Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

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Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby WCG » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:01 pm

Note: SPOILERS below. Don't read further if you aren't through the Mountain Pass (the Underground area).

OK, I think the game has just crossed the line from challenging to frustrating. My guys fall into a huge ambush, then - in the most direct manner possible - still must fight several other battles before facing, battered and bloody, the black dragon (along with a wizard and another bunch of guards). And as far as I can tell, there's no campfire anywhere underground. Or did I just miss it?

The black dragon fight would be very tough even if my guys were all rested up. As battered as they are, it's completely impossible. They can't create a dragon-slaying arrow, because they're not at Level 11 (they're barely at 10). My cleric has the "Slay Living" (I think that's the name) spell, but the dragon always resists it.

This is my problem with the campfire resting system. I don't like to re-fight battles, over and over again, but I will sometimes, for particularly tough fights. But there's no fun at all in replaying an entire section of the game, just because you can't leave, you can't rest, and you can't survive the final battle (if, indeed, the dragon IS the final battle in this area). The previous battles were fun the first time, but I have no desire to fight them all again, not immediately, certainly. And frankly, everything went pretty well the first time, so I don't know why things would be better on a replay (I did save my spells, as much as I could).

The orc fort was fun (though, admittedly, it wouldn't have been much fun if I hadn't made it through the first time). But unless I've missed a campfire somewhere - and I hope that's the case - we face the same situation in the very next area? Well, players are different, and some people may like the challenge. For me, I want to see the rest of the game, not play this same area over and over again. (This is a case where difficulty settings might help. We who purchase this game won't all be alike.)

Now, please tell me that I missed something here, that there IS a campfire underground, or a way around the dragon. Otherwise, maybe I'll put the game aside for awhile, until I feel like replaying this part of it. (Or are there other, easier areas where they can go first? The game seems to be quite linear. At least, I haven't heard a word about other locations, and when I took a quick look at that "Fortress" to the east, it was full of monsters. But I didn't experiment to see how tough they were.)
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Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby Demiath » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:19 pm

Hmm, seems like Mountain Pass is quickly becoming a favorite area to complain about on this forum...

OK, I think the game has just crossed the line from challenging to frustrating. My guys fall into a huge ambush, then - in the most direct manner possible - still must fight several other battles before facing, battered and bloody, the black dragon (along with a wizard and another bunch of guards). And as far as I can tell, there's no campfire anywhere underground. Or did I just miss it?

The black dragon fight would be very tough even if my guys were all rested up. As battered as they are, it's completely impossible. They can't create a dragon-slaying arrow, because they're not at Level 11 (they're barely at 10). My cleric has the "Slay Living" (I think that's the name) spell, but the dragon always resists it.


No, you're right, there's no camp fire until just after you defeat Krissagor & co. You're about the same level (although perhaps a bit lower) as I was when I first got there and I got through it without using any particularly clever tactic. If you don't have enough MP left, do you have the Craft Spell/Wand feats so you can heal up before the battle and store a few scrolls with whatever nasty area of effects spell might come in handy?

The orc fort was fun (though, admittedly, it wouldn't have been much fun if I hadn't made it through the first time). But unless I've missed a campfire somewhere - and I hope that's the case - we face the same situation in the very next area?


...and the next area. There's (a slightly less unforgiving) version of this in the next big quest area (which I recently finished), where you can also get trapped without warning and have to fight through another massive battle before getting out again.

(Or are there other, easier areas where they can go first? The game seems to be quite linear. At least, I haven't heard a word about other locations, and when I took a quick look at that "Fortress" to the east, it was full of monsters. But I didn't experiment to see how tough they were.)


I went to Torbury first and killed some trolls but then got a not-so-subtle hint that I had to complete my other quests first, so I think you're right on the linearity.

