Okay, I need help with my Tech character - I'm a Gimp...

Discussion in 'Arcanum Hints & Tips' started by jwh, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. jwh

    jwh New Member

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    Okay, I replayed Arcanum in the fall of 2009 as a mage - had a great time being a God who walked around with demons and Harm spells and Protection Shields etc.

    At level 1 as a mage, I could put on Protection (Armor of around 28-38), had unlock (could unlock just about everything), had Harm (could kill just about everything), Charm (hello mr. friendly) and by level 5 or so could summon an Ogre etc. Power wasn't a problem.

    Now, I'm trying to play an all Tech character. I've read the Hints and Tips section until I'm blue in the face but my character is consistently feeling like a Gimp by the time I start fighting Ore Golems in the mines....

    My problems? (and a few whines)

    1) Bullets. I am always running out. I feel like Arcanum has become Wait-24-Hourum so shops respawn materials and bullets for me....

    2) Lockpick - sucks. I have to spend so many skill points etc. whereas a Mage just spends one freakin' point and is good to go.... am I missing somethign?

    3) Guns? I have the hand cannon (I believe is the name) that I used a fate point in Tarant to steal from the halfling on the corner..... seems to be the best gun I can find without metagaming ....

    4) Everything just seems to take so much more investment of points for such little return. Even the healing. The mage? One point and you can heal, heal, heal.... my Tech dwarf? Constantly searching for herbs and always short on cash because of buying equipment and schematics that I don't know are even going to be useful (and often aren't) until I waste all the time creating them....

    Sorry for the bitch-fest.

    Has anyone completed the game with a Tech Gunman without any mods? (I use the Unofficial Patch and the graphics mod by Drog) How?

    Would some people be willing to give me a step by step in terms of where you put your points and how through the first 15 levels or so... ?

    HELP!!!! I want to play Arcanum as a tech person all the way through but I am getting sooooo frustrated. I feel like I'm spending more than 75% of the game looking in garbage cans, going into shops, waiting and constantly scrabbling for supplies instead of enjoying the game itself....

    Help!

    J
     
  2. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    I won the game once with a half-elf gunslinger. So, I even had tech penalties to make life worse.

    Although, I cheated and wore some Arcane Leather armor toward the end because my tech aptitude didn't completely cancel out the magic bonuses. Or at least it seemed that way at the time. Anyway...

    Bullets: Learning the bullets schematic helps a little. You still have to scrounge through garbage cans and buy one of the ingredients, but you can save a little money and time while making your own ammo.

    That schematic requires either investing one point in explosives or a tech manual from the University. I'd go with explosives, since Molotov Cocktails sometimes come in handy. For example, when you need to get an Ore Golem to back off.

    Explosives are fun to mess around with in general. Stun grenades work on practically everybody. If you learn how to make flash grenades, you can buy a learned schematic that turns them into the much more impressive electrical grenades (which are effective against a wide variety of enemies). The only problem there is that you'll have to learn Throwing. Supposedly, that doesn't work as well for dwarves. But I never noticed that with my dwarf character.

    You'll still probably want to buy all the bullets you can afford, though.

    Lockpick: Early on, that skill is annoying unless you're willing to save and reload a lot. You need three or four points in the skill and Expert training before breaking into stuff gets easy.

    You might want to consider joining the Thieves Underground. It's easier to get training in some skills (such as lock picking) and they have a shop where you can buy a little more ammo.

    However, the good news is that you can actually pick some locks with two points in the skill if you're patient enough.

    There are all sorts of factors to consider, such as your perception or whether or not you're wearing metal gloves. A lantern helps if you're in the dark. Other people can explain this better than me.

    Guns: If you're playing with the official patch, the Hand Cannon is not a bad weapon at all. The only bummer is that the damage is random. Sometimes, it's about the same as the fine revolver. Sometimes you'll get a really nice hit and take off half of your foe's life meter.

    Gunsmithy can be a fun discipline to get into. Selling hand-crafted flintlocks is a good way to earn some loose change for bullets. The fine revolver gets a small accuracy bonus, and you can make at least two for free if you took everything that looked interesting at the Crash Site. Also, it's a component for another gun. And there are all sorts of learned schematics to mess around with to see if you find anything you like using more than the hand cannon.

