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Changes from the earlier games[G5]


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I run at normal. I suspect that the one in the fen is specially easy, because I felt confident and went for a try at a couple of others and they all got me in one go. Either that or I got amazingly lu

WHOA WHOA WHOA

 

Randomizer gave me a partial list of essence costs. Unless someone else with a finished game wants to help so much for knowing the alternate creation types. However, he gives us:

 

 

Fyora - 10

Cryoa -25

Roamer - 28

Drayk - 60

Kyshakk - 125

Drakon - 150

 

Thahd - 8

Clawbug - 20

Plated Clawbug - 30

Battle Alpha - 40

Rotghroth - 110

War Trall - 125

 

Artila - 12

Vlish - 25

Glaahk - 60

Wingbolt - 140

Gazer - 180

 

I filled in a few as well. Do you know what changed in this list?

 

FIFTH TIER CREATIONS GOT LOADS CHEAPER. Drakons are 150 instead of 183, and War Tralls are 125 instead of 175. Combined with the increase in available levels, this makes it ABSURDLY easy to have SEVEN FIFTH TIER CREATIONS following you around. You can do it by level 30 with a lifecrafter; or you can leave Int mostly unpumped and boost your other stats more than shapers have ever been able to (like shaping skills ^_^ a good fit with this build).

 

125 for War Tralls!!! That's cheaper than Wingbolts (who are up to 140) and it has a better damage rate. Physical damage is probably less useful than magical, but it is the one other damage type that is never shut out entirely. Against typical 30% armor enemies their damage should about equal wingbolts. Plus the War Tralls have more HP and better defenses against all but pure magic (which they still resist at 40%). War Tralls are officially my new favourite creation. Too bad they are so ugly.

 

150 for Drakons is good, too -- although Wingbolts and War Tralls are both probably better. Still, they are another option for Cryoa/Kyshakk/Drakon teams.

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Originally Posted By: Slarty
WHOA WHOA WHOA

Randomizer gave me a partial list of essence costs. Unless someone else with a finished game wants to help so much for knowing the alternate creation types. However, he gives us:


Fyora - 10
Cryoa -25
Roamer - 28
Drayk - 60
Kyshakk - 125
Drakon - 150

Thahd - 8
Clawbug - 20
Plated Clawbug - 30
Battle Alpha - 40
Rotghroth - 110
War Trall - 125

Artila - 12
Vlish - 25
Glaahk - 60
Wingbolt - 140
Gazer - 180

I filled in a few as well. Do you know what changed in this list?

FIFTH TIER CREATIONS GOT LOADS CHEAPER. Drakons are 150 instead of 183, and War Tralls are 125 instead of 175. Combined with the increase in available levels, this makes it ABSURDLY easy to have SEVEN FIFTH TIER CREATIONS following you around. You can do it by level 30 with a lifecrafter; or you can leave Int mostly unpumped and boost your other stats more than shapers have ever been able to (like shaping skills ^_^ a good fit with this build).

125 for War Tralls!!! That's cheaper than Wingbolts (who are up to 140) and it has a better damage rate. Physical damage is probably less useful than magical, but it is the one other damage type that is never shut out entirely. Against typical 30% armor enemies their damage should about equal wingbolts. Plus the War Tralls have more HP and better defenses against all but pure magic (which they still resist at 40%). War Tralls are officially my new favourite creation. Too bad they are so ugly.

150 for Drakons is good, too -- although Wingbolts and War Tralls are both probably better. Still, they are another option for Cryoa/Kyshakk/Drakon teams.


I told you so. I kept saying battle creations rock now.

Added bonus, war tralls resist everything. Physical, cold, fire, magic, everything. They are a tough nut to crack.
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Originally Posted By: Slarty
125 for War Tralls!!! That's cheaper than Wingbolts (who are up to 140) and it has a better damage rate. Physical damage is probably less useful than magical, but it is the one other damage type that is never shut out entirely. Against typical 30% armor enemies their damage should about equal wingbolts. Plus the War Tralls have more HP and better defenses against all but pure magic (which they still resist at 40%). War Tralls are officially my new favourite creation. Too bad they are so ugly.

150 for Drakons is good, too -- although Wingbolts and War Tralls are both probably better. Still, they are another option for Cryoa/Kyshakk/Drakon teams.


