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Koumei
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:32 am    Post subject: D&D Video Games Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This isn't about the Neverwinter MMO. I will always love NWN. There's so much fun there, especially with the CEP, PRC, and the Premium modules. Someone even recreated the first chapter of Castle of the Winds.

So I grabbed Temple of Elemental Evil, and that's looking pretty decent. Shame you can't zoom and rotate ("painted" 2D backgrounds with 3D models for the characters and such), but the interface is good, and making a party of five characters is nice, even if that means it isn't full of in-party chatting and stuff.

What kind of party is good for it? I'm kind of tempted to go TN for the overall party alignment, and then make: LN Cleric, CN Cleric, NE Cleric, NG Cleric, NN Druid. Because in D&D that makes an awesome team. But does it really encourage having Rogues and crap? Anything worth noting?

Also grabbed Icewind Dale 2, but haven't installed it yet. No idea what to expect, whether you make a party or it's more like the others where you make one character and then gather an assortment of friends. Likewise, not sure what characters would be recommended.

And NWN 2. I'll have a look, but IIRC the base story isn't as enjoyable as that of the first + expansions, and I also don't think there's as much custom stuff. Anyone played it enough to have an opinion?

Other than that, I guess this thread can be all about the D&D video games and what people think of them. Discussions for good builds, which one is most like the tabletop of X Edition, favourite custom modules, whatever.
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

ToEE is pretty fun. Of the modern crpgs that I've played, it comes closest to simulating how D&D actually plays, rules-wise.

Stratageries:
Rogues: I don't remember traps being especially prominent in the dungeon or anything. Secret doors are definitely a thing, though. That being said, the speech-related skills can be surprisingly useful. TWF Sneak Attack can be pretty potent, although the lack of a grid sometimes makes it difficult to tell if you're flanking a dude.

Wizards: You want one in your party, if only for crafting. A SoD/BFC-based wizard is totally potent. But evocation isn't totally butts, because it's not uncommon to face a lot of weak creatures in battles.

Fighters: Surprisingly relevant, given that they're stuck with the shitty Core feats. Reach weapons are a good investment. You might get stuck taking Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. (Sigh.) If you do, make sure it's possible to find a masterwork weapon of that type in the game, because you'll need to enchant it at some point.

Druids: Summoning is totally effective. I don't know if I ever used wildshape, but I forget why.

It's maybe a bit more fun to have an Evil party, because that opens up more sidequests in the dungeons. But you want your main melee characters to be capable of wielding holy and or axiomatic weapons, because a lot of the big bads are chaotic evil.

I think I beat the game with a Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Druid, Wizard, Wizard party, which worked pretty well.

You probably know this, but you really want the Circle of Eight fix for the game. Otherwise, the game is hilariously buggy.



Icewind Dale 2 is pseudo-3.0. Because of the engine it uses, it has a lot of weird 2E legacy things. Like ToEE, you make your entire party, and the focus is on stabbing things and taking their shit. I got like a third or a half of the way through the game and then got bored and didn't finish it. IWD1 is pseudo 2E, but it's perhaps a better-designed game.
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@NWN vs NWN2: overall, I enjoyed the first way more the second, but Mask of the Betrayer is pretty good and Storm of Zehir lets you make your own party of four a la ToEE and then run around on an overland map completing quests and having random encounters. One sort of interesting thing about Storm of Zehir is you can go MP with it- split the party with a friend and fight eachother over the pause button. Except, you know, it's 2014 and none of your friends are playing Storm of Zehir.

@IWD2: You make your own party, like ToEE and the first IWD. I haven't really given it a serious shot yet - if you ever get around to playing it, I'd be interested to hear if it's as fun as ToEE.

@ToEE: if you haven't already, you should look into the ToEE Circle of Eight modpack. Also, helpful note: you should not quicksave with ToEE. It raises the risk of save corruption. If you install the mod pack, you should also have autosaves turned off.

The last time I played, my party was spiked chain fighter/twf rogue/cleric/druid/wizard. It worked pretty well, but by the time I got to the actual temple my fighter and rogue spent most of their time cleaning up fights the casters had already won with the occasional "someone gets flanked and explodes" (i.e. the authentic D&D experience). I can't remember how easy it is to duplicate a rogue using spells, but finding secret doors and what not is actually a thing you'll want to do.

As for clericx4+druid, you probably do want an arcane caster. There are fights I honestly do not know how you'd win without someone who could throw down giant piles of battlefield control, and while clerics and druids aren't helpless in that department very few classes put the "fuck you" in "nope" like wizard. Grab two wizards, two clerics, a druid, and stomp everything.

Edit: oh yeah, and don't forget about crafting.


