I just gave a go to Divinity: Original Sin, but the keyboard wasn't working properly, forcing me to click everywhere, which I utterly dislike in this kind of games, so I'm now giving Pathfinder: Kingmaker a try instead.
And here we go!
I have been reading the actual Kingmaker Adventure Path recently, and I've been inspired by it to create my own world for D&D. So seeing this map makes me happy, because I've already read so much about it.
I like this text at the beginning of the game. That, and other text displayed, shows that it's made by a group of passionate individuals. There is no legalese jargon, they directly acknowledge that they are available on Discord, that it's coming through Kickstarter, and there is no hidden agenda, they just explain why they need the information. It's refreshing, I like that.
It's interesting how they refer to DLCs as "scenarios", and how they present it in the UI as part of whole. Too often do I find that DLCs are last-minute added fan service that actually make the main game worse than it was. Seeing that they took the care to include it in the main UI make me want to believe them.
I love how they let you choose the difficulty level, while still allowing you to tweak it according to your needs. Often I want to play on a higher difficulty level because I'm used to those games and I like challenging battles, but it also often comes with "only one save" or other parts I don't like. Here, I can make it my own.
So far, I haven't even started the game, I've only played with the UI, but the attention to details and the care poured into the game is already visible.
I went with a custom one. The most important changes are:
Of course I'll create my own character from scratch. That's the fun of those games: spending hours on the character creation screen!
They make you start by choosing a portrait before even choosing a race or class. This is clever as it makes you see what makes you tick, where your creative flow is going.
I'll go with a Half-Orc Rogue then.
Actually, I like the Magus class. First time I'm seeing something like this; it looks like a fighter/mage that can enhance their own weapons.
Or the Eldritch Archer subclass, that can empower range attacks with spells. I can already see combos of using a high range bow with spells to deliver fireball from a bow.
For rogues, the Eldritch Scoundrel seems to be able to use cantrips, but has way less sneak attacks damage.
The Knife Master trades the Trap avoidance of the regular Rogue with the ability to increase AC against light blades.
I went with the Eldritch Archer Magus. I'm deep in the character creation, reading everything.
Here we go, Romith the CG Eldritch Archer Half-Orc.
I already like Amiri and would like her in my team, please.
I like that you can hover over specific words to get some world Lore. I've read countless Pathfinder books already so I know a little bit, but this helps in getting immersed in the world.
It's also great that our Quest Log is actually, in-game, the bard book.
I then ended the initial discussion with the Quest Giver and tried to move around but the characters are moving so slowly, it's killing me. I checked with videos online and I think my game move speed is slower than it should be. I'll do a reload of the whole computer and game to see if it fixes things, otherwise I'll have to add some mods to increase the speed.
I also realized their were weird glitches in the Controls menu, and ingame, where it seemed like a phantom key was pressed. The scrollbar was moving by itself, I was being jumped down in the list. It happened a few time already in the Character Creation as well. I hope a reboot will fix it.
This then allows me to download and install Vortex, the Nexus Mod manager.
Hmm, looks like it failed.
I downloaded another Proton version from Steam (v8 instead of experimental), and tried again. I think it worked that time.
But running it just opens that window and then nothing. I don't think it actually worked.
I'll just try to install wine and try again, maybe it was the missing piece. Well, no, seems like wine was already installed.
SteamTinkerLaunch has a commandline, so I tried
steamtinkerlaunch vortex start and it seems to start a download of a custom Proton. Seems one step better than what I had before.
Oh, so it worked, but I'm having this message. Maybe it's relevant and I need to install some .NET, maybe it's a false positive because I'm running Linux, not sure. I clicked "Fix". It then asked me to reload Vortex, which I did. Needed to go some hoops of email validation and login authorization, but I'm not authenticated.
I had to tell Vortex where my Kingmaker game was installed, but as it's running through Wine it displayed a Wine file explorer that does not display hidden folders. So I needed to create a
ln -s in my home directory to the
~/.steam/steam/steamapps/common directory to be able to select it.
It's also telling me I need to install Unity Mod Manager first, so here we go. I downloaded it, manually, because the Vortex integration on Linux does not allow to do it automatically. I thought I would have a way to drag and drop mods into a game easily, but I can't find it. The instructions talk about installing the mod using
mono, but before I go into that I'm gonna read more about Vortex.
Well, seems I need to manually install it, so here we go. I went with
apt-get mono-devel, then
Vortex is still complaining and preventing me from going further with this game. Well maybe it means I won't need to use Vortex and directly go through Unity Mod Manager.
I'm going with the Bag of Tricks mods that I've seen mentioned many times in thread. I think it has an option to increase move speed.
I downloaded it, picked the
.zip file from the UMM menu and... not sure what I need to do next. Just load the game?
Oh, it automatically copied files into the
./Mods folder in my game folder. Ok, I understand how it works now.
1.5 hours later, I can finally start the game \o/
Seems like I did something correctly, as I now have an overlay when starting the game. The UI is hard to use as the hitbox of the various buttons is slightly off (probably due to the mono/wine shenanigans). I closed it, and I know I can make it re-appear with Ctrl-F10 if needed.
Ah ok, one need to "Confirm" before being able to see the options.
I finally found the option among them all. I doubled the party speed and it now seems to be more enjoyable. Weirdly enough, I cannot enter numerical values in the menu, I have to copy-paste values from an external source.
