Revisiting the Gold Box games
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November 19th, 2012, 00:58
Alright, here's the rest of my party:
Jonas the resident Kender and a thief (who would've guessed). He's also a cleric of Kiri-Jolith (the joys of multi-classing). Gotta have a Kender in a Dragonlance game! Kenders have a special ability to Yell at the enemies in combat - this is basically what other CRPGs call a "taunt". It only works against intelligent creatures and they get a save to avoid the effects, but I've noticed that most low level opponents succumb to the Kender's badmouthing and ridicule. If the enemies fail their save, they become so distracted and enraged that their AC is increased by 2 (which makes them easier to hit) and their THAC0 is reduced by 2 (making them miss more often). The downside for the Kender is, that all those enemies who failed their saves, will now want the Kender dead (i.e. they target him). But if you place him behind a defensive line, he can use his staff sling (called a hoopak) with unlimited ammo and rain sling stones on the enemies, while he's safe behind his friends. Should the need arise, he can also melee enemies with his hoopak. It functions both as a ranged and as a melee weapon. Handy.
Being a cleric of Kiri-Jolith (another Good aligned deity) grants Jonas +1 to his THAC0, which is never bad, and a bonus spell of Detect Magic, which is indispensable in sorting out magical items from regular loot. Speaking of magical items, the great thing about Champions of Krynn is, that it has been fairly stingy in distributing magical items (at least so far). I like that. Even potions are quite rare. I've only found two healing potions in one entire level of the starter "dungeon" (it's an abandoned town, but let's just call it a dungeon none-the-less). Had this been a modern game, I bet the starter dungeon would have been littered with healing potions.
Jonas has three unidentified magical items in his inventory (that scroll, those 10 arrows and a mystery potion). Once I get back to town, I'll have them identified, except the scroll (see previous post). They don't show it now, but when Jonas uses his Detect Magic spell, magical items get a star in front of them (e.g. *flail). When you ID them, they get their proper name (e.g. flail +1).
I'm having Jonas wear chainmail for now, even if it forbids him from getting back stab bonuses (you can only wear leather armour at most for that). I'm currently rarely using him in melee, relying on the hoopak's ranged attack more. It is, however, fairly weak (damage: 1d4+1) and once it starts becoming a problem (when enemy HPs rise high enough), I'll probably start using him in melee more often (the hoopak can do a back stab) and have him use just leather armour.
Alina is my red mage. Mages in Krynn belong into one of three schools/orders: white, red or black. These are based on their alignment, good, neutral or evil, respectively. You can only have white or red mages in your party in CoK. I chose to have one of both. Red mages level up a bit faster than white mages after level 3 and get 3rd level spells one level earlier. The manual seems to be a tad inaccurate on the facts, unfortunately, as it states red mages cannot get the Sleep spell, but Alina's been using it all the time. We'll see how many other surprises I'll bump into.
Sleep is a vital spell in a mage's arsenal. It's the only way a low level mage can make a weighty contribution to a bigger battle and often times it is the win or lose spell of a fight. If my mages get the initiative, I can sleep many enemies (especially enemy casters) at once and level up the playing field considerably. At first, I didn't have my casters memorize the old staple Magic Missile at all. If they only get to cast two spells before they need to rest, one of them has to be Sleep, the other can usually be Charm Person.
The darts are, by the way, very handy despite their puny damage (1d3). Once an enemy is under either Sleep or Hold Person spell, it only takes one hit from a dart to kill them and the darts automatically hit. Yes, the darts become heat-seeking missiles of death; mages can kill swaths of enemies with them. "Say hello to my little friend!"
Last but not least, Enedil is my white mage. A silvanesti elf of 312 years and still only at level 3. He's really been taking it slow… It also dawns on me now, that I remembered it wrong in my last post. Both of my mages are pure mages. I could have sworn I had one of them multi-class. Not so. I'm definitely going to create a new party, better optimized, for Death Knights of Krynn. If I ever get that far. Had I made him a fighter/mage he could've used a bow and do some damage when out of spells. Them darts aren't much good on conscious enemies and besides pure mages have such a poor THAC0, that they'd rarely hit anything if they need to roll for a hit.
Looking at Enedil's inventory, we'll see one of the two healing potions I've found so far. I'm hoarding that like an old miser. That quarterstaff, btw, is not just for show. It has (in a certain dire emergency) claimed at least two hobgoblins who tried to make closer acquaintance with this elf. Not liking their cologne nor their poor table manners, Enedil clobbered them into bloody pulp. Maybe they get better treatment in hobgoblin heaven.
Right, there they are. The Furious Six. The Sextet of Awesome. The Fellowship of Doom. (Cue action movie music and pyrotechnics.)
"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
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