Last edited by DSMatticus on Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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GreatGreyShrike
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@NWN2:

The basic main quest is really excruciatingly long and drawn out. It's not paced well at all. That said, it has a few cool bits in it. Just... a lot of filler, too. So much filler I can't honestly recommend playing through it to get to the good stuff. The first NWN's expansions are probably better overall. Mask of the Betrayer was actually really good, though, and you can just play that without bothering with the main game and you won't miss much. I didn't like the Storm of Zehir expansion as much as Mask of the Betrayer, but it was still better than the main campaign.


Other games:

I am not sure Planescape: Torment properly qualifies as a D&D game that I like. I mean, the best parts of it were the characters, story, dialogue, and setting, and most of those segments either ignored or outright flaunted the actual D&D rules. The actual parts where you interface with actual mechanics of D&D in any meaningful way (combat, stealth, etc) instead of doing dialogue tree exploration were actually by far the least interesting part of the game and the part I paid attention to the least when playing. Basically, to the extent that it used the D&D rules at all that use was poor - if they had stolen the mechanics from e.g. any random CRPG instead it would almost certainly have been better. That said, it's a really awesome and interesting game and anyone who hasn't checked it out should do so. I think it's on GOG.com.
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codeGlaze
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I remember ToEE as being really short. I enjoyed it a lot, though, so that may be why I powered through it so fast.

IWD and IWD2 never grabbed me like BG1 and 2. I remember getting bored a few hours into IWD1 and turning off IWD2 before even giving it much play time.

This was all over 10 years ago by now, though... so take that as you will.
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nockermensch
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

ToEE is the game that finally allowed me to make a party and then play the 3.Xe combat game in a pretty faithful way. NWN is ... a d20 clone, really, with skills like Parry and Discipline and feats like Knockdown, the experience of playing NWN is nice, but it's not really D&D.

Now, ToEE? Make a spiked chain wielding high strength fighter, give him the correct feats and have a tripstar doing tripstar things as they're supposed to do. Make a high intelligence wizard, play him as a master of debuffing and win the game (I was still using Grease to win fights well into the Temple proper). Enemies close on you? Take a 5' step back. Enemies too far? CHARGE!

If somebody made a game that combined ToEE's combat engine (adding a proper grid would be great) with NWN's ease of hacking additional content in (more classes! more races!), I'd be forced to play the shit out of it, forever.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's important to remember that ToEE isn't quite true 3.x either. For example, there's been some love for spiked chains in this thread but you don't need it to get a tripstar off the ground in ToEE. That's because you're allowed to trip attack with any weapon and every reach weapon is capable of hitting adjacent enemies. It's really only worthwhile if you want a finesse-able reach weapon for some reason or if you really want to take advantage of the fact that there's a pretty alright chain for sale. It's just one more reason to dip fighter for two levels and stick to barbarian--skills are hardly a major advantage in ToEE, but Listen is one of the better ways to avoid being left out of Surprise rounds and Survival can let you skip tiresome map travel encounters.
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Korwin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think ToEE was the only D&D game with item crafting recognizable item crafting in it. Liked that.
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I mean, I'm pretty sure the Mayans had a prophecy about what would happen if Frank and PL ever agreed on something. PL will argue with Frank that the sky is blue or grass is green, so when they both separately piss on your idea that is definitely something to think about.
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Korwin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wait, I'm talking about Return to the ToEE... I think.
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Red_Rob wrote:

I mean, I'm pretty sure the Mayans had a prophecy about what would happen if Frank and PL ever agreed on something. PL will argue with Frank that the sky is blue or grass is green, so when they both separately piss on your idea that is definitely something to think about.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I couldn't get Circle of Eight to work, so I'll have to make do with the buggy version and just cycle through five save slots. And I couldn't be fucked doing the fetch quests and other bullshit in the first area, yet the undead gnolls and giant frogs are too tough for a level 1 party*, so the console has declared this game actually starts at level five. Magical!

Cleric, Druid, two Wizards (one Illusionist but to be honest they're practically identical) and a Spiked Chain Fighter.

As for NWN 2 (still haven't installed IWD2), it looks like the PRC for it is much smaller in scope, and also the main contributor threw a hissy fit and withdrew all his stuff from single player games because other people were stealing his stuff for Persistent Worlds. Yeah, that sure showed them? The "you wash ashore shipwrecked, NOW YOU'RE UNDER ARREST. OPERATION SOVEREIGN MURDERSBORDERS!" campaign is looking good, and that start is hilarious, given "Australia".

I'm also starting work on some NWN modules. Basic adventures, but I'm hoping they'll turn out to be pretty fun, and also be good for levelling players to various benchmarks (generally, the "15 is where HotU starts" one).