You can always check out this video if you want (as I'm not using any extremely smart, "kill-dragon-in-two-turns" kind of solution I wouldn't say the clip gives too much away):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4BfpEbHCi4
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby WCG » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:50 pm

Demiath wrote:If you don't have enough MP left, do you have the Craft Spell/Wand feats so you can heal up before the battle and store a few scrolls with whatever nasty area of effects spell might come in handy?


Thanks, I didn't think of that. I looked to see if I could craft an instant-kill arrow, but not some kind of healing wand. At least I'd have a chance, if my characters were healed up a bit. (You don't lose the memorized spell when you scribe a scroll? I assumed that you would. I've never scribed a scroll, since my inventory is always so tight.)

Heh, heh. Kind of funny that you can't rest there, but you can create all sorts of magical items, isn't it? But I guess that's magic for you. :)

You can always check out this video if you want (as I'm not using any extremely smart, "kill-dragon-in-two-turns" kind of solution I wouldn't say the clip gives too much away):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4BfpEbHCi4


How did you damage the dragon so easily? I used a lightning rod, but it was always resisted. And no damage spells did anything much, either. My knights easily took more damage than they caused, but spells seemed to be completely useless.

Of course, my wizard never lasted long. As usual, every creature in the place targeted the spell-casters first (I thought it was odd that the gnolls in the video actually attacked your knights), and at least one of them had instant-kill arrows.

But the other thing about your video that seemed odd was how the dragon kept missing its attacks. I don't think it EVER missed an attack against my characters, or very rarely. Once it turned its attention to one of them, they were quickly unconscious or dead.

Your tactics were very similar to mine, but my guys didn't have a chance. Of course, they were already beat up, but that's not all of it. I just can't believe that you could damage the dragon so easily, without taking much damage in return. What's the secret? It doesn't seem to be your tactics, but maybe it's your feats?

Anyway, thanks for the tips. I'll try again later.
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby Demiath » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:43 pm

Thanks, I didn't think of that. I looked to see if I could craft an instant-kill arrow, but not some kind of healing wand. At least I'd have a chance, if my characters were healed up a bit. (You don't lose the memorized spell when you scribe a scroll? I assumed that you would. I've never scribed a scroll, since my inventory is always so tight.)


Well, I had never scribed a scroll in a D&D game ever before I utterly failed to notice the camp fires in the Orc Stockade, then finally remembered the scribe feat and tried it out with good results. The XP and gold costs are comparatively inconsequential and you don't lose any memorized spells (of course, if you've already depleted all your MP you don't have any memorized scrolls to begin with...).

WCG wrote:How did you damage the dragon so easily? I used a lightning rod, but it was always resisted. And no damage spells did anything much, either. My knights easily took more damage than they caused, but spells seemed to be completely useless.
[...]
But the other thing about your video that seemed odd was how the dragon kept missing its attacks. I don't think it EVER missed an attack against my characters, or very rarely. Once it turned its attention to one of them, they were quickly unconscious or dead.


Strange. I guess if I knew more about the D&D system than I actually do, I could more easily come up with some good answers. Obviously the relative ease with which I got through this battle should have something to do with either feats, XP level, stats, equipment or some combination thereof, but I can't think of any one decisive factor which explains our different experiences. I should perhaps also point out that, even though the tactics I ended up using are unremarkable, I did die many times before figuring out how to handle this fight...
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby Over » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:17 pm

In that fight, IIRC, I've used the Wall of Stone spell, to block the entrance leaving enough space for a single creature pass. It makes a much easier fight, not exposing yourself to everyone in the room. ;) I don't remember if the dragon had a dispell spell, but it was just a matter of casting it again. Archers couldn't reach me, spell casters and melee fighters had to come closer and couldn't gang on me. Of course, some weren't lured to my trap.
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby protobob » Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:42 pm

My party healed up with wands and we made bracers of dex to improve the chance to hit the dragon (with the 3 dragon slaying arrows from back in the orc fort I didn't use) up to 55%. Second arrow killed the dragon and it was mop up from there.
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby WCG » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:45 pm

I've been too busy lately to get back to the game, but I'm sure that scribing scrolls to heal my guys up will do the trick. It just didn't occur to me. (I thought to make dragon-killing arrows, but my guys aren't at a high enough level. And I used the first three already.)

