Saturday, 24 February 2018

Temple of Elemental Evil ToEE Retrospective Part II Chargen Party Composition Best Builds

Temple of Elemental Evil ToEE Retrospective Part II: Chargen Party Composition Best Builds 




Continuing from Part I.

Ok, click New Game and choose your alignment. This will affect the opening vignette and a few things in the game. Lawful Good is where it's at for newbies: you want your Cleric to Turn Undead and be able to craft Holy/Axiomatic weapons in order to SMITE THE EVIL. You will be presented with the Character Pool menu. Hide pregens and alignment-incompatibles.


Rolling/Point Buy

Click "create" and start rolling your stats like in the IE games. You can also switch to "Advanced: Point Buy" if you don't like rerolling or just want a tougher time of it. Now, there is a cheat you can employ here to save yourself some time and just get the exact stats you want. Switch to "Advanced: Point Buy" and set a given stat to the value you want (max 18). Now, click-hold on that value and drag it to the right, dropping it just to the right of the up/down arrows. You will see that your value has disappeared and been replaced with the value that was in the rolling menu (if there was a rolled value; otherwise, it'll turn blank). If you switch back to the rolling menu, you will see your cheat-stat there. Do not assign the stat to an empty box just yet. Switch back to "Point Buy", and rinse-repeat for the other stats first. When you're happy with your stats, assign them. Add the character to the party and then create your next character.

Pic: I don't recommend going crazy on all 18s; it's just there as a clear example. Please use common sense or you will suck the enjoyment out of the game.

Party Composition

You can create one to five characters in chargen. Yes, you can just create one character in chargen and form the rest of the party in the Welcome Wench tavern (in the starter-town of Hommlet), but that's not recommended for two reasons: 1. Unless you're an expert, you may have a tough time in the alignment-based opening vignette (which may pit you against hostiles); 2. Party members created in-campaign will not have any default gear on their person.

As in Icewind Dale, you can modify your party composition at any time over the course of the campaign; the difference being that you need to find an inn. This is handy if you gimped your character and need to replace them with another, or if you just want to try out something new, mid-campaign. But new additions to your party do not scale to the level of the current party, so you will have to accept your first level scrubs and then train them up.

In regards to party composition recommendations, I'm not going to take the companion pool into consideration because most players don't bother with companions in the early going, if at all. Later, they might find Prince Thrommel or Scorpp the Hill Giant irresistible, but that's just a bonus. This is just what I have noticed over the years. I myself have never relied on or bothered with companions, except to temp-recruit Fruella in order to slay her outside town and loot the Great Cleaver Handaxe from her corpse. Why? Keen, Masterwork and 1d10 weapon roll. Magic/Masterwork weapons are not easy to come by. Some are not even itemized, meaning you can't craft certain weapons outside of an exploit that lets you masterwork a mundane weapon for crafting purposes. But more on that later.

Basically, I recommend a traditional party consisting of one warrior, one rogue, one wizard, one cleric and one bard or druid. Race-wise, I mostly go Human for the obvious advantages: +feat, +skillpoints, +multi-classing options. Assuming the characters are created and built to focus on a specific combat/utility role, and not diluted to become Jacks-of-all-trades, such a party will get through the campaign without too much trouble; mainly, because they don't sacrifice BAB/spell-casting progression to do fancy stuff.

Now, about builds. A ToEE build is simply 10 levels of a class/mix of classes along with the stats, feats and skills chosen. Classes may be taken in a specific order in order to push the limits of power and flexibility, but it's just not necessary. I'm going to keep this simple for newbies by posting builds with clearly defined combat/utility roles whose skillset is easily recognizable and who will complement one another in battles/general adventuring. Thus, there won't be any "Sucks 'Til 10th" builds here. Each build will be highly effective from 1st through 10th.


I mentioned that word: role. I think it's best to think in terms of descriptive role rather than classes. In ToEE, it's nice to have a solid tank/physical-based damage-dealer, a divine healer/buffer/disruptor/crafter, an arcane immobilizer/buffer/bombardier/crafter and a skill-monkey/sneak-attacker/scout. In regards to scouting, conventional stealth is rather tedious and you are better off employing magical stealth such as Invisibility. You don't really need a diplomat or a wilderness expert, but such "fifth wheels" are a nice luxury, too. Bards and Druids have unique spell ranges and interesting abilities in ToEE.

