Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Knights of the Chalice on Ironman - the ultimate challenge

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Paula Tormeson IV, Mar 4, 2010.

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Ironman settings

  1. Random world-map encounters AND cleared areas do NOT stay cleared

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  2. No random world-map encounters AND cleared areas do NOT stay cleared

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  3. No random world-map encounters AND cleared areas do STAY cleared

    5 vote(s)
    71.4%
  1. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    First you will always need luck in a game based on d20, second, this is not a challenge for 1st time runners as i said. Its for people that enjoyed KOTC are thinking in a second run and want a challenge computing the fact they already know most of the game.
    I did complete the game the first time and after that it took me 16 runs. But it was mostly learning the game. I think now I would (not considering the first fight) complete it 2 out of 3 runs i try.
    thought to be honest the gigantic jump was realizing how op is having 2 clerics with true resurrection scrolls. (you basically cant lose)
     
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  2. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    A discussion with a friend about KOTC difficulty+a post in the official forums + a post here, did return some interest of me into the game. because of
    that

    I will try a challenge and make a video with fraps of the single run or how many runs i make (I probably will make only 1 unless I loss the first fight which is quite likely since its very hard with less than 2 knights which is unlikely I will have)
    I willl keep posting my videos as the run progresses here. Maybe its only 1 video of me dying at level 5 vs that spider queen or maybe its me winning the final final fight. I don´t know. Hopefully I do well and people can see many of the strats that I think make possible. I will upload the video to youtube but have no commentary.

    Rules:
    Ironman run
    Char creation: No Reroll but allowed to cancel to go back and change other things. Chars should be rerolled if they have 75 points or less before the last reroll or 85+ after
    the final reroll.
    1 use per campfire
    No crafting Whatsoever, (So no share spells)
    Default Gameplay based settings (except , no world encounters or monster respawn.)
    NPC clerics healing can only be used on Chars with Permanent negative effects.
    Can only buy 1 scroll of each infinite stack NPC clerics have (if 1 of those scrolls is bought, we have to buy 1 scroll of each infinite statck of that NPC cleric) from the following spells:
    Cure light wounds, Cure moderate wounds, Cure Serious wounds.
    Can't sell non-gem items whose cost is less than 1k.
    Can´t have more than one Cleric in the group
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
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  3. gunmangender: ⚧ Arcane

    gunman
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    Make sure you backup the save file each time you start the game, because in ironman mode the game deletes the save file after loading it, and I had a freeze once during a battle, meaning killing the game with Alt+F4.
     
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  4. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    Yeah actually i dont use the ironmann mode anymore, i just do standard game and save regularly and self enforced ironman, doing one of the runes i was in the ice fortress and the game crashed..........
    enough said.
     
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  5. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    Wow this was a horrible experience, Never saved so long videos, but for some reason it takes 1GB per minute, my Hard drisk fill after like 1 hour and so, and stop recording, then i merge all the recording which takes time, but i have to delete some parts to make space for the merger. Jeez
    I made 3 videos so far that i dont know where im going to upload since they take like more than one hour.
    I think I will stream the rest of the run, and let it save on past recordings.
     
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  6. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    Ok here are the first 3 parts. The first video the character creation is the only with commentary, the laughable part is that i did connect two parts of the video in the wrong way, so it starts at half the video and ends at the half of the video. Whatever, Hopefully I improve on the future the idea is to record the battles mostly so you can people can see the strats I use In case you are interested.
    As I post this im in middle of a battle underground the orc keep

    Character´s creation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EReqjnmo-KM&feature=youtu.be

    Part 1 (First battle to Dwarf fortress)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9j9k9ZzDRc&feature=youtu.be

    Part 2 (Dwarf fortress to Orc underground)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9RriCsMT_4&feature=youtu.be

    I think the rest I will do it in saved broadcasts on twitch because doing these videos is a pain
     
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  7. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    Ok yesterday i finished my run,completing the game. I was surprising how little i struggle except on the FINAL FINAL battle, which was down to some miracles and a WEIRD WEIRD AI. 2 Wizards are really powerfull. Sadly while there will be a part 3 when i upload, the part 4 will not exist. When the HD filled with the recording, camtasia said ¨not enough space, BOOM¨ and my 6 hour recording dissapeared. Just right before the final final battle.
    With that said after the slaver Lords arc, the game becomes substantially easier and boring, so the most important stuff is still on record. I have a final screenshot where the game hang up! (I had this same hang up 3 times during the run, where exactly my knight moves to attack a target while webbed and he does take step i get STUCK, and he tries to still move again and the game hangs up) Clearly the battle is won so i consider it a completion.
    https://gyazo.com/e71dae64bd629def31b62ad04e7e66a7

    Some comments on the fun experience and strategy.