It seems to me that Wingbolts aren't quite as good as they used to be, with their lower base level compared to G4 and the reduced costs of other, higher-tier creations. They can still dish out plenty of damage, though. A Wingbolt/War Trall mix might be the way to go for a shaping build in the late game.

Quote:
I just looked in the defs again. Something about Shock Tralls escaped me before. Their ranged attack is just like a War Trall's, EXCEPT IT STUNS!!!!

*dances*


What, are my posts invisible or something? tongue

I noticed the stun when fighting Khyryk in G4: he loves to make Shock Tralls, and they can easily stunlock a singleton character.
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Jeff pushed the wingbolt cost up during beta testing because too many players seemed to be using them.

 

I think the lack of creation testing has resulted in this lowering of costs and the battle creations being more powerful. Jeff did mention that most testers weren't using creations.

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The problem with a wingbolt/war trall mix is that you can't invest heavily in both shaping skills, which is very powerful again in G5. The only thing wingbolts do better against than war tralls is pylons, really. Just about anything that they resist, resists their attack as well.

 

I went and cheated to look at all the shop lists, too. Randomizer's list has a Wingbolt canister in zone 59 and a War Trall one in zone 60, but that one requires doing a Ghaldring quest first.

 

Wingbolt and War Trall lessons are both sold by:

Quothe (Haria-Kel -- must ally with Astoria and do the Rawal quest)

Marzan (Stormhold Plains -- must do a bunch of quests and possibly ally with Alwan)

Kulish (Taygen Oasis -- must ally with Taygen or Alwan)

Ellek'Sss (Dera Shores -- must ally with Astoria or Ghaldring, OR have Leadership of 8 or higher)

 

Wingbolts, but not War Tralls, are sold by:

Saakash (Gazaki-Uss -- must ally with Ghaldring)

 

All of these places except for Haria-Kel are pretty far down the map. One of the quests you need to ally with Astoria requires going to the Stormhold Plains. However, joining Astoria still seems to be the fastest route to Wingbolt or War Trall knowledge. (Alternately, it might be faster, if less elegant, to just run for the Wingbolt canister in zone 59.)

 

That doesn't leave as much levelling up for the Wingbolts/Tralls as I'd hope. So what good creations are available earlier? Cryoa and Artila to start, Vlish and Plated Bugs very soon, Battle Alphas (which still suck smile and Glaahks (by canister) after that, then Kyshaaks in Stormhold Plains, and then finally the Wingbolts and Tralls after doing the required quests or travelling. But the base level differences are bigger now and even accounting for levelups lost, I think the W/Ts will still be stronger.

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Alphas aren't that bad. Seriously. Until you actually play with them, and run through a section of the game with them, don't knock them. Much has changed.

 

Battle betas however, are the real sleeper hit. It is possible to get them mid game, rather early if you play your cards right, they start out at a fairly high level, and survive extremely well... They are much tougher than previous. It is easy enough to hit around 1k hit points with them, and this is just through shaping with item bonuses. I'd imagine a full blown shaper with a ton of investment in shaping skills would be able to create some real monsters.

 

Betas offer pretty much everything the war trall does, except for a ranged attack, slightly cheaper.

 

Also, betas are cheap to upgrade, something I know from experience. And you can get a lot of returns for those upgrades, increasing strength, dex, and endurance gets you a creation that beat the bejeebus out of just about anything. I found my rotghroth to be considerably more fragile than my pair of betas. (Sorceress game- Never finished, restarted with a fresh beta and major changes- The betas were stunningly efficient and brutal for the essence spent, I was quite shocked and surprised, given how fragile betas used to be in previous games)

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Once again: most creations are good if you focus on them. I guess you're right, alphas don't suck; they just suck in comparison to other creations.

 

The main problem is not comparing them to glaahks as I did before. It's comparing them to Plated Clawbugs, which are available earlier, are cheaper in essence, only start 4 levels below alphas, but get bonus AP. If you pump stats, pump your shaping skill, and/or level up your creations, the difference becomes all too clear, and the plated bugs make the alphas grossly irrelevant.