Crafting is extremely important in ToEE; even moreso than it is in Storm of Zehir (the other 3.5 game notable for its crafting mechanics). A party lacking crafting ability is gimped because itemization itself won't carry you through unless you possess detailed foreknowledge of the campaign. Seriously, have fun chipping away at high-DR Galeb Durs without crafted elemental burst weapons. You will get nowhere. Of course, crafts are not free: they cost two Feats for the build, they will drain your coffers, and they will drain your crafter's experience points. So yeah, kill the enemies, loot the corpses, and flog off as many wares as you can to the merchants in order to fund your crafts.

You need two crafters, a cleric and a wizard. They must both take the following two feats: Craft Magic Arms & Armor (caster level 5th) and Craft Wondrous Item (caster level 3rd).

Ok, so. Combat role of this first build is tank/physical-based damage dealer.

• Male Human Fighter: Turrosh Mak.

◦ Strength: max 18, pump every 4 lvls for +2
◦ Dexterity: at least 13 for Dodge line, 15 for 3x AoOs in 10' radius
◦ Constitution: max 18 for up to 14 HPs per lvl
◦ Intelligence: 13 for Combat Expertise which is prereq for Whirlwind Attack
◦ Wisdom: get a reasonable score for Will saves
◦ Charisma: dump

◦ Fighter 1Weapon Focus: GlaivePower AttackCleave
◦ Fighter 2Combat Reflexes
◦ Fighter 3Dodge
◦ Fighter 4Great Cleave / +1 Str
◦ Fighter 6Mobility / Combat Expertise
◦ Fighter 8Spring Attack / +1 Str
◦ Fighter 9Whirlwind Attack
◦ Fighter 10Improved Critical: Glaive

◦ Rather feat-heavy, isn't he? Only on 5th and 7th we don't get to choose a feat.
◦ Attack Bonus10 warrior + 5 Strength + 1 WF = 16.
◦ Damage: 1d10 weapon roll + 7 Strength + 20 cranked PA = 37. Crit 19-20x3. This goes not take into account crafts such as +3, Holy/Axio and Gloves of Giant Strength +6.
◦ This build and its variants are optimal on mobs and semi-optimal on single tough foes. Basically, wrecks house.
◦ WeaponWF: Glaive means you will start with a mundane Glaive equipped. You can find a masterwork on Temple lvl 1. Glaives are 1d10 martial reach weapons (10 ft.) which can nevertheless be used against adjacent foes (erroneous "donut reach" for all reach weapons that only spiked chains should have).
◦ Craft: Give him a Glaive with +3 Holy/Axiomatic properties, and watch everything just die. You will not need a second tank or melee damage-dealer in your party if you roll with this build. Craft Gloves of Giant Strength +6Amulet of Health +6Ring of Freedom of MovementCloak of Resistance +3Ring of Protection +3 and Amulet of Natural Armor +2.
◦ Armor: Just equip him with the heaviest available at all times and he will hold up against the aggro. From memory, Hedrack's Full Plate + 3 is the best armorset. The matching Helm gives undocumented bonus to Will saves, too.

◦ If you're going to Keen your weapon through spell/craft, don't take Improved Critical at 10th. They don't stack. Go for ToughnessBlind Fight or Weapon Specialization instead.
◦ Why delay Whirlwind Attack until 9th when I could have gotten it as early as 6th? Combat Reflexes is just so important in the early to mid-game, and WW comes into its own late-game against hordes of tough bugbears and temple guards.
◦ Skills? Not important. Go for cross-class Tumble/UMD. By 10th you will have a score of 6.
◦ Note that Great Cleave erroneously stacks with Whirlwind Attack. You will clear out rooms full of enemies.

Ok, another martial build; this one an archer/scout.

• Female Human Ranger: Rowena of the Silverbrow.

◦ Strength: 14
◦ Dexterity: max 18, pump every 4 lvls for +2
◦ Constitution: max 18 for up to 14 HPs per lvl
◦ Intelligence: 12 for 8 skillpoints per lvl
◦ Wisdom: 12 to cast second circle spells
◦ Charisma: dump

◦ Ranger 1Weapon Focus: LongbowPoint Blank ShotFirst Favored Enemy: Human
◦ Ranger 2Rapid Shot (Archery Style)
◦ Ranger 3Precise Shot
◦ Ranger 4First Circle Spells / +1 Dex
◦ Ranger 5Animal Companion (Ranger), Second Favored Enemy: Goblinoid
◦ Ranger 6Improved InitiativeMany Shot (Archery Style)
◦ Ranger 8Second Circle Spells / +1 Dex
◦ Ranger 9Improved Critical: Longbow, Evasion (Ranger)
◦ Ranger 10Third Favored Enemy: Giant

◦ Favored Enemy: I recommend Human (+6), Goblinoid/Bugbear (+2) and Giant (+2).

