Powergaming TNO (minor spoilers)

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Klorox
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Powergaming TNO (minor spoilers)

Postby Klorox » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:47 pm

Before we even get started, I know that powergaming is not needed in any RPG to have a great time, probably even moreso in PS:T.

Anyway, I got to thinking, what would be the most powerful NO somebody could create? What would his starting stats be? What classes would he choose?

Well, the simple part is the classes, early on anyway (mainly for a very solid Hit Point base).

There's no reason not to go to level 6 as a Fighter. After that, you should obviously choose level 7 in the class you'd like to concentrate on, and then switch back to Fighter until level 9. Level 10 should be in the Thief class. After that, you're pretty safe sticking with the class you'd like to concentrate on for the remainder of the game. If you're really into an extra 1/2 attack per round, go to level 13 as a Fighter. Just make sure you take level 12 in your chosen profession, since this is the second "power-up."

On to the statistics:

It's great to have a 18 Strength, so that when it gets boosted by an item or certain circumstances in the game, it can jump to 19 STR, skipping over those annoying percentile STR points. This is just a point-saving thing though: if you don't plan on whacking things with a weapon, STR isn't worth too much.

Dexterity pretty much loses it's appeal after 18, so I'd personally aim for that to be the end point. I've noticed a 13 DEX helping quite a bit early on for some minor XP bonuses.

Constitution is very tricky: The extra HP and faster regeneration rate make a high CON very appealing, but dying in this game is only an annoyance, since you always get back up! It's a very good idea to start with a 14 CON though. You start the game with 10 more HP than you would with a 9 CON. And this little bonus is not granted if you boost your CON to 14 later.

Intelligence is a great stat. It helps in quite a few conversations. If you want to be a Mage, you really need to aim for a 19 INT, since you won't be limited by the number of spells you can scribe in your book. On the other hand, you have a long way to go before ever worrying about that, so it can still start off fairly low.

With stats, Wisdom rules. There's no reason for both the powergamer and the guy looking to get the most story out of this game to not start with an 18 WIS. This stat adds to XP, meaning you go up in levels faster. And leveling up faster means more stats! It also means the most recovered memories, so there's more story that way as well as more XP. Minor spoiler: If you don't plan on playing (primarily) a Mage, boost this by 1 at your first level-up. If you are playing a Mage, you don't need to worry. I say this because there's a great item available late in the game that grants a +2 to CHA at the cost of -1 to WIS. You get +7 WIS through the game, so a starting 18 will lead to 25.

Charisma. I like CHA, a lot. It's probably the second most important stat. It opens up a lot of conversation options (very important in quite a few places), and lowers prices in all the shops (which means more stat boosting tattoos earlier!).

Alignment: From what I can tell, you get a lot more in this game from playing a Lawful Good type. You get some better items, and you get better stat bumps (from both items and conversations).

Class choice: Personally, I'd concentrate either on Fighter or Mage. Mage is probably a bit more powerful, and you'll almost definitely get more out of the story (since you'll be looking for a higher INT). Fighters will just kick serious butt in combat. They get the most fun weapons to play with. It's almost universally accepted (at least from all I've read, as well as personal experience) that Thieves aren't all that great. BTW, one of the best, and definitely the most versatile stat boosting item in the game requires 12 levels of Mage.

Faction choices: If you're concentrating on Mage, I'd suggest joining the Dustmen first, then the Godsmen, and finally the Sensates. Sensates have a neat little bonus that allows them to give 1-10 HP of their own to heal a party member once a day. Since TNO regenerates, it's like having an extra Cure Light Wounds spell handy.

If you're going with a Fighter build, I'd suggest going with the Dustmen, then the Sensates, and finally the Godsmen. The only reason for this is that the Godsmen have some really awesome weapons available fairly early in the game, and only Godsmen can use them.

Well, that's about it for now. I'd love to get some feedback, and if anybody has a list of the stats needed for the highest stat checks in the game we can pretty much wrap this baby up!
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Postby fable » Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:51 pm

No disagreement, at all. I've found myself pretty much following the path you've outlined for a mage repeatedly, just because it was a sensible choice, and I liked the conversational options. I'd add only one thing: if you want to really work at building those stats before tackling Ravel and everything else, the best place to do so is Undersigil. Its monsters respawn every time you revisit, and get more impressive when you return to the city after your planes jaunt.
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Postby Klorox » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:06 pm

The Modron Cube can repeatedly be reset to Hard for a lot of XP also. I don't personally enjoy "farming" though... it's pretty boring.

I'd really love to find out the minimum stats needed to pass all the hardest checks in the game. Does anybody know this, or know where it can be found?

TIA
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Postby VonDondu » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:15 am

Klorox wrote:The Modron Cube can repeatedly be reset to Hard for a lot of XP also. I don't personally enjoy "farming" though... it's pretty boring.