*And a real drawback to a game that faithfully emulates D&D is "the first few levels suck ass".
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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you installed ToEE to the program files directory, that may be why CoE threw a fit at you. You could try installing it to a folder directly off of your drive outside of program files. Also, CoE takes forever and doesn't do a great job of progress notification at times so the install process might look like it's hanging without actually hanging.
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, you really don't want to play unpatched. It is basically guaranteed to be an exercise in frustration. It might take some time to get to work, but it's really worth it. Plus, I think unpatched is limited to level 10 or something, but Co8 opens it up to 20.

And the giant frogs are totally murderable for a starting party. You just need to be careful.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

No, it's in C:/GOG/ToEE, and it did install at all and go "Complete, let's load up the new front-end loader thing!" But then when I click "Activate Module" or whatever it is (I am currently at work), it spits up an error and closes. If the game crashes and dies, I won't be too sad - I didn't spend much on it and I like the interface more than any other aspect so far. I didn't get invested enough to actually give the characters serious names for instance.
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NineInchNall
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
As for NWN 2 (still haven't installed IWD2), it looks like the PRC for it is much smaller in scope, and also the main contributor threw a hissy fit and withdrew all his stuff from single player games because other people were stealing his stuff for Persistent Worlds. Yeah, that sure showed them? The "you wash ashore shipwrecked, NOW YOU'RE UNDER ARREST. OPERATION SOVEREIGN MURDERSBORDERS!" campaign is looking good, and that start is hilarious, given "Australia".


One of the PRC guys threw a hissy when I suggested that if one were to use SR to model the Swiftblade's spell miss chance, it should be equal to or greater than ECL+10. Since, ya know, it's supposed to be a 50% miss chance.

*shrug*
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
No, it's in C:/GOG/ToEE, and it did install at all and go "Complete, let's load up the new front-end loader thing!" But then when I click "Activate Module" or whatever it is (I am currently at work), it spits up an error and closes. If the game crashes and dies, I won't be too sad - I didn't spend much on it and I like the interface more than any other aspect so far. I didn't get invested enough to actually give the characters serious names for instance.


Ah right, the same thing happened to me. If Java isn't updated to version 7, or if you have an earlier version of Java installed, then it throws a fit about the size of the patch. It's quick enough to fix, thankfully.
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nockermensch
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
No, it's in C:/GOG/ToEE, and it did install at all and go "Complete, let's load up the new front-end loader thing!" But then when I click "Activate Module" or whatever it is (I am currently at work), it spits up an error and closes. If the game crashes and dies, I won't be too sad - I didn't spend much on it and I like the interface more than any other aspect so far. I didn't get invested enough to actually give the characters serious names for instance.

This happened to me too. What fixed it for me was to run the Co8 Launcher as admin. Then it could load the game properly.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, tried running as Admin. I'll attempt updating Java sometime if I can be bothered: it's a low-level dungeoncrawl so I'm enjoying NWN 1&2 too much to really care.

IWD2 uses the BG engine and... it shows, heavily. The graphics are pretty ugly, not including character portraits. And the actual character creation thing shows they weren't particularly interested in the 3E rules, too. I think I'll give it a miss.

There are some really good modules for NWN. Sadly, I have yet to find a decent one for playing an evil character. Your options seem limited to playing homicidal maniacs that kill peasantry for no reason - which is basically the only way evil is supported in the core game too. Yes, it is annoying when you have to wander into someone's house and murder the inhabitants just so you keep to your alignment.
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Ikeren
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hmm, I could use a D&D style game.

I played through all of Baldur's Gate1, then tried to play Planescape Torment but after a few hours simply had had enough of the Infinity Engine; I dropped Dragon Age: Origins ~10 hours in for the same reason. But maybe it's worth another go.

Which one of these guys is best/has the cleanest instantiation of the Infinity Engine, one that doesn't make me constantly want to save/reload battles because of unreactive clicking?
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nockermensch
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
There are some really good modules for NWN. Sadly, I have yet to find a decent one for playing an evil character. Your options seem limited to playing homicidal maniacs that kill peasantry for no reason - which is basically the only way evil is supported in the core game too. Yes, it is annoying when you have to wander into someone's house and murder the inhabitants just so you keep to your alignment.

The only NWN module I ever played that doesn't treat evil like puppy murdering maniac is this one: Bone Kenning I: Art of the Thanaturge

In the end, you'll get disappointed that the author never made part II and it feels a bit short, but if you're evil, you get the chance of playing a more suave type.

As for me, having finished HotU, I have vague wishes about playing a heavy hack and slash module that goes well into epic.
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codeGlaze
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ikeren wrote:
Hmm, I could use a D&D style game.

I played through all of Baldur's Gate1, then tried to play Planescape Torment but after a few hours simply had had enough of the Infinity Engine; I dropped Dragon Age: Origins ~10 hours in for the same reason. But maybe it's worth another go.

Which one of these guys is best/has the cleanest instantiation of the Infinity Engine, one that doesn't make me constantly want to save/reload battles because of unreactive clicking?
How is DA:O considered an infinity engine game?

