Sunday, 26 October 2014

Storm of Zehir Tips


Overland Map (OLM) 

The OLM is an innovative addition for the Storm of Zehir campaign, but the high frequency of random encounters might frustrate new players. Ideally you want to engage enemies on your terms (ie, farming XP and crafting ingredients) rather than constantly being ambushed by the many roaming mobs.

To avoid forced engagement as much as possible you need a "survivalist" character or cohort. That would be one who has the skills to adventure in the wild, like a Ranger or Druid. Your bread and butter skills are Hide, Move Silently (Stealth), Survival (Speed), & Spot (finding stuff). Other skills help in the wild, but none more than these, so make sure when this character levels up that you put points into these vital skills. Also try to find, buy, or craft equipment that boosts these skills so that it's even easier to move around and not draw the aggro (e.g, Jungle Headdress, Watchman's Helm, elven boots and cloaks etc.), and make sure when you exit from an area onto the overland that you do so with your survivalist, so she takes the lead while traveling. If none of your created characters are survivalists, hire the ranger cohort (Inshula sar Mashewe) from the Openpalm Bazaar (that's the first hub of the game). Note that she doesn't level Spot by default, so raise it ASAP. Put points into Search and Lore, too, but stealth & speed are paramount.

Faster OLM movement is dependent on the survivalist's actual Survival skill and movement rate coming from items/feats/race etc. Inshula is suitable here, and as a Ranger receives the Woodland Stride feat as a bonus. The absolute fastest character on the OLM would probably be a Gray Orc Monk with the Dash feat and high Survival, but any skilled survivalist will do.

If you still bump into enemies or can't outrun them for some reason (worgs, wyverns), try to use a Tanglefoot Bag and run away again. Wild Empathy is also helpful to use on certain creatures, such as dinosaurs.

Lastly, if you fix the teleporter in your Keep, then you can travel to any town instantly.


Party and Teamwork Feats

At sixth level have one of your party members take the Leadership feat, this enables you to recruit a second cohort and adventure with a party of six, just like in the Infinity Engine RPGs (Baldur's Gate etc.)

As the plot progresses you might notice Crossroad Keep hosts an Adventurer's Guild where you can be trained with Teamwork feats that affect your party as a whole.

One of them is called Team Rush and what it does is make all your party members move at the speed of the fastest party member, both overland and in normal exploration and combat areas. To gain this feat all you need to do is have all party members with at least one point in the Survival skill; and complete a simple FedEx quest. The reward might sound trivial, until you realize your fastest party member is the above-mentioned monk...

Cohorts aka Companions

By default you create four characters and recruit one cohort, but with the Leadership feat you may recruit a second cohort for a full party of six, a la the Infinity Engine RPGs (i.e, Baldur's Gate). You can't select the Leadership feat until sixth level, so you can only have a party of five until that point. Still, five is enough to get by with in the meantime.

The first available cohorts are found in the Openpalm Bazaar at the start of the campaign: Inshula the Ranger (5) & Umoja the Druid (5). As a new player you would be crazy not to take one of them along on the first couple of missions. I recommend the former because she has stealth for the OLM. When using Inshula as my OLM character, I like her to take ranks in Survival, Hide, Spot, Search and Lore. I also build her as an archer despite her Ranger focus in two-weapon fighting.

Lastri the Swashbuckler will likely be the third prospective cohort you come across (since one of your first quests is to rescue her). Chir Darkflame is located close by in the "mindflayer market" but she's a little less attractive thanks to being a svirfneblin (Level Adjustment +3). Anyway, those are the first few cohorts that are available to you. I'll probably do a write-up for all cohorts in the future. *to be updated.

Here's some SoZ mods you might find useful:

—Adds six locations to Samarach and six locations to the Sword Coast. I have posted installation instructions and a walkthrough, which may be viewed here.
—Preserves status effects on the overland map and in module-transition.
SoZ Overland Encounter Reducer
—Reduces spawn probability to 50%, 33% or 0% of original values.
Inshula Delevel Fix
—Lets you delevel Inshula and rebuild her as an archer character (by default she chose the two-weapon combat style).
Port Llast Undead Army Fix
—Fixes quest problems in Port Llast.

Note: To change the number of player-created party members (which are by default limited to 4) load up the Toolset, go to the Plugins menu, click Campaign Editor, and click Neverwinter Nights 2 Campaign_X2. Scroll down the form in the right panel and change PartyCreationSize to 6. Click Save Campaign and exit the Toolset. You might also like to check out SoZ Party Max Override.

Note: To my knowledge no one has fixed the infamous "trade bar bug" that breaks the economy in the Sword Coast segment of SoZ. There are quite a few other bugs that the community has not got around to fixing, too.

EoP

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