I've also in creased the maximum zoom level of the camera because I found it was too close.
I went to my room and someone barged in shouting "HELP! HELP!". This reminds me a lot of Siege of Dragonspear introduction.
I can't seem to be able to pick dialog options through the numerical keypad; I'll have to change that.
Haha, it's funny how they use the french Unicorn as part of the dressing.
There was a lot happening here, but I managed to cast an Acid Splash spell and fire an arrow. I'm not sure it was two actions, or my special ability though, as he did it as two animations.
I looted that, and I'm going to write down my thoughts as I discover the game and understand the mechanics. It will make me remember them better.
Light armor, I think I'm proficient and can wear it. -2 armor check penalty, not sure what it means. Is that a positive or negative thing. 20 arcane spell failure chance; hmm I thought I could cast spells without failure with Light Armor
This is what I currently have, so I assume I can wear Light Armor.
Re-reading my signature ability, I understand that I will be able to fire my bow AND cast a spell as two different things in the same round. I'm not fusing both together. I thought I would be able to empower my arrows with spell magic.
Also, the description is written for the default Magi, the one that fights with a sword in one hand and a spell in the other, but my class allow me to do it with range weapons.
This is my specific ability.
And the second one I'll get at 2nd level. So I'll be then able to use my weapon bonuses to make the range spell attack. Considering I have high DEX and high INT, the difference between both will mostly be based on the weapon bonuses. Also considering I can enhance my weapons with +X modifiers several times a day, it will allow me to add greater to hit bonus to my range attack spells.
I won't be able to increase the spell range though, but maybe it will allow me to increase the weapon range if the spell range is higher. That would only be interesting with weapons that have a proc trigger.
At 7th level, I'll also be able to wear medium armor without spell casting failure. I might get that earlier through a Feat, but as it will be a free ability on 7th level, I'll just wait.
Other interesting paintings. I wonder if they pulled them from a free database.
I only have one armor and one bow and I'm already on some limit. I disabled impact on movement speed, but if effects are too severe, I might tweak it to not take it into account. All other games I've played don't have encumbrance effects, and even when I DM D&D games I don't take it into account either, so I don't really to have to consider it a game mechanic here.
Fought another fight and got two more friends in the party. Time to have fun in encounters.
You're a what now? Chaotic Evil from the get go. This kinda reminds me of Xvar and Montaron and might open up some interesting dialogs. Still, I already kinda work solo, or duo.
AC 19 on Romith at first level, that's pretty good already.
This is well explained. 10 base, +4 for DEX, and +4 for my armor.
I turned turn-based mode on, but couldn't Daze a bowman because of "Difficulty Settings". Quick reddit check and it seems to only be a log issue, the character is correctly marked as Dazed.
Also, I got the gnome killed by a lucky shot. I'll finish the combat and see if I can save him.
Ok, Linzi managed to cure him. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all?
I did some tests of the action economy. I could Cast Daze and then attack, but couldn't move afterwards. I could cast Daze and move, but not attack. I still do not yet understand how it works. I would like to Cast Daze, move and attack if possible. Maybe my ability if a full round action?
Ok, good to know. Unconscious characters will just be revived at the end of the battle.
I updated the maximum carrying capacity, so it shouldn't be an issue.
While using a Dagger, I don't have any bonus to hit. I thought as it was a Finesse weapon I would use my DEX modifier instead of my STR one. Maybe I need a specific Skill to enable that?
I had a cutscene here. But the camera movement, the dialog lines, and the walking animations were way too slow. I think I'll have to give CheatEngine a go and improve the game speed a little.
Seems like CheatEngine speedhack doesn't work on Linux. Looks like it's interception every time getting function to fake time going faster/slower. I found threads of alternatives on Linux, specifically for Kingmaker, but they do not seem to work either. Well, if it's only cutscenes, I might keep the slowness then.
Let's describe this battle. It started with "Get ready for battle" message, where I could enter Ctrl+Space to enter turn base combat. Due to my high DEX, I'm first in initiative.
I'm going to Daze + Fire on the Assassin, as he's first in Initiative order, I hope it will make it skip his turn.
Ok, so it Dazed him.
I can move 5ft.
Or Attack in addition to Daze, but that's a full Round action, as I imagined previously. Let's do that.
I missed him. Rolled a 5, and his AC is 11. I have an Attack Bonus of 5. 4 because of my DEX, 0 because not yet any BAB and +1 because of Point-Blank Shot. I should have enchanted my bow for an additional +1.
I'll have Tartuccio cast Magic Missile on the non-Dazed one.
Shit. Somehow by Alt-Tabbing to write the previous sentence, it reverted to a basic Acid Splash attach (that missed).
I had Linzi Inspire the team, giving them +1 to Hit and Damage. Seems like clicking on it activated it right away, consuming one. That was pretty much all she could do, apart from moving. Casting the spell took an action immediatly, or maybe it's when I alt-tabbed to here that it activated it. Anyway, after that all Linzi could do is move, not even fire her crossbow.
Back to Tartuccio and I'm confused why two of his spells are circled with a golden animation. I think the one I right-clicked is displayed on the left and will be considered his default attack action unless I specify another one with a left click. So this time I'll make sure to really select the magic missile one. Did 5 damage.