Baldur's gate 2 was probably the best polished. Although the re-release of BG1 and 2 did a pretty good job of cleaning some stuff up.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Because play felt the same to me as it does with the other infinity engine games, just with cleaned up graphics? Whatever they were using, it was stylistically very similar.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

IWD 2 is kinda ass.

I mean, it is basically just a worse BG II. most of the good changes in the 3e ruleset are ignored either by the game, or by the way the game plays.

IE, you still are fighting an endless wave of 467 goblins, so you might as well prep nothing but Cloudkill and Fireball.

I think the real breaking point for me was the complete shitting on Druids. I mean, NWN managed to let Druids turn into non ass creatures right, why can't you?
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Lago PARANOIA
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What are peoples' opinions on the Dark Sun: Shattered Lands video games?

I saw a couple of playthroughs for about 10 hours... and while they start off fairly interesting and make you feel badass compared to most games of that type it quickly gets bogged down into the 'wander the sewers and stomp rats Ratlings for who knows how long' trope people despise about RPGs. I stopped watching shortly after they got out into the open world, though, so maybe it improved a lot.


Even though it's more of a D&D retroclone (such as The Dark Eye is) than a D&D game in its own right, I'd like to recommend the Realms of Arkania trilogy. Or rather, I would like to recommend it but the games have some really questionable design decisions that really take you out of the experience and make the game that much worse. That said, I pretty much think that they're one of the best, if not the best, of the various 1st-person multiparty dungeon crawler RPGs that weren't made in Japan.
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Your freedom to make rulings up on the fly is in direct conflict with my freedom to interact with an internally consistent narrative. Your freedom to run/play a game without needing to understand a complex rule system is in direct conflict with my freedom to play a character whose abilities and flaws function as I intended within that ruleset. Your freedom to add and change rules in the middle of the game is in direct conflict with my ability to understand that rules system before I decided whether or not to join your game.

In short, your entire post is dismissive of not merely my intelligence, but my agency. And I don't mean agency as a player within one of your games, I mean my agency as a person. You do not want me to be informed when I make the fundamental decisions of deciding whether to join your game or buying your rules system.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I was just pissed off by the skill point calculation (the 3.X thing where you have precisely enough skill points to max out [Class+Int+Human] skills is one of the two best systems. The other one is "pick a skill. You are now good at it. Fuck ranks." which IIRC is what AD&D (and thus BG?) actually did). Oh and the incredibly half-assed approach to spells and all that.

After that, I wasn't really willing to put up with shit, so then starting the game with "a bunch of sticks" and graphics that were possibly just wood engravings, with characters bumping into each other as they all try to move through 1-tile gaps... it's too annoying to play. Maybe back in 1863 when the game came out and it was normal for them to look like ass and 3E was still "new and with problems".

nockermensch wrote:

As for me, having finished HotU, I have vague wishes about playing a heavy hack and slash module that goes well into epic.


There is a post-HotU one, but it's designed for Evil and so far I've only finished HotU with a Pala-DING. And yeah, it's possible that as an Evil one it'll be really stupid. I think there might be some other post-HotU ones that let you go fully into Epic.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lago PARANOIA wrote:
What are peoples' opinions on the Dark Sun: Shattered Lands video games?


When I first started off in the gladiator pits the announcer kept on taunting me, so I tried to hit him with an arrow. It was deflected by an arrow and he laughed, sending more killer monsters at me.


A dozen hours later after my prison break, I encounter a caravan in the desert, it's the announcer. I kill his guards, listen to him beg for his life, and kill him. Then I go through his pockets for loose change.


Quote:

I saw a couple of playthroughs for about 10 hours... and while they start off fairly interesting and make you feel badass compared to most games of that type it quickly gets bogged down into the 'wander the sewers and stomp rats Ratlings for who knows how long' trope people despise about RPGs. I stopped watching shortly after they got out into the open world, though, so maybe it improved a lot.


In the sewers there's a mad wizard who started a fake religion to trick rat people into being his servants and some kind of rat-version of Romeo & Juliette, and some talking spiders. If you know exactly what to do you can clear that part in under an hour to reach the open-world segment where you run around and join the resistance.

*then a Dragon comes in to detect if you've pirated the game and murders you if you don't answer his riddle that asks for a specific word from a page in the game booklet you don't have (but you have a .txt file of anyways cuz it's 2014)

You'll find things like the tomb of a paladin who died before the world was shattered, genies leading you to lost cities filled with shadows reinacting the day before they died, lizard dudes who just do their own thing, elven dickery, and so on.

Shattered Lands is a very satisfying game. The pixel graphics are charming, though I think an SD style or "limbs are one to two pixels wide" look would've been more suitable for what they had at the time.


Last edited by OgreBattle on Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:46 pm; edited 3 times in total
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