenarios you would have to vary your start build a little bit, but I find this to be the most effective start in more Vogel-styled scenarios.

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  • 2 months later...

So, an interesting tidbit: the mage spell Strength gives you a constant bless level no matter how low the caster's Intelligence. Very useful for those first few levels!


ATM I've got a singleton (based on Jenneke) starting "At the Gallows" with the following stats...


9 Strength

7 Edged Weapons

3 Mage Spells

3 Priest Spells


Everything else is left alone. So far, so good.

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  • 2 months later...

To beat this dead horse just a little more:


My earlier analysis of skills was actually pretty flawed, because it doesn't take into account how hugely important it is to gain levels. Especially because more levels means you can raise strength, luck, and weapons specialties.


Also, weapons skills do in fact boost hit chance (and apparently damage). It's just not visible in the stats for some reason.


Not that this matters; I have almost no spare time now, and will probably never make it to the end of ATG. Ah well. :p


Edit: anyway, upshot is: if you want no challenge at all, start a singleton like so...


Race: Human

Abilities: Cave Lore, Woodsman, Highly Alert

10 Strength

3 Mage Spells

3 Priest Spells


From there, raise a weapons specialty first up to 6 or so, putting the spare points into SP. Then Intelligence to 4, then Dexterity to 3; then just specialize however you want, because nothing will be able to stop you.

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