Back to Romith I'll attack again the other one, still hoping to Daze him so he cannot act. He failed the save, so still Dazed, and now I'll attack.
But first, I'll enhance my bow.
As expected, I got +1 thanks to Linzi, and +1 thanks to my enchantment (and I rolled a 9 as well). He died.
Oh, and it's a new round and I'm first in Initiative order as well, so let's do the same thing. Failed Daze, and killed when I did 11 damage.
I don't get why I did 1d8+3 damage here. 1d8 is the base damage of the bow. +1 because of Linzi, +1 because of my enchantment, but where is the other +1 coming from?
I'm finding some new loot, but I'd like some explanation on what Composite, Masterwork or Finesse means.
Ok, so a right click in the inventory, then "Info" and scrolling let me know that Masterwork means +1 to hit. Composite adds STR bonus to damage. Oops, I should have put more STR in my build, I guess I'll keep that in mind when I'll respec. Still no explanation on Finesse wielding. I checked the Wiki, it means that with the right Feat, you can use your DEX modifier instead of your STR one for attack rolls. In D&D 5e you don't need a feat for that, so I was confused.
Recruited an Inquisitor. That's pretty good, I wanted to have one myself, so I'm gonna be able to test it out.
She is equipped with this. I had a hard time figuring out why it was written 2-8 damage, but 6-12 when equipped. 2d4 is the base damage, but she specifically has some bonus.
+3 because of her strength. Masterwork only adds to hit roll, not damage, so this is not where the other +1 is coming from.
The Attack tooltip is helpful.
The damage one, not so much.
After a little puzzle, I found an hidden room to loot. I'm a bit disappointed as there was only GP and stuff to sell.
Did another fight, and now I know that I cannot move and do my attack + spell. At least I was able to enhance my bow.
Did a nice three-hit combo with Burning Hands.
And got a Cleric of Groetus with us.
Wait, I somehow buggued Jaethal. She seem to have gone out of bounds and clipped into the floor. I'll see if I can explore with her.
She seem to still require to follow along the paths, she can't go through walls, but she seem to be underground. I went into the fire and could see an NPC named Valerie in the corner, but somehow Jaethal got clipped back on the floor and it starts a book cutscene.
Hmm, good thing I didn't restart the save and attempted to kill Valerie. She will actually join my group.
She looks a little bit dump, hidden behind her portable door, though. She has an AC of 22 and very poor mobility. I'll put her in front.
Oh, this is interesting. It seems that I don't need to loot everything in a zone, a menu will get displayed at the end, telling me about what I missed and I can pick it up.
While the big guns are fighting, I'm gonna fight the Assassins over there.
I am trying various stuff in Combat, to better understand mechanics. I'm doing a lot of Nat 1, so it does not help.
Kaessi, an NPC, has been missing her attacks the whole fight, but did the killing blow, and I didn't get any XP for that, grrr. The fight was messy, I'm still no good tactician. Some characters, like Linzi, seem useless, all they can do is give a +1 bonus to the group, which is not very useful.
Haha, what a dick. He was the one telling me to rob the armory. I like how this is very well setup to make us feel angry against Tartuccio.
I like how the two teams were made, based on how NPCs reacted to my actions and their alignment. This was well done, and shows already how decisions will branch out the story. Also, having two competing teams is very entertaining. I'm glad I ended up with Valerie, Jaethal and Amiri, the three brute woman.
Good old golden cross for the level up.
I want to go down. How do I go down?
I got myself attacked on the road. Jaethal only had 1HP left, and because she's undead I can't heal her with healing potions. Romith also got attacked, so I had him cast Vanish to get away. Turns out casting a spell in combat might trigger an opportunity attack (it did because I failed my save, but the tiger missed their attack). While invisible, another tiger still attacked me? I got a 50% concealment miss chance.
Any direct damage spell will end the vanish but indirect ones won't. I'd love to see how it works with grease or mass charm effects.
I like Amiri. There is some beauty into the simplified tactics of a Barbarian. Hit. Damage. Kill.
I tried to have Jaethal move to go behind the Tiger, but it had an opportunity attack and killed me. Maybe I should have used the Mobility feat to only move by 5ft? Or maybe there is a specific key to press?
I did not get why I couldn't cast Daze on the tigers, but it's only for humanoid creatures. Got it.
Oh, I can inspect creatures to know more about them; nice.
I leveled up Romith to second level Eldritch Archer (I plan on maybe respec him as a rogue / sorcerer later), Valerie as second level Tower Shield Specialist (I'll have her as my tank), Amiri as second level Barbarian (with focus on movement speed) and I dual-classed Jaethal with one level of Herald Caller Cleric (specialized in summoning creatures to help). This will also give her access to channelling negative energy, which should help in getting her to heal herself.
This is an absolutely not well balanced team, lots of brutes, not many rogues or arcanists, but we'll see how far we go with that. I assume that I'll be able to engage mercenaries, or respec characters later, so I'd rather gain some levels first, and then respec them.
There's a nice interface for resting. Really feels like pnp. You decide who is going to hunt, because you need rations, who is responsible for camouflaging the camp, cook meals, watch and other special conditions. I actually think I will end up buying rations in the long run, but for now I'll have Amiri take care of that.