 Fighter variant:

◦ Strength: 14
◦ Dexterity: max 18, pump every 4 lvls for +2
◦ Constitution: max 18 for up to 14 HPs per lvl
◦ Intelligence: 13
◦ Wisdom: get a reasonable score for Will saves
◦ Charisma: dump

◦ Fighter 1Weapon Focus: LongbowPoint Blank Shot, Precise Shot
◦ Fighter 2Rapid Shot
◦ Fighter 3Dodge
◦ Fighter 4Mobility / +1 Dex
◦ Fighter 6Many Shot (bugged), Shot on the Run
◦ Fighter 8Improved Critical: Longbow / +1 Dex
◦ Fighter 9Improved Initiative
◦ Fighter 10Weapon Specialization: Longbow

◦ Attack Bonus10 warrior + 5 Dexterity + 1 WF = 16.
◦ Damage: 1d8 weapon roll + 2 WS. Crit 19-20/x3.
◦ These two high initiative builds will take out foes such as ettins and hill giants before they can even raise an eyebrow. Rate of fire is decent: you will get 3 ApR with Rapid Shot activated. Believe me when I say, these sharpshooters are going to steal lots of kills from your frontliners.
◦ Ranger Archer vs. Fighter Archer: As you can see, the Ranger variant gets an Animal Companion and access to second circle spellcasting (spell ranges are: 9x 1st circle spells and 10x 2nd circle spells), but she also gets Evasion and twice as many skillpoints (e.g, Survival, Spot, Listen etc.) Plus she murders the most common enemy, Humans (+6 dmg). However, the Fighter variant inflicts more raw damage and is more flexible in combat thanks to Mobility and Shot on the Run. She gets +2 dmg on every enemy thanks to Weapon Specialization. Overall, the Ranger variant is clearly more useful, though (Animal Companion, spell-casting and +skillpoints).
◦ WeaponWF: Longbow means you will start with a mundane Longbow equipped. You can find a Longbow +1 on the corpse of Kingfrog straight after the Moathouse. The Groaning Spirit on Temple level 3 carries one, too. What about composite longbows? There are no CLBs in ToEE; thus, no need to pump Strength.
◦ Ammo. Mundane arrows are found as loot and restocked by merchants at intervals. In addition, the first level of the Temple itemizes Silver Arrow x120. You won't run out of ammo even if you roll with two archers.
◦ Craft: craft the Longbow +1 to +3 and add elemental bursts to it. Craft the Greater Bracers of Archery and Gauntlets Dexterity +6 to increase accuracy.
◦ Armor: None needed because you shouldn't be drawing the aggro in the first place. Just go with Padded Armor.
◦ Note that Many Shot is bugged. Sub it out for something else.

Next up, we have our disruptor/buffer/healer/crafter:

• Male Human Lawful Good Cleric of HeironeousLord Carradine.

◦ Strength: 14
◦ Dexterity: try to crank it
◦ Constitution: 14 will do
◦ Intelligence: 12
◦ Wisdom: max to 18, , pump every 4 lvls for +2
◦ Charisma: max to 18

◦ Cleric 1Improved Initiative, Improved TurningFirst Circle Spells (+Orisons)
◦ Cleric 3Extend SpellSecond Circle Spells
◦ Cleric 4: +1 Wis
◦ Cleric 5Third Circle Spells
◦ Cleric 6Craft Magical Arms & Armor
◦ Cleric 7Fourth Circle Spells
◦ Cleric 8: +1 Wis
◦ Cleric 9Craft Wondrous ItemFifth Circle Spells