    You might consider going to Dernholm before going to the BMC. You can recruit a follower named Jayna who can heal you with bandages and make useful stuff like healing salves and fatigue restorers. She also makes stuff from the Therapeutics discipline that can temporarily boost some of your physical stats.

    There is another potential follower in Dernholm who dabbles in gunsmithy. You can use guns he makes as components for other stuff without having to learn the discipline yourself. If you want more details, just let us know.
     
  3. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

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    I too am playing a half-elf technologist and have found the game to be shamefully easy. Having never actually beaten the game I am on my third partial play-through so I have the benefit of experience with many of the scenarios, but even parts of the game I am experiencing for the first time are simple. A chief difference between our technical disciplines is that I went the Electrical Engineering route with my half-elf which made the various golems a cinch.
    (Largely due to the fact that the Shocking Staff works them over pretty well.)

    If you have your heart set on playing a gunslinger, then heed the advice of others among The House. Otherwise, I suggest try experiencing the game from another technical angle and apply what you learn to a new play-through with an actual gunslinger.
     
  4. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    Hopefully, there was something helpful in the middle of all the rambling in my last post.

    It all depends on what you want to do. Do you want a lot of followers? Do you want to be awesome at combat? Do you want to focus on learning how to make cool stuff?

    Also, it would be useful to know which followers you have and what background you chose.

    Two points in Electrical will let you make Charged Rings, which can boost your Dexterity by four points. Which will help if you want Throwing or some other combat skill for backup. And you'll have an easier time making some cool weapons like the Charged Sword or the Charged Axe.
     
  5. jwh

    jwh New Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    I'm not sure this is possible in Arcanum with a gunslinger/tech character, but I like trying to go through the game solo. It was possible with a mage, albeit because I could summon demons.

    If I gain mechanized arachnids and they are killed in combat - do you still have the arachnid for the next battle or are they dead and you have to find another mini-steam engine/make another?

    I want to be gunslinger - although I currently am level 9, have the hand cannon and am dying too frequently imho. I have molotov cocktails, Perception of 10, Dex 12.

    I wasn't sure what you meant by am I wearing metal gloves or not - does this affect lockpicking? I assume the description will note this? If so, I won't - I currently am wearing black leather armor and nothing else as I haven't found anything and cannot afford much.

    I don't have charged rings yet b/c I didn't want to put the two points into electric as I was working up throwing/lockpicking/firearms and dealing with earning schematics (which also requires Int .... so I was increasing Per, Dex and Int)

    I feel a bit overwhelmed b/c compared to a mage (who basically just needed a high willpower) there are soooo many more places to decide to put skill points and I'm still fairly weak in my opinion - but I probably need to re-adjust my play style.

    With my mage I could go a lot of the initial places at level 5/6 (Dernholm, Blackroot etc.). I didn't have to go to Tarant. But with my gunslinger at level 9 I get my butt kicked in Dernholm and Blackroot by the angry bar patron or even random encounters in that area. I feel like I'm going to have to progress in a more "linear" fashion (Tarant, then the next logical place etc.)

    I envision (if possible) a lone gunslinger who is versed in explosives (area of affect), who has lockpick b/c I am definitely on the grey/dark moral side this game. I will need the healing salve branch of schematics to survive and probably Disarm Trap once I can afford to put points there.

    I am underwhelmed by being an expert in Firearms with the Hand Cannon - I still often have to shoot a higher level creature lots of times to survive and I DON'T survive if there are multiples unless I am full of molotov cocktails.....

    So: Dex, Perception, Intelligence, Firearms, Lockpick, Disarm Traps, Throwing, Healing Schematics, Explosives ..... that alone is 9 different areas which is a heck of a lot of skill points.....

    Thoughts?
     
  6. jwh

    jwh New Member

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    I am a Halfling and my background is Raised by Orcs.
     
  7. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    I'll try to explain what I meant about the gloves.