I also actually hope I'll get attacked, so I can get some more loot and XP, so I placed two undead guardians to help me.
Here we are. Our first checkpoint and what will become our kingdom.
A band of bandits are harassing this poor Oleg. They haven't started combat yet so I wonder if there is a way I could attack them from afar.
I forgot to have her memorize spell before resting, damn.
I like this building. Taking a screenshot for reference in case I want to build it later.
Oleg selling some good armor. I don't want to spend that much, I'm sure there are ways to get those kind of armors with some trickery somewhere.
A rod to cast spells further. I really think I'll have a lot more fun with a sneaky Rogue that can backstab while casting invisibility spells, and various charm spells.
Seems like all I can do is wait for the battle here. I'll still try to camp, to refill my spell slots.
Well, ok so can I sleep in the inn, then? No? Ok, then I'll wait for the fight.
New session. I did some research online and it seems there is an NPC, as part of the main storyline, that allows to respec the main character, and the named companions back to level one. There is no way to change their stats, nor their starting class, though.
Because I want a bit more freedom in testing classes combination, I will install a mod that allows recreating the companions from scratch. But I'll keep as a rule to myself to always keep their first level class the same (or maybe a different subclass) as it initially was. It will allow me to still enjoy their banter, while testing more class combinations.
So I installed a mod for respec. The game animations started to get all jittery, so I disabled the mod. Still same problem. I enabled VSync in the graphics options, but it turned my sprites all black (it did fix the jittering issue, though).
I disabled it, jittering came back and characters stayed black.
I reloaded the save game, with VSync still enabled, and sprites are working again correctly. Pfiuu.
So I'm going to do the fight, but I'm out of resources and there is no way to rest here.
Oleg started the fight by throwing some Alchemist Fire into the fray and killed like 6 bandits. He's way more powerful than us, haha. I'll need some of that sweet fire.
This guy has been throwing fire into the fight with no concern with whom it hurt, friends or foe. Not sure it was a good thing I asked him to help.
I got waken up in the middle of the night by a fey ghost. I like the "tear, shed by the land itself" bit.
Haha, interesting. Because I changed the zoom level, I can see that the upper floor is actually slightly on the side.
Good, good, good. I found the NPC that can hire mercenaries, or retrain me. It's 2000gp for a mercenary, and free the first three times for a retrain. I don't think I'll do it right now, fights are still pretty easy, and I'll wait until I have a bit more levels under my belt.
I really enjoy that they kept the same quests as in the AP.
Not to me, he's not a mystery, oh no. Son of an alcoholic brutal druid, he reverted the domination on his father and had him jailed ever since. Pretty dark story here.
Bokken is selling some wands. They have 50 charges each.
Alchemical fire is not as powerful here as what I saw him throw. It does 1d6 fire damage (and 1 splash damage), and another 1d6 one round later.
I'll try to go on an adventure with only the two hitters. Valerie is a tank, but so far I haven't needed it. I'll see if I can make some decent XP with this small group.
Haha, I wanted to get back to Restov, to trigger more encounters, but looks like this is not an heroic enough story to write, so I'll continue on the railroad path. The original AP was an hexcrawl, as an open world, but the videogames seems way more rigid so far.
Ok, nevermind. As I just wrote that I'm now presented with choices to go wherever I want!
I'm not very impressed by the dialogues TBH. Most of the time it's just a serie of questions that all got back to the same index. There is no impact of previous choices on the next ones.
I got myself into a CR5 encounter. I don't expect to win, but I want to test. Weird thing is that I cannot attack with Amiri. She raged, then I made her charge a bandit, but she stopped after a few steps and now can't attack anyone.
I got it, it was because her path was blocked by branches. It's not very easy to understand the topology. I did die to this fight, but Jaethal was the MVP. With her AoE she made some serious damage. Some weird bugs made Amiri not attack and Romith move too far. The fight might be possible with better prep. I'll go get my tank and try again.
Got attacked on my way back. But I spotted them. A Bandit Cleric, and a Bandit Necromancer. I'm still undetected. I'll play a bit with the fog of war and my spells.
I summoned a dog, which was summoned close to the Cleric but it didn't attack, and got unsummoned pretty quickly.
I explored the area, and there really seem to only have two of them. I'll split the party and have one on each. Oops, I got detected, and the fight started.
The UI really makes it hard to understand what is going on. The combat log says that the creature isn't affected by my spell, but I can see the tiny icon on the top of the screen showing that it is in fact affected. This does a little bit of damage each turn.
Valerie really moves slowly because of her armor. That's not very good. I'll need other characters with high AC but also high movement. The Necromancer managed to cast Fear on me, and I started running away. Jaethal critical hit for 35 killed the Cleric in one go.
Romith is still affected by Fear. He moved to cast a spell, but then started running in the other direction. I'll try that spell myself I think.
The tooltips above the heads when hitting or saving are barely helpful. They say for example "8 instead of 9". It doesn't mean I had a total of 8 with bonuses, and the target has an AC of 9; it means I rolled an 8 and I should have rolled at least a 9. Considering this is a random roll, I don't care how much I needed to do if I fail, there is nothing I can do to improve my luck. But showing the actual value (AC of Save) would help me gauge the difficulty.
Got about 200xp and a few items. Not very much. And I really don't think Valerie helped much here. She was too slow. I'm going to continue a bit with this group of 4, farming some levels, but then I'll reduce the party to 3.