◦ In order to gain extra advantages over undead, you could sub-out the Cleric of Heironeous for the Cleric of Pelor. This will open up the following useful evocations: Searing Light (max 10d6 against undead), Holy Smite (5d8 vs. Evil + Blinds) and Flame Strike (max 10d6, half of which is fire, the other half divine). Plus, you will get the Greater Turning feat at first level (outright destroys undead which would otherwise only be turned).
◦ Cleric spell ranges, circles 1-5, are as follows: 7 (Orisons)/29/22/23/15/19 (+2 Domain per circle).
◦ Cleric spell slots at 10th level with 20 Wis are as follows: 6 (Orisons)/6/5/4/4/(+1 Domain per circle).
◦ Extend Spell is just to keep those buffs going longer.
◦ Dexterity should be cranked in order to get better initiative order which will allow you to Turn Undead earlier in combat. When facing off against undead, remember to reorder the party initiative to get the Cleric acting first. Disrupting undead outright is just so much more efficient than destroying them by other means. Turn Undead also flaunts a massive AoE. Note that you can only attempt disruption once per combat encounter. However, that is usually all you need.
◦ Skills? ConcentrationSpellcraft and Heal are bread-and-butter.
◦ The Cleric is Lawful Good, has Heironeous as his God, and chose Good Law domains in order to craft Holy/Axiomatic weapons. Weapons crafted as such will annihilate the Evil and Chaotic enemies which are ubiquitous in the campaign. The Greater Magic Weapon (C.4) spell enables Clerics to exploit a bug that lets them craft from non-Masterwork weapons. Since MW items are unfairly itemized due to dev oversights, I don't see a problem with doing that if you need to (there are no magic/MW Dwarven Waraxes, for example). In addition, the Cleric can craft the following most notable items: Amulet of Health +6Amulet of Wisdom +6Cloak of Charisma +6Gloves of Giant Strength +6Cloak of Resistance +3 and Bracers of Archery: Greater.

Next up, here is our dual-wielding sneak attacker/scout/skill monkey:

• Male Human Rogue: Vensch Estende.

◦ Strength: 12 or so
◦ Dexterity: max 18, pump every 4 lvls for +2
◦ Constitution: 14 or so
◦ Intelligence: 14 for 11 skillups per lvl
◦ Wisdom: 12 or so
◦ Charisma: dump

◦ Rogue 1Improved Initiative, Two-Weapon FightingSneak Attack +1d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 2Evasion (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 3Weapon FinesseSneak Attack +2d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 4Uncanny Dodge (Rogue) / +1 Dex
◦ Rogue 5: Sneak Attack +3d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 6Two-Weapon Defense
◦ Rogue 7Sneak Attack +4d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 8: +1 Dex
◦ Rogue 9Improved Uncanny Dodge (Rogue), Improved Two-Weapon FightingSneak Attack +5d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 10Improved Evasion (Rogue Special Ability)

◦ On 10th, you don't have to choose a Special Ability. You could take DodgeToughness or Weapon Focus: Rapier instead. Here is a quick rundown on the underwhelming RSAs:

Crippling Strike: Inflicts 2 points of Strength dmg per SA → Could be useful but SA'd enemies should be dropping under dual-wielding rate of attack and enchanted twin-blades, anyway.   
Defensive roll: Once per day, if weapon blow would reduce HPs to 0 or less, Rogue gets Reflex save vs. Damage dealt DC for half damage → Meh, you shouldn't be getting hit so this is of limited utility.
Improved Evasion: Like Evasion except, even on failed Reflex save (say, against Fireball), only takes half damage → This one is always nice against enemy/friendly fire.
Slippery Mind: One round after failing a save vs. Enchantment, Rogue gets an extra chance to save against the effect → Hostile enchantment spells are not common enough to warrant choosing this
Opportunist: Once per round, Rogue gets AoO on enemy that has taken damage from another party member → I've never found it do be of much use.
Skill Mastery: It's supposed to give you a +3 bonus on certain skills. The skills it affects are based on  3 + Intelligence mod. But, in patch2, this feat is erroneously given to you regardless of whether or not you choose it, and you don't get to choose your skills regardless of whether or not you choose it. Thus, it doesn't do Jack.

Thus, with the above in mind, it might be better to forego the 10th Rogue level and sub-in one level of Fighter at second. You will still achieve Sneak Attack +5d6 and you will also get to take WF: Rapier.