    Fun experience:
    I think know i realize KOTC is only really good during the Slave lords arc. The giants arc is really dull, slow, grinding and boring, most fights are poorly designed, and even the ones that have some design, are extremly easy. The notable exceptions are the 3rd level of the frozen giant fortress and the 2nd level of the fire giant fortress. The whole Hill giant fortress could be scrapped and nothing is lost. There are some bits i like from the cave part of the ice fortress, but for the most part is full of boring fights.
    I would prefer a way more shorter distilled game. It gets boring to use the same exact same strategy (right click with your knight and heal him) vs the same half a dozen group of giants that are too though but present no threat.

    The sidequest of the Lich tower and Norglade have some interesting bits, and i like them, the lich tower first level however is grindy and boring.
    I think this is the end of my time with KOTC, i did so many runs and had a great time. But there is nothing left for me to explore. I really enjoy the battle system and is one of the best battle systems of any rpg out there. But there is only so much i can replay the same fights.

    For someone that did a run normal (so you have a general idea of where the firecamps are and where are the though fights) and did enjoy the combat system a lot, i strongly suggest trying the challenge i think its fun and definitly doable. I said before i could complete it 65% of the time, It think without including the final fights i can pull it off at this point probably higher than 80% of the time, maybe even more.

    The final fight was a miracle this time, I failed my two antempts to dominate monster, lucky the friendly wizard, DID dominate some troll.
    Eventually i wen into a corner, and i manage to dominate the only thing in range, a Shaman troll. I thought it was going to be pointless but how wrong i was, without his mass healings i wouldnt be able to survive. But it still i was going down, except for the weirdest thing. The enemy spider casted WEB. And it seems all units are scared of WEB, BADLY. they all sited there like ducks outside the web while i slowly deyhdrated and acid blast them.

    Strategy:
    First I will say that if you plan to try the challenge, dont read this, i think part of the fun of the challenge is trying to come with an overall strategy to it. With that said..

    SPOILERS.
    I still think 2 Clerics 1 Wizard 1 Knight to be the best team for an ironman run. But I realized 1 Knight, 2 Wizards and 1 Cleric is really powerfull too. The reason I failed previous runs but i succeed at this one (other than really great rolls at character creation) is that I used to run a weird knight either focused on ranged attacks, or go with shield and sword (what a waste) or two weapons. Etc etc. The two handed Knights completely owns all other type of knights, the amount of damage it can pull out is insane, and you can do a lot of fights just with slight support of your wizards and cleric (some healing, some Ice shield here and there) meaning you need little rests, I didnt use a few firecamps in the game and I think i could have skipped 2 or 3 more if i wished so.
    Most fights that are hard otherwise are so easy with 2 wizards, you can nuke half the opposition in the first 1 or 2 turns. Then Paralyze, dominate, make dance whatever strong is left. A two handed knight can solo most fights in the game with just 1 spell from the wizards for support (Blur/Bull strenght/Ice shield/Ironskin, etc etc whatever you choose)

    Im not sure really if its better to kill the VROCK BEFORE the FINAL FINAL battle or after, if you dominate it it is game over, but if you dont, is preferable that its not there. I decided to kill it before the battle, but not sure its the right call.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
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  8. Jabbergender: ⚧ Educated

    Jabber
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    I'll toss in my comments having just finished an ironman run (5 tries, playing blind). I crafted a ton of stuff and had reasonably min-maxed stats so I'm kind of blown away that you did it without either but maybe I just don't realize how many consumables are available from shops and rewards, etc. because I wasn't really using them. Or possibly you are just better at the game than I am...