In the last fight, I realized that having Valerie as an heavy armored tank made her move slowly. I am thinking into respecing her into a more nimble type of tank. I'll have to dig a bit more into the classes, but I can envision her as the kind of flamboyant duelist that moves quickly, but does not wear a lot of armor.
I imagine that she could take one level of Monk, to get improved AC based on her WIS bonus. The WIS high score will also help into making her more resilient to saving throws. I think there are classes like Aldori Swordlord or Duelist that might fit into that scheme.
My question so far are:
As for the other characters, I think I'd like my main character to be the sneaky type. I read that there isn't much Charm spells in this game, so I'm not going to focus on that for that run. Instead I'd like to move invisibly, backstab people or lay down traps, and move away. So probably a Rogue. I'd also like him to have high Charisma (and Perception/Insight) because he will be the one doing most of the talking. I think there is a Rogue subclass, the Thug, that benefits from high Charisma. I will also need some spellcasting to cast Invisibility on myself. Maybe Sorcerer. And it might open the Arcane Trickster prestige class to me.
For the other two, I think one specialized on damage dealing (Amiri). A barbarian for sure, I like her style, but maybe coupled with Monk or another class that can synergize well with her pros/cons and focus on her ability to do a lot of damage.
The last one would be a spellcaster. I'd like to have one that has access to both Cleric and Wizard spellbooks, to give me a lot of possibilities and rain either fire from behind, or heal. Maybe Jaethal, being Undead, would make a nice roleplay opportunity for that.
All in all, I might keep this group of 4, but respec them to each fit a better archetype. I think I'll need at least 3 levels to make them work, so I'll be doing a bit more questing for now, until I got everyone to level 3 and then I might start to respec them.
There is definitely a way to cross here. I'm looking forward to get my hand on Dimension Door and other similar spells.
I decided that I would first explore the map a bit, hoping to get into some random encounter to get some money and XP, before going to do some of the areas.
Because my party was tired, I slept in the wood. This cutscene assumed I was in my bed.
Let's head to the Boggard hunting ground. I killed them, and switched to regular Pause mode, not turned-based. With turned based, the rounds seem to go faster, but I have to do a lot of click-click, with turn based most of it is auto, but round are really during 6s each, so it feels slow. I might have to invest in Haste spells when I'll get access to them.
This was a bit of a clusterfuck. They feared me, so my people started running everywhere. Some of my people could Charge, others couldn't, I still haven't figured out why.
Amiri is frightened, so I can't select her. My damage dealer is running too far, my tank hasn't had a chance to get into melee, and my squishy one is in the middle of it all.
The good news is that the tank actually tanks well. I managed to get Jaethal move away before she died, and she's now firing her crossbow.
Romith keeps Dazing the Boggard Brute every turn, allowing me to hit him without him actually reacting. This is a nice combo actually. I might not want to get rid of it. What I want though is to be able to fire more effectively. Right now he is exhausted, and he has -4 to all rolls anyway because he fires into melee.
I also want to see something on the XP level. This is Valerie XP before we kill the last Boggard.
Good to know, I also get a +2 to hit when having an ally on each side of an ennemy.
And that's her XP after the kill. 3560-3527 is 33XP.
The kill was 132XP, which is 33XP divided by 4. So if I have a smaller party, I would gain more XP.
I'm looting a few items here and there, magic rings and magic cloak, but I'm not going to identify them just yet. The UI is slow to do such things, so I'd rather explore a bunch of maps and only then check my inventory.
Actually, the name of the item is displayed when I pick it up, not when I see it in the pickup stash. If I ever see an named object I might stop to inspect it, but with simple +1 gear I'll just pass for now.
I also realize I don't have a healer in this group. Jaethal can only heal herself. Having Valerie as a Paladin might be interesting (but then she might lose some benefits from her AC improvement I want to do.). Or having Jaethal as an actual Priest that can heal?
Went to an Old Oak scene, and there is a troll here. I have some acid splash that could be able to kill it, but I hope he's alone.
Hmm, there is also a Boggard. Maybe I can dispatch the Boggard first, without alerting the Troll?
So, combat started. The Troll is displayed, but he's not in initiative order, so I should be fine.
I can't charge with Valerie, but I could before. I think it's because Jaelath got in the way. Next time I'll have to open combat with Valerie charging. I can't have the other stay on the back lines and fire arrows as in PoE, because switching weapons is a move action, so if I do that, I can't move.
No, it wasn't because Jaethal was blocking LoS, it was because she had already used all her movement on her previous turn. I'll need to put her more in front of the group.
I still get the +2 Flanking bonus in that configuration, no need to use a pincer strategy.
I tried to have Jaethal summon something behind the Boggard to create flanking for everyone, but she got 11 damage from an opportunity attack and didn't even get to cast her spell, and have no more actions. I really don't think the specialisation I gave her is interesting. I like that she is undead, it adds some interesting flavor (and can probably be exploited), but I'll need to make her another specialization. Not sure she can be our healer because of her undead nature though.
Because she's undead, she doesn't have a CON stat, and uses CHA instead. So maybe she can be my tank, with a CHA-based build. Considering she is immune to sleep, poison and many other things, it could be good to have her in the front-line. Main issue would be to know how to heal her. Either she heals herself with her Inflict Wounds, or I have another character healing her. As she is the tank, healing is important for her. But as she will be in the heat of melee, it will be hard for her to heal herself without incurring opportunity attacks. Maybe regeneration spells?