◦ Rogue 1Improved Initiative, Two-Weapon FightingSneak Attack +1d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 1 / Fighter 1Weapon Finesse
◦ Rogue 2 / Fighter 1Weapon Focus: Rapier (Cutlass), Evasion (Rogue), Sneak Attack +2d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 3 / Fighter 1: +1 Dex
◦ Rogue 4 / Fighter 1: Uncanny Dodge (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 5 / Fighter 1Two-Weapon DefenseSneak Attack +3d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 7 / Fighter 1Sneak Attack +4d6 (Rogue)
◦ Rogue 8 / Fighter 1Improved Two-Weapon Fighting / +1 Dex
◦ Rogue 9 / Fighter 1Improved Uncanny DodgeSneak Attack +5d6 (Rogue)

◦ WeaponWhy Rapier? To dual-wield Cutlasses: finesseable, superior crit-range (18-20/x2) and well-itemized. Wear the pirate hat for flavor.
◦ Armor: Padded or just robes for coolpoints.
◦ Craft: Again, +3 Holy/Axiomatic is where it's at. With the impressive twin-blade attack rate, everything just gets a new asshole ripped for it.
◦ Skill selection: While not absolutely vital for their utility, Rogue skills are pretty damn handy. Go for: AppraiseBluffDisable DeviceGather InformationMove SilentlyOpen LockSleight of HandSearchTumbleUse Magic Device.
◦ I don't like to use conventional stealth because the character moves too slowly. Instead, I prefer to infiltrate while under the effects of magical Invisibility. Your targets should be wizards or whoever the biggest trouble-maker is likely to be once battle gets underway.
◦ Sleight of Hand. This skill is good to get some cash-flow going; it can yield enough wealth to fund a few extra crafts. Set the skill as a hotkey. To do that, hold down ctrl+q in the radial menu and assign to the a-key or something. Remove armor and buff up with Reduce Person, Cat's Grace etc. to increase your odds. Rannos in Hommlet is a prime target because he has the Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location, which sells for a small fortune. You should net golden chains, platinum rings and about 20 blue sapphires, along with scrolls, weapons and keys — if you bother to thoroughly explore other people's pockets. You can also exploit oversights such as selling Burne's precious gems to Nira, stealing them back (because they go into his pockets rather than his vendor inventory), and then reselling them. Rinse repeat until retarded. 

***

WiP. Coming up: More Builds and general FAQ. Plus, a big list of bugs I have personally found in patch2.

Pro-tips section (rough draft).

• Note that Read Magic (an arcane orison/cantrip) will allow you to identify potions and scrolls at no charge. The Identify spell IDs all magical items in the campaign. It is supposed to cost 100 GP per item but doesn't. Vendor ID'ing costs 100 GP per item. Note also that you can craft a wand for ID'ing purposes. Basically, there is no easy way to ID items. In NWN you can just give the magical item to someone with a high score in Lore, and right-click-examine to ID it; in BG and IWD you simply right-click the item to ID it (providing the Bard has the required Lore); in IWD2 the right-click-to-ID is based on Knowledge (Arcana). There is nothing like that in ToEE (Bardic Knowledge does Jack).

10 comments:

  1. Ahh, yes...the glaive wielding warrior w/combat reflexes and a high dex score. I liked Half-orc low intelligence barbarians using a similar scheme paired with rage. Reading your character suggestions bring back some fond memories. I was especially partial to Pelor clerics. That sweet and powerful enhanced undead turning of a Sun domain Pelor priest makes for a nice cake walk in some of the early battles versus skeletons and zombies. Good times.

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    1. Thanks the reminder of Pelor/Sun domain. Post updated with a note.

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  2. I wonder what system is better - random pointbuy based on dice like her and in BG or pulling points from one maxed pool like in Nwn 1 and 2

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    1. On balance, I would have to come down on the side of point buy systems as being ultimately better. Constantly re-rolling to get decent stats before one can even really start the game is annoyingly tedious. Alternatively, if one could discipline oneself to simply accept a bad roll (or a game could somehow force one too), it would make for a game in which pure luck was excessively important. Balancing the game for those who accept bad rolls, try only for "good enough" rolls, or who have the patience to wait for perfect rolls could also be somewhat problematic.

      However, point buy systems do have one disadvantage: with them there it very hard to find a convincing reason to play anything other than a min-maxed power build. Random rolling lends itself more to creating oddball characters with quirky stats, with concomitant role-playing advantages, as one saves time by going with rolls that are good enough but less than perfect, or, alternatively, on a really good roll, give a character a bit more INT or CHA than is strictly necessary for power-gaming purposes, making.

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    2. (Your post ninja'd mine. I basically just said that I prefer point-buy because re-rolling is tedious.)

      Let's take a more explicit example: Strength score for a warrior in BG.