    They don't say it in the descriptions, but a lot of gloves lower your pick locks skill while you have them equipped. Such as Dwarven gauntlets, which are these funky armored gloves that look like they're made out of metal plates. Regular leather gloves, like the ones you can sometimes find in chests, don't affect your skill... but they may not help your armor rating either since they don't provide much protection.

    The only way to know if your gloves are reducing your skill level is to look at your stats with them on and then take them off and see if your skill goes up.

    I'd still go with Charged Rings, because in the long run you save two points on Dex.

    You might consider buying a throwing weapon as a backup. Some magical creatures (Ore Golems, for example) are resistant to bullets... but they aren't resistant to chakrams or boomerangs. A boomerang or a regular chakram won't do much damage, but it won't run out of ammo either. And it will damage an Ore Golem about as much as most pistols will.

    Also, they provide a nice alternative for killing sewer rats without using up ammo or explosives. Which can come in handy for a few quests.

    Also, definitely hang out for a while in Tarant. There are all sorts of non-violent or low-risk quests you can do for people (some of which are just simple errands) and you'll level up faster. Also, you can find some decent loot sometimes in random chests.

    At P. Schuyler and Sons, for example, you sometimes can find some good armor or at least some money and jewels you can use to buy stuff.
     
  8. jwh

    jwh New Member

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    Thanks!

    Do you know about the Arachnid question I asked?
     
  9. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    I've never used arachnids, so I can't help you there.

    Thank you for answering my questions. I have a much better idea of what you're going for now.

    I've been told it's possible to play as a solo gunslinger. The guy who told me that was a huge fan of using Prowl to sneak around and act like a sniper. Since you get a racial bonus to Prowl, that might be an interesting way to go.

    The Looking-Glass Rifle (if a halfling can use it) is the ultimate sniper weapon (huge to hit bonus, great range, damage about like your pistol). You can steal one, or devote a lot of points to gunsmithy and make spares. If you go the gunsmithy route, you can learn how to make the Long-Range Pistol, which can be good too. It's faster than the rifle, but you lose the TH bonus.

    Personally, I would skip Disarm Traps. Apparently, the Master Quest for Disarm Traps is fun but there aren't all that many places that have a lot of traps in the game. And by the time you can max out the skill, there aren't that many mines or dungeons left.

    Spot Traps, on the other hand... A point or two in Spot Traps may help keep you alive in places like the BMC. And if you decide to do the Master Quest, you can get a pretty cool item.

    Just don't step on the traps once you spot them and you'll be fine.

    Being able to make healing salves is a good idea, but you don't really need anything else from that discipline except maybe the cure poison one.
     
  10. rroyo

    rroyo Active Member

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    Nope, they're dead and destroyed. You'll have to make a new one.
     
  11. Arkain

    Arkain New Member

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    Charged Rings are quite handy - you get 4 dex points with two rings, plus they're about the only rings (not quite, but almost) a tech character can use. Later on you can gain a companion who could make these for you (kick him out later, if you want to be alone) if you don't want to invest into electric. However you may want to consider doing that anyway (we'll get to that later on).

    The exact reason why I found mages to be fun for a short while but not so much fun in the long run. You get powerful quite early and depending on which spells you pick you become either a god of death or merely a demigod of death.

    Yes healing salves are very nice to have. Although the higher schematics of that field (especially the last one) are very useful as well I doubt you'll need them. As for lockpicking you should know that the skill is quite useless until you have 3-4 ranks in it. The trap skills are fun to have but by no means necessary. Especially disarming traps isn't as great as it sounds. Most traps aren't that dangerous and unless you want a thief type character who spots and disarms every trap and picks every lock I wouldn't invest into them. The master training quest for disarming yields a nice item though, but that alone isn't worth the trouble. Also keep in mind that you can always use scrolls of Sense Hidden to boost your spot traps skill up to rank 5 (depends on your perception). Btw, by doing this you could also gain the apprentice, expert and master ranks without actually putting points into it.