 

Betas start 6 levels above alphas, cost 60 instead of 40, and have NO other differences from alphas. At all. So a fresh beta will have a bit more HP than a fresh alpha, and it will do more damage. Specifically, it will do about 9 more damage per hit. That's it, that's the only upgrade, is 9 damage per hit! (Oh -- 9 damage before armor, which means 6 damage against most enemies.)

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Maybe so, but it does not reflect in game experience. In G4, yes, they kinda stunk, but I stuck up for them anyhow, as I have always been a fan of the left behind battle creations.

 

In G5, I was quite shocked by how well battle creations did after Jeff did his changes. Betas especially. They just hit a sweet spot and do well. No, I can't explain why my rotghroth was weaker and almost died many times but my betas remained immovable. I've played through a couple of times now, trying out this and that, and in different runs, betas show the same consistent results with different classes and builds.

 

They are not the best creation. Period. However, they are a highly useful, powerful, easy to get creation, that you can get rather early, and keep with you right up to the end, and they will always pull their weight the whole time.

 

They are not the end all be all, but they are a SOUND investment worth keeping once you have them.

 

They resist better than a plated bug. Don't take as much damage. Can't say why.

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With all due respect -- and I do hold quite a bit of it for you -- this is all bunk. Depending on how you play the game, it is entirely possible that you end up having a glorious experience with any number of creations. You are concluding too much, from one glorious experience.

 

Experience is valuable, and so are numbers. When they AGREE, we know we are on to something: thus Khoth's Wingbolt experience and the numbers agree. Your Beta experience does not match up in the same way, in fact it's quite a disjunction. I don't question the integrity of your experience, but I question its objective relevance. If somebody else testifies to the same experience, I will be less suspicious.

 

If betas are "highly useful" then so are most of the creations available. If they are "powerful" then almost every creation is powerful.

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My Sorceress is currently at level 36 in the Storm Plains, running with three Drayks and a Wingbolt, and starting to regret some of her stat allocation; it's becoming increasingly clear that she overinvested in Strength. (Shoulda stuck with the Spidersilk Robe instead of going for a Shaped Breastplate; it's not like she's acting as a meatshield very often anyway.) Her high mental magic is getting her through most areas without too much trouble, but this is not an optimal build. I'm not sure she'll have the skill points free to buy more than the bare minimum in any Shaping skill for a while.

 

Originally Posted By: Slarty
All of these places except for Haria-Kel are pretty far down the map. One of the quests you need to ally with Astoria requires going to the Stormhold Plains. However, joining Astoria still seems to be the fastest route to Wingbolt or War Trall knowledge. (Alternately, it might be faster, if less elegant, to just run for the Wingbolt canister in zone 59.)

 

You get a free level of Create Wingbolt from Rawal for stealing the book he wants from Alwan's library; this is probably the fastest way to get it if you're just going through the game normally rather than rushing ahead for fabulous prizes.

 

Are Kyshakks any better than they were in G4?

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After Jeff did the big change, I played with a lot of the battle creations. Some were more powerful and useful than others.

 

Plated bugs. Powerful, useful, strong. Had problems with mental attacks and occasionally had problems hitting enemies with out blessing and such casted. Before the change, clawbugs had more health, did more damage, and had higher levels than the plated bug did. Plated bugs are now one of the best early game creations. While they have extra AP, they lack a poisonous attack. Because of this, I think I'd rather have a pair of clawbugs instead of a plated bug.

 

Alphas. Useful as meat shields, much sturdier than previous games. Not much physical damage, but good for holding the front line, or plugging into a bottleneck. (Like a doorway) They are rather mediocre all things considered.

 

Rots are great. As usual. They do helpful acid damage and are fair in melee.

 

But for the points spent, I'm telling ya, betas are the big sleeper hit. High hit points, higher hit points than your standard rot, tough as old boots, and do better than average physical damage. (More physical damage than a rot gets in a single strike. Quick action will change these numbers of course)

 

You can create an army of 2 betas, a rot or two, and a war trall, and you can just go all rompy stompy on your enemies. You still have a slot open for a fire creation or a magic creation, or both. We have working shock troops again! Not just cannon fodder, but actual shock troops that can dish it out and then some. We can finally have a well mixed goon squad. I haven't had this much fun since the original geneforge, when I had a wrecking crew of all battle betas.

 

Also, cryodryaks are better than ever. Cold damage is especially useful through out most of the game.