That's true, but experience farming puts an end to all worries about stat distribution very effectively. You betcha. :)

Klorox wrote:I'd really love to find out the minimum stats needed to pass all the hardest checks in the game. Does anybody know this, or know where it can be found?

I checked a few of the dialogues near the end of the game (where you can expect the Nameless One's stats to be at their peak). If you haven't completed the game, then you don't know how pointless it is to worry about stats, and you'll probably be disappointed when you see how easy things are. Let me give you a couple of examples (without revealing any important details):

- If you have Intelligence of 21 or higher, you will pass a few important checks. But if it's lower than 21, you'll get the same results if your Wisdom is 21 or higher. If neither of those stats is 21 or higher, you can always resort to combat. Most battles are fairly easy, in my opinion.

- If your Charisma is 24 or 25, you can pass one very important check. But if it's lower than 24, you'll get the same result if you have learned one important fact during your travels. (That knowledge requires you to have a particular item in your possession that you can use.) If you can't pass either of those checks, there are about half a dozen other options, including some that do not involve combat.

- One check requires you to have Strength 21 or higher. But if your Strength is less than that, you'll get the same result if you have learned a particular language during your travels. If you can't pass either check, you can resort to combat, and it's a fairly easy fight.

There are few checks early in the game that make a difference. For example, in order to gain the ability called Stories Bones Tell, you need Charisma 16 or higher. To solve certain riddles, you need Intelligence 18 or higher. (That's most useful if you're playing a Mage and Dak'kon is in your party.) You can snap a few necks if your Dexterity is 13 or higher, but it's never *necessary*. Wisdom 16 or higher will get you through most dialogues with the best available options and the most recovered memories. If you're completing most of the quests and using tattoos, you shouldn't have any trouble raising your Wisdom over 20.

Your lawful/chaotic score comes into play once a while. Unless you *enjoy* playing a mean, nasty character, being as Lawful and as Good as possible gives you the best choices. But this is a free-form game, so you should enjoy playing the game the way you feel like playing it instead of worrying about the consequences of your actions all the time.

I can understand why a power gamer wants to focus on character development, but in this game, you're better off if you focus on the quests. Your character actually has the power to will himself into oblivion, or he might fulfill a destiny that is more transcendental than you can imagine. Either way, stats are irrelevant. Think about his immortality, not his stats. :)

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Postby kmonster » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:20 am

Charisma doesn't affect if you get the "Stories Bones Tell" ability at all. It only offers another option to solve a quest at this location.

The most useful check for 18 int is useless if you don't have at least 19 wis.
13 dex also allows to grab some people when they try to get away, that's nice but not very beneficial either.

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Postby Klorox » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:55 pm

VonDondu wrote:
I can understand why a power gamer wants to focus on character development, but in this game, you're better off if you focus on the quests. Your character actually has the power to will himself into oblivion, or he might fulfill a destiny that is more transcendental than you can imagine. Either way, stats are irrelevant. Think about his immortality, not his stats. :)


Klorox wrote:Before we even get started, I know that powergaming is not needed in any RPG to have a great time, probably even moreso in PS:T.


This is just a discussion man. I have completed this awesome game, and now I'm looking at the "ultimate" type of powergamed character. I just find this type of exercise fun.
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Postby VonDondu » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:31 am

I find it to be fun, as well. I just wanted to put things in persepctive.

From what I can determine by using the search function in Infinity Explorer, the following stats should pass every stat check:

STR 21
INT 21 (there is one dialogue that does not also check Wisdom)
WIS 24
DEX 19 (only applies if the Nameless One is a Thief)
CON 21 (only applies if Strength is less than 21)
CHA 25 (24 is required to pass one dialogue check; 25 is required to get the best possible upgrade for Nordom)

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Postby Lantzen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:55 am

Just a note about the factions, the most effective way to all factions is just to join the Anarchs, that way you can be a spy in the other factions and actually be a member of more then just one faction. And in that way get more bonuses.

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Postby GawainBS » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:32 am

Another option you didn't mention: you can take thief levels up to your favoured/preferred/main class lvls, and with high enough thief skills, you can teach Annah some thieving, and afterwards (or before) she can teach you some. This is bonus XP (sadly, only towards Thief) and opens up some "romantic" dialogue with Annah, IIRC.
Each level in a not-highest class still grant 1 bonus HP. Not much, but we're powergaming. ;)

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Postby Klorox » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:57 am

GawainBS wrote:Another option you didn't mention: you can take thief levels up to your favoured/preferred/main class lvls, and with high enough thief skills, you can teach Annah some thieving, and afterwards (or before) she can teach you some. This is bonus XP (sadly, only towards Thief) and opens up some "romantic" dialogue with Annah, IIRC.
Each level in a not-highest class still grant 1 bonus HP. Not much, but we're powergaming. ;)

Very good points.