    Well, that's most likely related to how guns work in Arcanum. Guns have a fixed damage that can't be raised by stats, different from melee weapons for example, which are influenced by your strength. So you'll deal that fixed amount of damage which will then be affected by the enemies resistance (if the enemy in question has any resistances, that is). Thus you may think you don't deal that much damage. There are several solutions for this problem:
    Get a weapon that deals another type of damage. Examples include weapons such as the Flame Thrower or the Tesla Gun. The latter is a good reason to invest into the electric discipline.
    The Tesla Gun deals 10-80 electrical damage, which is resisted by only a few enemies (plus it's awesome to shoot lightning ;)). The problem is that you'll need a Tesla Rod and a Looking Glass Rifle. The former must be made by you by mastering the electric discipline, the latter is available once or twice in the game, so you don't have to invest into gun smithy as well. You can get (or maybe steal) one from the firearms master, for example. As far as I know it's one of the strongest if not the strongest gun in the game, as far as max damage goes. It's a bit slow though.
    Another option is to use the explosive discipline (something you seem eager to do anyway?) and stock up on several grenade types. One exceptionally useful type is the almighty Stun Grenade. Other possibilities lie in findable/buyable schematics, such as the Electrocution Grenade (you guessed it: electrical damage). Also you may want to try Corrosive Acid (yes, it's a throwing weapon and you can buy it, too). Just stay out of the radius and don't use it if you want to sell the enemy's loot. I don't know what type of damage it deals, maybe there is acid damage in the game, maybe not. However you may want to notice that investing heavily into explosives and throwing might distract you from being a gunslinger. While I never tried an explosive/throwing character myself yet I always thought that that's one of the stronger non-mage characters one can build in the game. Thus if you focus on these two areas you may not need your guns at all later on.
    Later in the game, sadly not at this point though, you can also try prowling. If you become master of prowling you can basically stay in prowling mode all the time and fire away at your leisure. The enemies will hardly, if ever, notice and ultimately die without you getting attacked even once. This is also a good reason to think about investing into prowling. Its corresponding attribute is perception which is one of your main attributes anyway. Also take note that you don't have to max it to master it. You can get it to 18/20+ via various bonuses with only like 2-3 invested points there, which is enough for traning. You'll need *some* training though so that you may stay hidden at all. Armor issues shouldn't exist here, seeing how you're playing a small race. By the way, even if you just invest some points into prowling now you can still use it to get by enemies unharmed - and kill them later. Or forget about them, you're solo after all. You will reach level 50.

    It may be useful to know that you don't have to max all your skills and attributes. Ironically perception, intelligence and dex, your main attributes, are good examples for this (note: some slight spoilers follow). As far as perception goes you can at the very least stop at 15, as you should find an Eye Gear somewhere in the BCM. With that item you'd have 17, add to that that you can gain a permanent bonus of +1 to all your attributes in the course of the game and you're at 18. Another point of interest are the gods' blessings. Depending on how fast you progress in that "quest" - if at all - you can enjoy several (ultimately temporary, depending on your choices) bonuses, amongst them another +1 or +2 to perception. If you had Jayna with you she could make you some perception raising drugs, too. Intelligence can be raised by 10 by using those nice intelligence potions available, for example, at the local gypsy. Yes, it's only a short temporary buff, but that's enough to invest points into schematics and make some items. Take note that you need to drink a potion any time you want to use a schematic that's above your natural intelligence (might be related to your expertise though and could thus be avoided by using books from the university - that may be more expensive though, methinks). I'm not sure if one could consider this to be bug using o_O. As for dex: you *can* gain a +4 to dex by getting the ultimate blessing. Add to that +4 from charged rings and +1 from the bonus I mentioned earlier and you're at +9 total.
    As far as skills go it's kinda the same. You don't have to max out firearms to hit every time, for example. While you could, theoretically, stay at around 16/20 (4 invested points) and still be good at hitting stuff. You also don't necessarily need to max lockpicking to pick every lock (may seem contrary to what I said earlier). One could argue that mastering a skill also opens up the possibility to become master of the skill but that depends on how much one simply wants to be master and how good the bonuses are. For example: prowling mastery is incredibly use- and powerful. The same can't be said for pickpocketing (although it's still the friggin' master rank, which is cool in its own right).
     