 

In a sense, it feels a lot like the original geneforge again, at least shaping wise.

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Originally Posted By: Delicious Vlish
...betas are the big sleeper hit... higher hit points than your standard rot... More physical damage than a rot gets in a single strike...

Are we even playing the same game here? Let's compare the stats from the definition file:

Code:
BETA  ROT  STATISTIC----  ---  ---------  26   28  Base Level 100  250  Bonus HP   1    4  Strength Bonus   0    4  Dexterity Bonus   0    6  Quick Action Bonus   0    3  Parry Bonus   7   14  Base Attack Level 1-5  1-5  Damage per level of attackPhys Phys  Damage type for attackNone Acid  Status effect bestowed by attack


Unless you are going to tell me that the defs file is lying, and it hasn't about anything else yet, you are simply wrong.

I think it's pretty clear what happened here. You made a beta early, kept it around for a long time so it gained 10 or 20 levels, pumped up all its stats, and THEN made some fresh creations to which you compared it (creations which probably could have been made earlier -- definitely in the case of the plated bug). At that point obviously it will outshine a rot or a plated bug.
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Yes actually. That is exactly my point. You can get betas early. I keep saying that. I said that from the beginning of this conversation. That is exactly what I am getting at. The rots do nothing but play catch up, but never quite make it. That is the whole point of my statement. Betas are useful because you can get them and level them with you. My betas were in their 50s while the rot I kept around was in its 40s. It never caught up.

 

Also, the game data does lie on occasion. Remember in G4 how you couldn't figure out why batons did so much damage? you were trying to figure out how the batons did so much damage, because the screenshots posted were much higher numbers than they should have been. In game experience is some times a bit different than what the raw numbers will tell you.

 

I think we had our communications crossed.

 

I hope you understand what I am driving at now. Betas have advantages that can be exploited.

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No, no, no. I know you say you can get betas "early", but you can get plated bugs earlier! Plated bugs were my main point of comparison lately. Rots become available at the same point as wingbolts/tralls, so it's not that much later than betas anyway.

 

Tomorrow I will try it out. I will make a fresh beta and a fresh plated bug and a fresh rot (and a fresh glaahk while I'm at it) and we'll see how they do.

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Plated bugs have some trouble connecting later on for some reason, but I can't say why. They also don't do well with mental assaults.

 

Not a bad creation at all though. Quite useful.

 

I was not impressed by glaahks this go round.

 

Edit:

 

Also, economy. For the price of a single somewhat upgraded rot, you can have two well upgraded betas. They are rather cheap to boost. With the higher levels achieved, you also get greater returns on those investments I feel. That is two sturdy meat shields to plug up a door tile, or a path between trees, or clog up a narrow hallway, etc. That's two creations pummeling the bejeebus out of a drakon or an eye tyrant.

 

They are not the best creation by far... But they are excellent investments.

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You can skip ahead on missions if you are willing to use leadership to avoid combat. This lets you get into Gazaki-Uss and gain access to canisters that Ghaldring uses as quest rewards. You can sneak around with decent mechanics and plenty of living tools to get drakon, war trall, and gazer canisters. Do a few save and reloads so you get only the canisters that you want.

 

It depends what you want to uses as creations and which faction you want to join. Most of the really high level creations come near the end of the game.

 

The problem with rotghroths is they still take massive amounts of cold and magic damage. They do great versus acid and physical, but there are enough creations doing the other to kill them.

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Yes, Gazaki-Uss canisters can be... ah.... liberated without doing Ghaldring's quests, just need a lot of living tools. I was really annoyed to realize that after I had already liberated them, then started doing Ghaldring's quests for basically no reward.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
There are now true area of effect battle spells that deal damage over an area surrounding you (acid shower) or the point of impact on a hostile (shocking rain, purifying rain).
You can only have one aura class spell in effect at a time (regeneration, mind shielding, battle, elemental).


Does this also affect the PC's creations? I think I may have poisoned my own creations with acid. It was in the battle with the presence/mind, so it was hard to tell.
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You can't damage your own party and creations with area effect spells. It is possible to directly damage one with an aimed attack spell where you click on the wrong target. At least this used to happen, but I think Jeff fixed most of that problem.

 

I think you might have taken damage from a worm and not noticed it in the presence-mind fight.