    1) 2 wizards is definitely awesome. I played with 1K, 1C, 2W. I came away with that thinking a much better party would be 2C, 2W. Not sure whether 1K, 2C, 1W is better or worse than what I played with. On the one hand cleric redundancy is great, but then again so is wizard redundanacy. That said, 1 Knight is reasonably helpful early on, and 1K 1C is arguably better than 2C up until level 5 spells are available, but then 2C is just better and better. By the time everyone is level 20, it's not remotely close because the cleric is only slightly worse in combat (at least if he took combat feats, which he can, because the other cleric can take the crafting feats) and has a massively powerful spellbook

    2) Agreed on the game through the slaver arc being the best part of the game. KOTC is really pretty exceptional through that point, with diverse, interesting, tightly balance encounters and a good plot. Also good character power progression. After that the game kind of becomes a shitshow of endless hp-bloat giants and hp-bloat + resistance dragons with a few good fights mixed in. Also casters become unreasonably good, but that tends to happen in many D&D-based games. I took a bit shy of 20 hours to finish (I think, I may have left the game running at some point but 15-20 seems reasonable) and the game would have been stronger with at least 5 hours fewer of "yet another room full of giants" or "yet another high hp dragon" (by the way, ray of enfeeblement seemed unreasonably strong against these guys)


    3) I'm still surpsied you could beat the final (dragon, not final final) fight with your restrictions, but maybe you had more consumables than I thought. Seems like it would be easy to run out of tanking fuel (i.e. heals) or run out of damaging spells (he seemed very difficult to hurt via non-spell weapons). Similar opinion on final final, but maybe it just comes down to hitting the right dominate monsters (2 wizards is then a big help here) and using mid-level buffs (stoneskin, displacement, G. Invisible, etc.) effectively alongside some heals

    4) Interesting AI issue with web - I would guess that there is a lot of available AI abuse in the game but I didn't go hunting for it (not that you did either). I'm curious how cheesy stone wall is but I didn't use it until the final final fight was already over so I'm not sure

    5) I'm surprised you found a 2-handed knight so effective - seemed like the only benefit was extra base dice + a bit of extra strength bonus which should easily be beaten by 2x kukris. Not sure what I'm missing, but then again you're more knowledgeable about the game than I am. Does the strength bonus affect to hit? Maybe would be relevant on hard to hit dragons... I also personally kept forgetting that stoneskin can be cast on anyone; I'm so used to it being caster only from other games. Same with ice shield; basically all the good knight buffs oops

    6) Not sure on the best strategy for the Vrock either - probably doesn't make too much difference though. As I was playing blind I didn't know what the various interactions with him did (candle, horn) and so left him alone as I was pretty sure he might attack me and kill me... When I came back for him at level 20, I tried blowing the horn which makes him disappear and then show up at the final fight. The reason I don't think it matters is that if he is there he will probably get stuck on all the other enemies and I don't know that dominating him is that much better than dominating a balor (maybe it is?)

    7) Not related to any particular comment you made, but I found myself wishing that there were items you could find that were uncraftable. I generally liked crafting overall but it would have been nice to find new items in the late game that the party wanted to use, which it won't past a certain point if it crafts
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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  9. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    Well not being blind really helps, by know I pretty much where all the important fights are and have a solid strategy for most important fights. When I did it blind with Scribe scrolls, i pulled it of at the 3rd attempt, but hten i played with only 1 rest per campfire, no crafting, and it took me 16 tries, though most death were in the first 3 hard fights in the game (water elementals, Gnoll attack to the palace, and Spider queen).

    1) I think if you play with scribe scrolls, and infinite campfire, sure Knights are worthless. But without scribe scrolls and limited campfire uses, Without a knight, the run is pretty much impossible imo. (maybe not so much if you happen to get a Cleric with 18 strenght/18 Dex/18 Con, to be your quasi fighter.
    Infinite rests and/or scribe scrolls definitly the best team is 2C 2W no questions asked.

    2) Yes, those giants fights are boring and take so much, i almost just wanted to allow craft wand to craft 2 wands of fireballs to get through all those boring fights. I think there are 3 exciting fights with the giants. The frozen king, The fire king and The pissed off balor after the ritual. Then I like the lich tower, somewhat, but not great. I like the third level of the fire giant fortress in general. Thats it.

    3) The final dragon is though, but not hard, it takes a lot to kill and he is invulnerable to most stuff, but 2 wizards can take care of it. which is what i did. I did use True resurrection scrolls that I bought, but I may have used 3 or 4 tops. Yes, without true resurrection scrolls, the end game could be very hard (and the final final fight close to imposssible) but true resurrection is bonkers. I think once you can buy true resurrection scrolls on the dozens, the game is almost impossible to lose(except the final final fight) Yes, If you notice I limit my lower level cure spells, but I do not limit on Heal and true resurrect, what else a cleric needs?