  12. RayCide

    RayCide New Member

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    I am currently playing with a throwing/explosives character. Throwing is quite a useful skill - I´d say almost overpowered. I mean, put points into Throwing and buy a Boomerang in the first store and the crash site will be a breeze. Not quite as easy as a Harm-spamming mage, but way easier than a gunslinger. I´d say easier than a pure melee character too.

    As a thrower, you don´t have to spend any points into Melee if you don´t want to. You don´t have to put points into Lockpick either, just use dynamite instead.

    All the ingredients for explosives are plentiful and cheap (except maybe nitroglycerin?). Smoke grenades aren´t that useful but they have a nice price if you sell them.

    I´ve been running around doing sidequests (mostly killing stuff). As usual, characters with high speed rises in Lvl quicker and I just reached Lvl 30, even though I´m not through with the Black Mountain Mines. Since I want to use some nice magical Chakram, I´m gonna invest in some spells of the Conveyance school to balance out the explosives.
     
  13. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    Thank you Arkain for bringing up eye gear and several other things I probably should have mentioned before.

    I mentioned Electrocution Grenades too because they're awesome. You get an area attack that works on some pretty powerful magical bad guys who are resistant to bullets. And the components are easy to find or make, so there's really no down side.

    Stun Grenades are definitely a great way to cheat during combat. Among other things, they'll help solve your Ore Golem problem. While stunned, enemies can't fight back and your chance of hitting them goes up by 30 percent.

    We basically agree about Pick Locks, although you can do some of the Thieves Underground "jobs" in Tarant with only two points in the skill.

    But yeah... You only need the fifth point if you want to try the Master Quest. Which is fun, but you can't even try it until really late in the game. And by then, it doesn't do much for you other than letting you open some chests full of magical stuff you probably can't use anyway. Four points in the skill is plenty if you need points for other things.

    In an ideal world, you would learn how to make Looking-Glass Rifles, because that way you could have a spare after you make that Tesla Gun and if you take the follower who can make Charged Rings, you could either make another one for him or make him a Long-Range Pistol so he could keep his cool shield equipped. But that requires a lot of character points you might want for other things.

    There is an acid gun you can make. So, there is definitely acid damage. You can also make guns that do Fire and Electrical damage in addition to regular bullet damage, but they use three rounds of ammo each shot.

    There's always Bronwyck's Gun. A lot of people around here don't like it, but I dig it. It fires energy pulses that do both Fire and Electrical damage along with a little physical damage. So, if you don't mind using Fuel as ammo for it, you can have a ray gun that does an impressive amount of damage to Ore Golems. And it looks really cool when you hit your target.

    You can also learn how to make a grenade launcher that's a nice alternative to the Bronwyck's Gun, but it has a pretty high minimum strength requirement.

    The Gods Quest is awesome. I tend to just offer to the good gods and stop there before I'm supposed to make the offering to Halcyon. Eventually, I get +1 to Perception, Bow, Dex, Strength and Beauty. The Beauty bonus won't help as much if you're playing solo, but it might help lower prices at shops.

    Bow is kind of useless to you, but you can't go wrong with those other bonuses.
     
  14. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    Me too! Instead of finally finishing my evil playthrough, I wasted a bunch of time last night starting over with an elf technologist.

    The huge racial penalty to Pick Locks may make that seem really stupid later, but it's fun for now.

    Totally. It gets boring using the same attack over and over. But it's not a big deal if you miss because you don't use ammo and you can't accidentally scar yourself with a boomerang.

    You can fake it until you get to Tarant with a single point in the skill. Using melee at the Crash Site is going to be really frustrating unless you put two points into the skill. And even then you'll probably spend a lot of time getting critical failure results. And just killing those stupid rats takes forever.

    With throwing, the main thing to remember is that you need to aim away from Virgil so he doesn't get hit by friendly fire.

    Smoke grenades can be turned into at least one other type of grenade. But yeah... The main thing there is that the ingredients are extremely cheap (or sometimes free) and you can get 97 gold for one with a single point in Haggle. So, it's really easy to earn money for components and bullets.
     