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I didn't test nearly as thoroughly this go around, having been very busy with an overtime job late summer and fall, but did play through the game with a sorceress build. I tried to play her much like I did my infiltrator in G4. Magic is still a very powerful ally, but is not the absolute killer it was in G4. Most of the game, I sneaked around solo and used mental and battle magic to manipulate and decimate. Fairly often, I had to sneak in and pick off one or two foes at a time. For some battles, I had her fashion some creations: cryoas earlier on, kyshakks later (I too found glaahks to be underwhelming this time). Wingbolts seemed fragile compared to kyshakks, so I used them more rarely, despite their better damage. I really like aura/acid damage in this game. I found it very useful to whittle things down while otherwise controlling or evading them or keeping them busy with 2-4 pets. That's why on the fly by midgame, I favored kyshakks with their useful ranged lightning aura damage. Of course cryodrayks rock, better than ever. I used some War Tralls when useful this time too.

 

This game for me required more variation in strategy, but on Normal difficulty, was still fairly doable through and through. There are some very tough areas, like Lerman's Pass that required multiple attempts.

 

My sorceress with around 14 intelligence in the late game was having trouble with green essence running out while using a lot of magic in combat. Creations really are key in a variety of confrontations. Typically, being the experience points glutton I am, I'd absorb the creations as soon as I was done until I really needed more again. Artifacts and gear seem to add more useful bonuses than ever before. And yet, the game felt a bit harder, all in all.

 

I think I will try keeping creations if/when I play a new game, maybe as a Shocktrooper or as a Lifecrafter. I want a more hands on experience with minions to command as well as at the end of a pointy stick.

 

-S-

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Wow. I can confirm what everyone's been saying about War Tralls: they're pretty sweet. Roughly twice the HP of a Wingbolt and almost as much damage for a comparable essence cost. They've got fairly balanced resistances: nothing bounces off them the way wingbolts can ignore magic or drakons can ignore fire, but they can survive a round or two of punishment from almost anything. I've got four tralls now and I honestly see very little reason to use anything else.

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Originally Posted By: Corker
Wait, seriously, thats it? Does G5 expect canister abuse in the same way as G1? This sounds like a serious way to gimp a loyalist no-canister Shaper character.


Most upgraded forms in most Geneforge games have required canister use; in Geneforge 4, you could pretty much just get cryoas and nothing else if you didn't want to use canisters, so G5 is an improvement over that. You can get along perfectly well with just the base forms anyway, and you can get all of those except Drakon and Gazer without canisters. (Even Create Drayk can be learned from a trainer now.)
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Originally Posted By: Thuryl
Wow. I can confirm what everyone's been saying about War Tralls: they're pretty sweet. Roughly twice the HP of a Wingbolt and almost as much damage for a comparable essence cost. They've got fairly balanced resistances: nothing bounces off them the way wingbolts can ignore magic or drakons can ignore fire, but they can survive a round or two of punishment from almost anything. I've got four tralls now and I honestly see very little reason to use anything else.

Shock Tralls (with Regeneration Aura) are even better for the really difficult areas (the final battle and the challenge dungeon for example)

The greatest thing about the Tralls for me were that they were almost set and forget - you didn't need to waste AP healing them nearly as much as you need to with other creations that need to be babied along. And that translated to dishing out a whole lot more damage.
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By the way, is it just me or are essence pods more plentiful than they were in previous games? There's never really a need to keep more than about 100 essence in reserve for spells, since you can just pop a pod whenever you run low and still have plenty left over.

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I only played the demo area of G1 a couple years ago. I was enjoying it, but not enough to ante up in order to play the whole game, unlike all the Avernums. It's hard for me to go back to clunkier games after playing the newer ones. I was playing as a solo character without any creations.

 

-S-

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Originally Posted By: Thuryl
By the way, is it just me or are essence pods more plentiful than they were in previous games? There's never really a need to keep more than about 100 essence in reserve for spells, since you can just pop a pod whenever you run low and still have plenty left over.