In the tutorial, I remember a character going up again after the battle. Was it Jaethal or Linzi? Will they all do that, or only her?
Fuck, she just got killed by a Boggard. I did kill 5 of them easily on the other map, and know I'm getting killed by 3?
Haha, the banter is pretty good.
Ok, so the troll hits VERY hard. Three attacks, and one is 20 damage, one-shotting my tank. Either I'll flee, or I'll cheese him.
It's telling me it's an easy fight, CR3, and the boggard earlier were CR 5 but this troll is one-shotting me. Amiri is also down now. And Romith as well. And he regenerates 5HP per round. No way I can beat that right now.
Something interesting to note is that as soon as I can highlight a corpse, even if I can't loot it right now, if I leave the zone, it will suggest I grab what I left. So I didn't need to kill the Troll to loot the body next to it, I just needed to get close enough and leave the area to get the light crossbow.
Oh, it was actually a magical one. Nice.
I'm heading back to the bandit camp, and will try to survive this encounter this time. My main problem is that even if I rest, I don't get healed up to the max as I don't have any healer in the party. So I had to drink a bunch of healing potions, which seem like a waste. I'll finish this zone, it might give me some story experience points, and with a bit of luck I'll get to level three and maybe respec my characters to have a more balanced party.
I know there are bandits on two parts of the map. I want to see if I can kill the ones on the left first, because the chief is on the right. Or if I can engage combat and lure them to another spot.
I saw one bandit, that didn't see me. I'll inspect more, to see more of them, and if a fight happens, I'll head back to the group. Oh, it triggered a battle, but only with those two bandits, and it included by friends on the other side of the map. I'll make Amiri run back to them, and we'll see what happens.
This is so weird because I asked Amiri to run back to camp, and the overlay was defining a specific distance, but she moved even further. I know she has improved movement speed, because of her class and feats, but I also updated the movement speed through my mod. I thought it would only affect non-combat speed, though.
According to the UI, this is as far as Valerie can go (she is wearing a lot of armor, and it slows her down)
She actually moved even further, she moved to where I clicked, and still has some movement left.
I'm going to test by clicking very far.
Ah, ok, she did went all the way toward where I actually clicked, with no regard with her actual movement speed. Once she's out of movement though, she can't move further. I'm going to test the limits of that.
Jaethal is very slow, because of her armor, she loses 10 movement speed. I don't like this mechanism, so I'll really have to find a way to move faster and keep a high AC. Moving fast is the most important part.
So, she technically cannot move further than the pond. I'll see if I can get her to move further than that.
I tried to have her move all the way to the edge of the map, and she actually stopped near the river. I think she could have gone further if not for her pathfinding algorithm blocking her here. So either it's a game bug (in which case I'm fine exploiting it), or it's a mod issue (in which case I'll have to try to follow the UI indications and not move more than I should)
I managed to move my characters way further than they should. This made the combat more interesting, but also seems like an unfair advantage. I'll have to try again with another easy fight, by disabling the speed thing and seeing its impact.
I'll continue a bit with this group, but I'll then go on to fighting the other group, I assume this is how I can recruit other people. I will need a healer in that group somehow.
I'm first going to create an ambush situation here. Putting Valerie in the middle of the pond, and having the others on the other side. I'll then bait them with Amiri.
Apparently there is no way to force attack a allied NPC. Looking forward to get some Fireball spell later on. Oh, don't I have some Alchemist fire, by the way?
I can't send the thing directly on it. I tried to get closer to send it, but she got way too close and triggered the discussion.
This is the bandit camp. I'll run away and see if I can get them one by one.
Arg, fighting in the rain. Might actually be good for me, if it also applies to ennemies. Most of them are ranged.
I won this fight, by simply attacking with brute force, not overall tactic. The cost of micro managing for barely +1 bonus here and there is not worth it when a well placed hit by a fighter does +10. Amiri died in the fight, but she got up after the fight. So, I'm really unsure what difference it has with Jaethal Undying feat.
I'm not having a lot of fun on this game to be honest. It's slow in its turn-based mode, I can probably just rush as a big brute and kill everyone. My party is not correctly balanced, and the whole UI is slow as hell. I'm wondering if I'm going to continue or try another game.
I decided to go farm a little bit, killing stuff to gain XP. Finishing a quest gave me like 45XP while killing a goblin is 100+. I'll keep killing goblins.
Ok, nevermind, I don't think I have the level yet.
Note to self. Manticore here.
Got attacked by a giant spider, but had two skeletons with me. Easy 132 XP. Let's do more of that.
I killed two lizards, once again by sending everyone in the fray.
Gonna also attack deers because, why not?
Jaethal gained a level, and my plans on making her an AC monster thanks to a dip in monk won't work as it requires her to be Lawful. Are there other classes that can have bonus to AC based on their other stats?
Maybe Paladin, but she can't be that either.
The Sword Saint Magus one can add his INT, though.
Anyway, I continued and started exploring a spider nest. I kited them; I don't think I could have done that on the normal speed, so it was a bit of a cheese but man is this game boring to me otherwise.