You can teach Annah a tiny bit about each Thief skill if you have a 50 in it or higher. If you don't care about that class at all, make a 50 your goal in as many skills as possible. I've also found that the 50 takes into account items you're wearing, and there are some tattoos and jewlery that enhance thieving skills (heck, put on Annah's earring if it'll help).
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Postby GawainBS » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:28 am

Also, best weapon if you're a mage (Like you have much choice): Daggers. (Edged Weapons.) I'm thinking of the Godsmen weapon, Trias' Blade, etc.

Best weapon as a thief: Punching Daggers. (Fists, IIRC.) Several good ones over the course of the game.

It helps to put 3 slots in those weapons.

A minor thing about DEX: 19 might be worth it, if you use a lot of spells that require ranged attacks, since DEX 19 increases your ranged bonus from +3 to +4. Unfortunatly, I can only think of Ice Dagger.

Another reason to start with good INT/WIS: it helps in decyphering the Unbroken Circle, which nets useful spells and upgrades Dakhon. An "upgraded" Dakhon is very handy in the earlier parts.

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Postby Klorox » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:40 am

Tentatively, I'm thinking the most powerful TNO is primarily a Fighter, with an INT that can be boosted to 18, and has at least 12 Mage levels. The only spells that really matter for this character are Strength, Blood Bridge, Armor and Friends.

I think I'd start with a 12 INT, 13 DEX, 18 WIS and 14 CON.

It's pretty important to have Dak'kon and (to a lesser extent) Annah around for most of the game, as it's a very useful tactic to switch to the most important class for any given situation.

Since I plan on using the Gordion's Knot, WIS should be your first stat boosted by 1, and then you have your choices between INT, CHA, and STR. They're all good in their own way. I do not consider getting a natural 19 STR a "must" since I plan on wearing the Fighter Tattoo that boosts STR by +3.
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Postby GawainBS » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:49 am

I don't agree. There are too many useful Mage spells around to call a Fighter TNO "the best". However, it's best to take the first nine Fighter levels, with
lvl 7 in Mage, just like you said in the beginning.

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Postby Klorox » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:22 pm

I think one's personal playing style really factors in here as well.

One other piece of powergaming advice: Get Mazed early on in the game. It's a very easy thing to get through, and you can pick up a pretty powerful weapon.

Street Thugs don't last long against even a 4th or 5th level NO with that thing!
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Postby Crenshinibon » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:56 pm

Also, unlock all of the seals early on too. Not only do they grant experience, but the Missile of Patience is a VERY powerful spell through the greater part of the game.

With that thing, you can farm the abishai for about two thousand (or four thousand, can't remember) experience each.
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Postby GawainBS » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:36 am

Crenshinibon wrote:Also, unlock all of the seals early on too. Not only do they grant experience, but the Missile of Patience is a VERY powerful spell through the greater part of the game.

With that thing, you can farm the abishai for about two thousand (or four thousand, can't remember) experience each.


After 4-5 playthroughs, I still don't know what it does... Care to enlighten me please?

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Postby Crenshinibon » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:05 pm

Spoiler: [SPOILER]At first, you're introduced to it as a sling, which does about 1-2 damage, then it turns into a bow that does significantly more and has multi-fire capabilities (as the ice dagger, minus the area of effect and finally it turns into a ballista, which does the most (around thirty) damage and has the same multifire capabilities as its' predecessor.[/spoiler]

It's a VERY powerful spell, and best of all, it's at level one. I believe that the different forms become available either after you reach a certain point in the game or after you've reached a certain level.

Don't forget that you can use it in combination with Enoll Eva's Duplication to achieve an even more devastating effect.

The fire rate is pretty fast, so it can definitely take down mages with ease and stop enemies in their tracks.
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Postby Klorox » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:34 pm

Wow, I never knew!
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Postby GawainBS » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:42 am

Crenshinibon wrote:Spoiler: [SPOILER]At first, you're introduced to it as a sling, which does about 1-2 damage, then it turns into a bow that does significantly more and has multi-fire capabilities (as the ice dagger, minus the area of effect and finally it turns into a ballista, which does the most (around thirty) damage and has the same multifire capabilities as its' predecessor.
[/SPOILER]

It's a VERY powerful spell, and best of all, it's at level one. I believe that the different forms become available either after you reach a certain point in the game or after you've reached a certain level.

Don't forget that you can use it in combination with Enoll Eva's Duplication to achieve an even more devastating effect.

The fire rate is pretty fast, so it can definitely take down mages with ease and stop enemies in their tracks.


I used it once, and didn't even notice the effect, so I never bothered again. Thanks for pointing this out!

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Postby Crenshinibon » Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:34 am

Oooops. Forgot the second part of the spoiler tag. GawainBS, would mind adding the end of the tag to the quote?

Thanks in advance.

Yes, this spell probably takes the prize for being my most favorite. Not only is it useful, but it's fun to use. Don't forget that the number of your level one slots is doubled with the Mage Tattoo. This spell definitely beats most of the higher level ones.
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