    4) Stone wall is awesome in some fights, but in others, It just gets dispelled. I lost a run in ironman vs the slave traders, where I did put a stone wall and my low life cleric behind it. I thought i was safe, they dispell it and they focused fire my cleric, and i lost the fight and the run.
    However STone wall can do some nasty things if the opponents do not have dispel. But most hard fights the opponent has dispel and the point is moot.

    5) No the str bonus doesnt affect hit. And it was very important early game, when you cant spam rests or scribe scrolls, you need damage that do not need resting. Sure Fireballs do more damage. Maybe a two handed fighter is better, but you need 15 dex for that, and I didnt roll that. But the times i did play a 15 dex fighter i was dissapointed by the damage compared to 2 handed. Late game, at the stage that there is dragons, the knight is a minor player...I only use it to cast shield+stoneskin and watch my opponent sucide against him. But still there the damage comes from the wizards, not the knights. But i find my ironman runs end before the slaverlords. There are so little dangers after them, by then knight damage is not that important, his thoughness + shield + stoneskin, still great.

    6) If you dominate a vrock is pretty much GG imo, if you don´t its a very annoying foe in a complicated fight.

    7) yes, another reason i don´t like crafting is that it removes the excitment of drops or rewards. Everything is just cash for your next craft.
     
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  10. Jabbergender: ⚧ Educated

    Jabber
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    Interesting points.

    1) Makes sense

    2) Fireball wands make the giants slightly more palatable... and then the game has you face off against the fire giants who are immune to fire! I wound up using ice storm wands on them which amounts to the same thing just more tedious due to lower damage and longer animation.

    3 / 4) I wonder whether stone wall is effective against the final dragon. He should rapidly run out of dispels and then he can't get through the hallway no? Wait to use stone wall until everyone else is dead and use it to replace hallway tank once dragon is out of dispels. Two wizards can cast more walls than he can cast dispels and knight can tank until no more dispels. Maybe works.

    5) Makes sense. I think two handed is better early, but once you can get highly enchanted one-handers (e.g. holy + destruction) the extra damage from the two-handed gets washed out by the extra damage from the additional attacks. But to your point the knight's ability to deal direct damage with his weapons is much less important by that stage in the game

    6) Makes sense

    7) Agreed

    By the way, any other good games to play ironman?
     
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  11. VentilatorOfDoomgender: ⚧ RPG Codex Staff Patron

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    A wizard with greater spell penetration and greater focus enchantment has a reasonable chance to cast irresistible dance on the dragon which is an easy win. Just need to AOE the mooks down first. KotC works a lot with significant DR on enemies so two-handed is effective early on. Once you have heavily enchanted weapons (vorpal?) dual-wielding becomes quite strong at endgame.
     
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  12. Waterdgender: ⚧ Scholar

    Waterd
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    Yeah what ventilator says is true, this is specially true without crafting.
    Also Im not confident you can make a two weapon fighter that is really efficient without crafting. I guess you need longswords, which is the only weapon that get multiple decent weapons through the game as far as I remember.

    I basically mostly stopped playing RPGs because most are not suited for a challenging ironman. I think Darksun shattered lands, is great since the game is not long, and is great in general. I made a long post about rules to ironman it.

    Temple of elemental evil is ok to ironman. Also short, just hard imo to impose any balanced rest rule.

    I tried to ironman Icewind dale 1 lately but im several hours in the game and im dying of boredom, so its there waiting for me...to never finish.

    I definitly plan to try to semi-ironman Divinite original sins in tactics mode when i buy a new video card. Semi ironman, because i plan to reload t at any death outside battle. i hated how one of my runs ended because you just digged a graveyard.

    I managed to ironman complete some of the early fire emblem games, but to be honest those are quite easy, I tried to ironman some of the late ones that are considerable harder, and critical hits make any ironman run very frustrating. You can plan perfectly but a few critical hits, mean gg to your plans.

    Im starting to move outside of rpgs and playing more pure strategy and tactical game. I´m on a Master of orion 1 marathon, played a dozen games just last week. (though i play very fast , sometimes a game takes me 2 hours to complete, sometimes i lose in the first 30 minutes).

    I´m still waiting for the release of a game designed with ironman in mind like a rougelike, with a good team party tactical combat, that is not too complex.

    For example one would think Xcom would be the game for me, but the combat there is so sloooow and boring, i don have fun, but the idea is great.

    I need something like XCOM, where the combat is similar to divinity original sin. And if it has a fun story like darksun shattered lands, that is the perfect game for me.
     
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