I like how each map is an "encounter" in the pnp sense of the word, with a delimited playmat (while not completely true, even on tabletop, we should be able to go anywhere we want, but this represents the DM putting the map, minis and props)
Anyway, I got all my characters to level 3. I think now is time for some build testing.
First, let's start with Jaethal. I will try to make her my main tank, because thematically having an Undead tank is interesting. Also, as she does not have any CON, she will do all her CON save with CHA, so I'd like a build that uses CHA for her. I'd like her in the center of the battlefield, tanking enemies, and doing some kind of aura of effect, or riposte. I like her initial class of Inquisitor, and would be good if I could keep it. It will give her easier access to Teamwork features, without requiring others to have the feats.
Ideas so far:
Keep going as full Inquisitor. She will learn some new Teamwork feat that she will be able to use even if her teammates don't have any. I can specialize her as a Monster Tactician to play with summons, or as a Sacred Huntsmaster with one dedicated animal friend.
Online forums also suggest going full Vivisectionist after the initial Inquisitor level, because it adds sneak attack bonus, and a lot of new feats every two levels. The Inquisitor feats are only every three level. There might be interesting feats to trigger Opportunity attacks and cleave attacks with her Fauchard. Vivisectionist also seem to give her some self-buff spell casting ability, so that might be something to try.
Another one is going full Inquisitor as well for the feats, but with some levels in Fighter to get more quickly the Armor and Weapon proficiencies.
As she is based on CHA, she could be a Sorcerer, but that won't fit the role of having her in the front line as I imagined. The Monster Tactician one is good as well, as her summons lasts for minutes instead of rounds, so they can be pretty useful.
Mad Dog is a Barbarian with a pet, they got +4 to hit if attacking the same enemy and on level 5, the pet can make trip attacks. This seems to be very specific, and this kind of Barbarian only gets rage at level 4. Being only two levels in Mad Dog gives +4 to hit it attacking the same enemy as the pet, but I'm wary the pet will not be very powerful with only two levels. Oh, but levels in Sacred Huntsmaster, an Inquisitor subclass also grant a pet, which will also benefit from all Teamwork feats.
I'm not very fond of the various Judgment of the base Inquisitor; the bonuses seem pretty low and can only be used once, while long duration summons or permanent pet seem more durable.
So, to recap:
I don't want to make her full Inquisitor, it's too boring and I don't like the Judgments. Pet or Summon Inquisitor is tempting, I like the idea, I'll have to give it a go. But having spells as a Vivisectionist is nice. I don't understand why Vivisectionists should have spells, I don't see it in the UI, but if they do, that would be nice. I'll give it a try to better understand.
Oh ok, I got it. As an Alchemist, you have access to some spells. I'm not sure which stat is used for it, though.
Seems like it is INT then, but I went heavily into CHA. Hmm, maybe that wasn't the right combo for me. I don't know it it will make her a good tank. She won't have the Inquisitor Teamwork feats, and will get most of her AC from spell buffs. Mutagen will help for sure, but maybe I should have gone Sorcerer to benefit more from the CHA and specialize on self-buff spells?
Hmm, hmm, hmm, those are great, but it does not focus on AC here, more on damage. I wonder if that's the right path. I'd like something that makes her a tank. I'll still go with Feats that improve AC, like Dodge and stuff.
Oh, wait. The mutagen feat every two levels can give me some combat tricks as feats. This is nice as well.
I can be proficient with heavy armor. Does that mean I'll be able to cast spells with it without issue, or just that I'll be able to wear it? I took it. We'll see.
I did a test, and yes she can still cast while wearing heavy armor. This might actually make her a decent tank, I'll have to try.
So I've been reading some theorycrafting and I have a hard time picking a build. I think I need to stop reading about it and start experimenting myself. I'll go with this Vivisectionist thing for a while and see if it works for me.
What I dislike is how I made her heavily rely on CHA while it isn't really used in her build. I went with a lot of CHA because that's an important stat as an Undead as she does not have CON and rely on CHA instead, but nothing in her build needs it. I could make her a Sorcerer, I might need to try that. But for now, I'll stick with this build, but maybe reroll her stats to give her more INT. It means I need to go through the whole process of level up again as her INT score influences the number of ability points she'll get.
Arggh, or I actually build her as Summoner Inquisitor? What about a Magus? Argggh so much choice, everytime I'm in the character builder, I see endless possibilities.
So, this is what I'm going with so far. I kept the 1 Level of Urgathoa Inquisitor for flavor (and to make sure I do not break the game, either), then went full on Vivisectionist. I envision her with heavy armor and high AC in the middle of the fights, triggering opportunity attacks whenever possible. I don't yet know what could trigger those attacks though, we'll see. I also had to pick a lot of spells, probably because of my high INT, but they weren't very useful. I would have prefered being able to cast more per day.
Anyway, I stop respecing here, I need to test her out first.
Now, let's get to Valerie. I will try a similar build, but this time focused on the Aldori one-handed, no armor, trope. Magi at first, then Duelist.
Arf, she has some hardcoded stats that won't make it for this build. I would have loved to decrease her CHA more and improve her INT, to benefit from the Canny Defense feat of the Sword Saint, that adds INT bonus to AC. I guess I can recruit a mercenary to test the Duelist build, but what I'll do instead is take a Valerie build online and apply it to discover classes. If I don't like it I'll move to another one.