      Score / to-hit / dmg

      • 3: -3, -1
      • 4-5: -2, -1
      • 6-7: -1, +0
      • 8-15: +0, +0
      • 16: +0, +1
      • 17: +1, +1
      • 18: +1, +1
      • 18/01-50: +1, +3
      • 18/51-75: +2, +3
      • 18/76-90: +2, +4
      • 18/91-99: +2, +5 (10% chance of rolling in chargen)
      • 18/00: +3, +6 (1% chance of rolling in chargen)

      So the difference between 3 and 18/00 is HUGE. One could barely hit a mook whereas the other will likely hit and definitely kill in one blow.

      As Rogueknight 333 said, difficult to balance for. But we must remember that player has access to the following, in-campaign:

      Stength of One (third circle cleric spell): sets Strength to 18/75 for 1 turn
      Strength (second circle arcane spell): sets Strength to 18/50 for 1 turn per caster lvl
      Potion of Strength (sets Strength to 18, 20 turns)
      Gauntlets of Ogre Power (sets Strength to 18/00 for as long as they are worn)

      Player can also still reach super-human Strength scores by virtue of potions:

      • 19: +3, +7
      • 20: +3, +8
      • 21: +4, +9
      • 22: +4, +10
      • 23: +5, +11
      • 24: +6, +12
      • 25: +7, +14

      Potion of Hill Giant Strength (sets Strength to 19, 10 turns)
      Potion of Stone Giant Strength (sets Strength to 20, 10 turns)
      Potion of Frost Giant Strength (sets Strength to 21, 10 turns)
      Potion of Fire Giant Strength (sets Strength to 22, 10 turns)
      Potion of Cloud Giant Strength (sets Strength to 23, 10 turns)
      Potion of Storm Giant Strength (sets Strength to , 10 turns)
      Violet Potion (sets Strength to 25, Dex 3, Con 3, 24 hours)

      So, what I'm saying is, you can still sort of get by with low Strength because, for the most part, BG Strength boosts generally SET the score rather than just adding to it (examples of exceptions are the Manual of Gainful Exercise and DUHM.)

      And what a sub-optimal Strength score does is, it gets you relying more on buffs and items.


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    3. I may have ninja skills but it seems my typing skills need work. My 2nd paragraph above is rather mangled, but hopefully still comprehensible.

      At any rate, you would have to survive long enough to obtain those items, potions, spells etc., which could be a challenge for a character with lots of 3 scores. Your examples are also Baldur's Gate-specific, and though that is indeed the chief game most people would think of with regard to randomly rolled stats, the question might also be asked more abstractly. If, for example, one were designing an RPG system from scratch and considering whether point-buy or random rolls were better, BG-specific stat boosts might not be relevant (though most systems do have some sort of stat-boosting mechanic).

      Of course even with a point buy system it is not as if the difference between an expert player's powerbuild and a noob putting points in whatever looks cool is not also significant. The main disadvantage is just the tedium, while the main advantage is the increased likelihood of interesting, idiosyncratic characters (e.g., your strength discussion above reminded me of the very, very few BG & IWD characters for which I actually managed to roll 18/00, which of course made them particularly memorable).

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    4. Oh, I do agree with everything you said; you expressed it very well, too.

      Please excuse my tangentiality and explictness. I blame the gulping of red wine :P

      In regard to 18/00 Strength, I confess to rolling for it several times over the years. Of course, these days, being that I'm getting on in years / increasingly realizing the shortness of life (and its brutish and nasty nature, to quote Hobbes), I reflexively employ the Ctrl + 8 cheat (even Shadowkeeping stats is a rigmorole for which I no longer have the patience). And yes, in ToEE, I employ the above cheat (detailed in the body of the post) in order to yield the desired stats (I believe this cheat no longer works in Temple+).

      Note that, by employing the above cheats, one does not have to accept perfect 18s. You can certainly be reasonable and begin the game with un-spents. Thus, I justify it to myself (and indeed, lose some of the magic that stems from the idiosyncracy that you are right to have mentioned.)

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    5. Yeah, bad roll is a problem but since we are talking about computer games we can kinda fix it on start. For example we are ok with our player rolling 3 stats equal to 16 and 3 stats as 3. 48+9=57 points minimum. So we program our random stat generator in such a way that it wont give us pointbuy lower then 57, but still allowing you to miracally roll perfect 18 in each stat. As far as I know BG already do something similar since I don't remember ever rolling less then 48 stat total 48

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    6. I've rolled plenty of bad stats in BG, although I can't say for sure the totals after all this time. What I do remember, though, is that it adjusts your rolls so that you always have at least the minimum required stats for your chosen class.

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    7. Yes, which is why 90 rolls on Paladins are easy to get. There are also racial ability mins.

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