  15. jwh

    jwh New Member

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    Well, to conclude this thread and to thank everyone for their help - especially Hawkthorne:

    I hit stride with my character by creating: Electro-Armor and the Tesla Gun and Electrocution Grenades. Now Electro-Boy wanders the realms of Arcanum bringing whimsical "justice" wherever his addled brain sees the need for it.....

    So, after getting to this pinnacle around level 26 or so ... I started over :) Heh. Decided to create a new Electro-Boy and enjoy a smoother game where I'm not feeling so scattered wondering what to do....

    Thanks for all the help!

    Electro-Boy Onward!
     
  16. kelticpete

    kelticpete New Member

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    i went to the ancient maze and I am about lvl 16 and I was easily killing the gore guards and even a level 30 beast. I have sogg, dog, virgil and magnus. I have put most of my points in melee, dodge, persuasion, dex and charisma. the ore golems killed me FAST. really fast. I was actaully down in the maze because I read online that the ore golems at black mountain were really hard.

    i heard that balanced swords are good against them but i have not found enough pure ore to make one.

    I am in oiled theif armor with filiament sword. sogg has lianna sword. my health went down so fast I am at a loss as to what to do. I have one point to spend and a dex of 15. can I beat them with a better doge/dex?
     
  17. Hawkthorne

    Hawkthorne New Member

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    I should have responded to this thread again sooner.

    Thank you for the kind words, jwh.

    And now onward to kelticpete:

    Hmm... Are you basically a pure fighter? Or do you have some points invested in tech disciplines? Or do you have some spells?

    Magnus can make pure ore. The ingredients for that are all over the Crash Site and the Bessie Toone mine in Shrouded Hills. Otherwise, you can buy the two types of metal you need in Tarant. Esoecially if you don't mind paying junk dealer prices for the steel.

    Ore Golems are really resistant to physical damage. It takes a long time to kill one with melee weapons even if your skills are pretty good. So, it helps to have some spare swords or axes you don't mind damaging and some stun grenades (or some other way to keep a golem from fighting back while you and your followers hack away at it).

    Personally, I wouldn't use either of the swords you mentioned on a golem because it would suck if you damaged them during a fight.

    As far as your Dex goes, 15 should be fine.

    Dodge sometimes comes in handy because A.) you get hit less often and B.) at higher levels, bad guys sometimes accidentally hurt themselves when they miss you. But whatever level you're currently at is probably good enough.

    You don't really need any more than Expert training in Dodge unless you want to do the Melee and Dodge Master Quests. For most characters, one point to help you stay alive is plenty.
     
  18. kelticpete

    kelticpete New Member

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    my concept was to have high melee/dex/dodge and high lockpick (which does not seem worth it yet.) and high charisma for followers. my next goal was to build up backstab and prowl (not sure if that is a good idea)

    I have zero magic.

    I took the basic heal potion as suggested in some faqs. I think I have 2 unspent points

    i guess the concept was swashbuckler: good in a fight but not stronger than average, persuaisve and charismatic but a theif (but never never a killer or someone who would ruin a man's rep...like bates (i did not mind blowing up his shit....stuff is stuff...but life and reputation matter.

    I thought about the molotov. I am wondering if prowl is any good other than theiving because i can't really sneak up in battle solo and the rest of my mates clomp around.


    I just tried the ore golem again. we killed them but two followers died. unacceptable. I am level 18. with dex of 15 and cha of 13 (for 3 followers)

    I stupidly sold the ore I found early in the game so now I am buying steel and ore where I can find it.
     
  19. Arkain

    Arkain New Member

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    Melee + Backstab + Prowl (master in each) = melee god

    Get some training, especially in backstabbing, and around two-three invested points per skill (depends on background and race, the main point is that you're able to be an expert) then you'll be killing enemies in few hits from behind. Add a Pyrotechnic Axe for something close to cheese.
     
  20. DarkFool

    DarkFool Nemesis of the Ancients

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    If only you could do ranged backstabs...
     
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