I made her a full Sword Saint. I don't think she has the right stats for that, her INT is too low to have enough Arcane Pool to improve her things. She does not also benefit from all the AC she could get from her INT score (not a problem right now as it's capped by her level, but will become wasted later). I also didn't do the dip in Monk to see what's all the fuss about Crane Style everybody is mentioning.
I'll now respec Romith as a Monk/Sorcerer. It costs 1000gp each time, I didn't realize, so I'm re-adding that to my stash.
I finally understand what Crane Style is. It mitigates the malus of fighting defensively on attack rolls, but also add one more AC to it. And as you need Dodge before, it's +2AC for it.
I wanted to do a Monk/Sorcerer because of the complementarity between CHA for Monk and for Sorcerer, but I think I'll go with my usual Rogue archetype instead. I hesitate between Knife Master (more damage when using Daggers) and Thug (more powerful Intimidate, as I'll already have high Charisma). Gonna go with Thug, to test it out.
So, Jaethal is now a Vivisectionist doing Sneak Attack Damage. Valerie is a Sword Saint, fighting without armor. And my main Character is now named Emrys, and is a Sorcerer.
This is a nice addition to the story, to know more about who the Stag Lord was.
But the dialogs are really bad. Too straightforward "Who are you?" / "What should I do", and whatever I ask, it all goes back to this index.
"You are my only hope...". I hope it's a joke.
Erf, Jaethal can't cast spells on others. So she can only hurt herself with her spells. I'll need to take a feat so she can cast on others. This means I still don't have a healer in the group.
I'm going to check that for now, until I got a proper healer in the group. Otherwise the game will just be tedious. I'm all for challenging games, with hard combats, but this system has too much complexity and not enough quality of life UX.
Fully buffed, both Valerie and Jaethal are at AC24. Without armor, Jaethal is at AC22 with the buffs.
I made everyone rush around the dryad, whenever she cast a spell, they all did AoO.
Wow, this is a heavy spell.
She died for 400XP. I still can't move or I'll take damage because of the brambles, though.
So weirdly enough, I cannot attack friendly creatures, but I can cast Inflict Light Wounds on them. That might be interesting to kill NPCs!
This also let me know he has a +1 Cloak!
I read a bit more about the game, mostly to see if other people shared my thoughts about the game being boring, badly balanced, very slow and overly not enjoyable. I found a lot of people praising it as one of the best RPG games, but also several worded posts that highlighted exactly what I don't like in this game.
Mainly the slowness of the characters, the unresponsiveness of the UI, the tedious micro-management tasks (don't get me wrong, I love to micro-manage in this kind of game, but not to the point of dealing with encumbrance and rations), and a lot of other small things that don't make sense. Like how the character creation is very thorough, but the UI doesn't help in understanding all the skills. And the sensation that you can take wrong choices in your character creation that will cripple your party.
All in all, this comforted me into thinking that I'm not alone, and that this game has a lot of flaws. I'll keep playing it, but I'll feel better into enabling more QoL cheats to make it enjoyable. For example, I'm turning it more into a PoE experience by increasing the movement speed, as well as regaining spells and HP after each fight.
Why do I endure the whole game if I don't like it? Well, two reasons. First, I want to have a complete view of the game, to have a fair point of comparison when I'll compare it to other games. Second, I plan on reading the whole tabletop AP, and maybe incorporating part of it in a campaign I'll DM, so playing through it will give me some visual memory of places, quests and NPCs.
Well, I said that and started playing again, but even a random encounter is a slug.
I placed my warrior behind their own traps, hoping to have setting them up themselves.
I have my Sorcerer spam Magic Missille on the Necromancer (man this is so slow)
Ah, I got a bad case of death. I only have time to cast 2 spells, not 3 apparently.
Ok, reload and they scared me it seems.
And, one of use died.
Finally got it.
I miss the AI scripting of PoE, and the system and story.
Tatzlwyrms! I love the name of those monsters
I'm cruising through this map, thanks to auto-attack and auto-rest. This is a bit more enjoyable (but still pretty slow, I'll multiply the speed by 5 instead of 3).
Haha, they incorporated the kobold that ate too much in the radish field. I couldn't really find what to do with it though. I tried to cast Inflict Wounds on them, but it didn't work, it refused to do it. I could click on the radish, but it didn't cast.
Wow, I found a Shambling Mound, that one-shot me. After all the trash mobs of the zone that were absolutely no threat, this one was hard to evaluate. The difficulty level was crazy here. No warning for such a monster. Maybe it's for hard core players that would know how to avoid, or abuse and exploit this kind of monsters.
I'm kiting it and firing all the spells I can. It will take time, but it will work.
I clicked on a icon to walk on a trunk and... this is really not immersive.
Ah fuck, the worgs are very hard to kill. I also thought I would meet Tartuccio here, but no sign of him. The map was a large area of boring emptiness. I'm glad I could teleport and/or move 5x, in normal play this would have been way too tedious.
Man, this is so boring. Fights are really badly scaled. Either too easy and you steamroll them, or too hard and you die in one-shot, with no intermediate, and no warning.
I... I really want to like that game, but it is so badly done I can't find how to enjoy it.
I might take a break from it here, try another game and maybe get back to this one later.