I found that if you use a low essence character with plenty of spellcasting that you can use up all the pods. I think Jeff did put more in so there would be plenty for heavy users.
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The diminished speed spell is very disappointing to me. I'm only at level 27 and I'm finding that it's more difficult than the other Geneforge games. Speed has a lot to do with it. You can't effectively hit and run or even just run away from a stronger opponent. I'm finding there are many rogues tougher than my PC and creations and I'm wondering how long I'll be able to continue playing. I just finished area 28. Couldn't even touch the rot et. al. in the center. Ditto for the drayk in West Shadow Road. Regeneration is a cool spell but it doesn't seem to take effect in time to help. Without the loyalist soldiers in North Citadel Pass, forget taking on an unbound. I couldn't get the tinker's bauble in Northeast Fen because of the rot.

 

While some spells are really cool and fun to play with, I'm just wondering if the nerfing of some really good spells like speed don't really make it extremely difficult for mediocre players like myself. Okay, I did turn down the level to easy. No apparent difference that I could tell.

 

Having to put nearly half my skill points into mech/ldrshp by level 25 and waiting for the money for skills training, I guess my character is pretty weak. I'm wondering if I can expect anything different as I level up from this point. I have the infiltrators shield, which puts my mech at 14 and leadership at 11. I'm wondering if I can start putting skill points elsewhere.

 

ETA: Should I have started a new thread on this? Don't want to hijack.

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Click to reveal.. ("To get the Tinker's Bauble")

To get the bauble:

Shaping -
Use a Battle Alpha to take the rot's attacks (Rawal quest reward) and use vlish/cryoa to pound the rot. It'll fall. Your Alpha will likely fall too unless you keep curing.

Sneak -
Go to the Middle Shadow Road. Sneak past the guards to the North Corner w/ all the mines. Disable the mines and grab the Passage Stone. Equip it. Check to see if your Leadership is 11. If yes, just stroll inside to the center and grab the Infiltrator Tunic. Return and sneak past the Rot, grab the bauble and sneak out.
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There are a number of enemies you'll need to return to (much) later and traps you won't be able to bypass for a while. Rotghroths and drayks are likely candidates. The handfull of gazers are even more likely to need to be overlooked for a while, and the Unbound are really mid- or late-game foes.

 

—Alorael, who did notice an alarming difficulty spike starting with the Stoneworks. On the other hand, he's found Regeneration Aura to be a literal lifesaver. It's moderately useful in battles, especially if you have enough creations that you can rotate them out of close combat to recover, but mostly it's the most cost effective way to heal up after battles, particularly if you can get it to last through several fights.

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I didn't have any stealth material at the time to sneak past the rot. I'd rather do that than get my creations after them. I do have a vlish and a cryoa, but they haven't fared all that well with rots.

 

Is stealth that good that you can get away with it?

 

I did get the middle shadow road robe. I already had a necklace pass from breaking into the servile shed in the south. That level was okay for me. No fighting needed. Well, the first time I blundered in, I got into a nasty fight with some guards, but I reloaded and waited for them to leave the hallway, then snuck down and did some sabotage. (The necklace pass doesn't work in the hallway until you go into the center first, I found out. :))

 

The northeast corner. Ugh. First time, the winged creature appeared and we tried to run. It followed. Bye bye. The second time, it appeared, and we ran for the exit (wearing my infiltrator outfit) and it didn't follow. We left the building. When we returned it was gone. (??) I didn't really need to go there since I had the pass, but got a few items to sell.

 

Thanks for the tip. smile

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1. 2 Vlish + 2 Cryoa + Alpha = Rotgroth. The Alpha to take a beating.

 

2. Stealth is good, but you have to maintain your distance. I don't know if it count for scripted detection ranges.

 

3. The middle road is safe as long as a passage stone is equipped when they see you and you have 11 leadership. There is no need to go to the middle first.

 

4. The Wingbolt came from a mine. Disable the mine (move very very carefully). Summoned creatures vanish when you leave town.

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Warmaster, the gazers in East Shadow Road decimated most of my party in about three rounds. No way. Ditto for those winged monsters and rots at this point.

 

Okay, I guess it's time to try and sneak past that rot for the bauble. Unfortunately I have to sneak around the unbound, too. lol

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Dahak, okay that makes sense. I must have gotten into the battle in the hallway before equiping the infiltrator gear. (I have 10 leadership with no items). I tried to disable those mines really carefully and stand back from the trigger. They are so close to the triggers. Each time the wingy devil appeared. When I was able to get away, I think I wasn't as far into the room and could make my escape.

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