But considering that possibility for healing - as well as wands and such for added spells - I guess I don't understand the point of making campfires so scarce. It might be realistic, but it's not so much fun from a game-play perspective (not for me, anyway). And instantly crafting items in the middle of a dungeon doesn't seem all that realistic anyway. Heh, heh.

I guess maybe I'd prefer that resting anywhere be a player-selectable option. I don't know. On the one hand, I understand the reasoning behind the campfires. But on the other hand, if it doesn't work out, I REALLY don't enjoy redoing a whole section of the game. I'm likely to just quit, instead. I don't even like re-fighting the same battles, though I'm willing enough to try two or three times for really tough fights.

But maybe that's just me.
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby WCG » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:47 pm

Heh, heh. Well, so much for that idea. I never use scrolls or wands in other games, so my cleric can't scribe scrolls, and none of them can craft wands. I tried crafting some other magic items, but they didn't do much good at this point (none of them have many hit points left). Those instant-kill arrows are murder (literally) for my wizard, and none of my characters survive very long. I suppose I can just keep reloading the game and using "Slay Living" until the dragon's high resistance finally fails.

Incidentally, this is my first time crafting items, and I'm shocked at how easily and cheaply my cleric can create FAR better magic items than they've found or bought so far in the game. Doesn't that seem unbalanced? Where's the anticipation in getting treasure, when you can never find anything half as good as what you can very easily make? And don't you lose the sense of accomplishment when you get a scarce attribute increase, when it's so easy to buff your characters' attributes with easily-made items? You don't even need any ingredients for girdles of strength, helms of wisdom, etc.

I really like this kind of combat in games, but the combat itself is only part of the game for me. In games where it's possible, I'm very much a builder (e.g., in RPGs, I like seeing the results of my actions to help people). And in all RPGs, I like the exploration and also the sense of discovery when you find a great new weapon or other scarce item. When you can make powerful items so easily, don't you lose that? Everything I've found in the game so far looks like crap compared to what I could make.* I've avoided making armor and weapons for just that reason.

* I laugh when I think of how challenging those giant spiders were, earlier in the game, when I could have easily made all my characters immune to webs with those cheap cloaks. But if I make all this stuff, I'm afraid the combat might be boring. Has everyone else been equipping their characters with all those powerful items?
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby Ashery » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:51 am

Early on, when you're facing the spiders, those cloaks aren't particularly cheap. The gold cost isn't all that steep, but considering how little gold you have at the time and the fact that each cloak costs 616xp to make, you'll likely only be able to make one or, at best, two cloaks. Even then you'll be burning through most of your gold and handicapping your crafter xpwise.

My only issue with crafting is that it can be done almost anywhere (I've noticed that in some dungeons you cannot craft physical items), making proper preparation almost pointless. ("Oh, look, an iron golem, guess I better craft a couple adamantium weapons before engaging.") Enchanting wands and scribing scrolls should definitely burn through the spell used as well. Enchanting wands with cure light wounds is horribly broken early on in the orc fort. Fights that would've been near impossible due to your low hp and limited spell selection become near trivial when you heal up completely at the cost of a few hundred gold and xp points.

The lack of discovery is, however, definitely an issue. There were only two instances that I can recall where I found actual unique items...and I ended up selling'em due to their unfavorable enchantments.
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Re: Mountain Pass (SPOILERS)

Postby Pod » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:54 am

I think the main issue here is if you end up in one of those "fight or die" alreas, where there's no espcaing, and you're not _FULLY_ prepared, then there's no way you're going to survive. Unfortunately you often don't know if you'll survive or not until you've slogged through lots of battles and finally gotten to the big, campfire generating battle. :(

I can't really thinkg of a solution to this that could be added to the game, other than just having the player reload :(
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