Difficulty way, WAY, to high

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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, too high

Postby Rasputin » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:39 am

Sent two of my best fighters up the ladder after the moon crypt. I knew full well that there was heat up ahead, so I prepared as best I could. I sent a frostbrother half-salamander equipped with the minor fire ring and the +1 Frost Broadsword.

Wandered into the next room with the large fire elemental and the Salamander. I didn't last a whole round of combat. It was a slaughterfest.
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, too high

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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, too high

Postby jms123 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:49 am

Rasputin wrote:Sent two of my best fighters up the ladder after the moon crypt. I knew full well that there was heat up ahead, so I prepared as best I could. I sent a frostbrother half-salamander equipped with the minor fire ring and the +1 Frost Broadsword.

Wandered into the next room with the large fire elemental and the Salamander. I didn't last a whole round of combat. It was a slaughterfest.


I admire your persistence. Right now I am at the arena, trying to get through it without anybody dying. Have all the combat speed options up to max :)

Not sure if I will keep trying, taking a break for now... based on what I've read in some other places, I don't think it gets any easier.
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby Moddan » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:53 am

Maybe it would be best to rename "easy" as "normal" difficulty and make it default. I´d still play with the current setting but it would be a lot better for my confidence and sanity
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby jms123 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:59 am

Moddan wrote:Maybe it would be best to rename "easy" as "normal" difficulty and make it default. I´d still play with the current setting but it would be a lot better for my confidence and sanity


Except I read elsewhere is all it does it modify damage some, and it lowers XP rewards, which eventually makes the game even harder. So, once the major bugs are fixed, I think/hope a difficulty overhaul will be in the works.
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby Aequil » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:47 am

I found a way to make the game easier and survive the temple battle. I exported my lvl 3 characters, opened the ”Augury of Chaos” module in the editor, changed the maximum allowed lvl, and started anew with my higher level characters. Still hard, but doable. Kinda stuck now, though. Two characters are dead, and I get a CTD when i try to revive them. Hope a patch will be out soon!
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby Rasputin » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:29 pm

Decided to throw myself against the fire creatures again. Holy crap! Let's just take a little look at one of the two enemies that we face. Keep in mind that I have eked out virtually every single iota of experience that I could have up to this point. I am level 5. I have only two level 5 characters that climbed up the ladder for this encounter.

The Greater Salamander is, shall we say, a beast. He's listed as a CR 8 BY HIMSELF, which means that he should be a reasonable encounter for four level 8 characters, and I have two level 5s in the party.

Comparing his stats to those of the Noble Salamander in the MM, they are roughly equivalent. His statistics are higher in some areas and lower in others, so I say it's a draw for the most part there. But the Noble Salamander is a CR 10, not 8. Even if we were a full party of 4 5th level characters, he should be a party wipe all by himself.

But then you add his equipment. He comes equipped with a +1 Swift Spear, meaning he's basically perma-hasted. He's got 5 attacks per round counting his tail slap. But what's worse is his crit profile with the spear is 17-20/x3! I wondered why my dude got hit for two crits for around 35 damage each hit in the same attack. Now I see why.

The Large Fire Elemental who is his buddy is pretty close to the one in the MM, so I can't complain all that much. He's listed as a CR 5 all by himself, meaning that he would be a run-of-the-mill encounter for a full party of 4 5th level dudes.

The problem comes into factoring environmental issues. Not only is there omnipresent fire damage due to the sweltering temperature in the area which constantly saps your HP, but the huge fire pit in the middle of the room makes for a perfect place for your guys to get pushed, pulled, or grappled into, causing nearly instant death. That alone should raise the entire EL of the encounter by at least 1.

Keep in mind that encounters in 3.5e are designed around the CR/EL system which assumes that you would tend to fight around 4 battles of your equal EL and then rest for the night. That isn't allowed here. I have found precisely one campfire up to now.

So, taking everything into account, we're TRAPPED in a (what should be) EL 11-12 encounter with only two level 5 characters. We can't leave without conquering them. We have no chance of survival.

I'm all for making the game challenging. But in all honesty, if my DM tried this at our table, we would be holding a vote for who is replacing him next game.

Back to the grind.
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby jms123 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:47 pm

Rasputin wrote:Keep in mind that encounters in 3.5e are designed around the CR/EL system which assumes that you would tend to fight around 4 battles of your equal EL and then rest for the night. That isn't allowed here. I have found precisely one campfire up to now.

If you don't kill the Ratmen they let you rest. I also read that if you side with the gray goblins they have a resting camp (and some other good stuff), I haven't gotten there yet.
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby drmaniac » Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:45 pm

jms123 wrote:
Rasputin wrote:Keep in mind that encounters in 3.5e are designed around the CR/EL system which assumes that you would tend to fight around 4 battles of your equal EL and then rest for the night. That isn't allowed here. I have found precisely one campfire up to now.

If you don't kill the Ratmen they let you rest. I also read that if you side with the gray goblins they have a resting camp (and some other good stuff), I haven't gotten there yet.



You get locked into the tomb as soon as you enter so even before the ladder bit you have to fight 5 encounters with no possibility of rest.


I liked the balacing in the first game. Sure there was plenty of times the game kicked you in the $#!@, but it also gave you enough tools to dig yourself out of a hole. This is just frustratingly hard and I really really hope the upcoming modules aren't like this (well, at least the first 2)
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby Shamino » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:19 am

Just some ideas for new Game options people could select to make the Party more durable. I REALLY hate reloading all the time, because eventually it just seems like luck to beat an encounter, although I do enjoy difficult encounters, so these suggestions are fairly straightforward changes that can improve party durability without necessarily requiring the module to be changed.

Apply an automatic"short rest" after each encounter, where characters recover a percentage of HP and ability/spell uses. The percentage could be set independently for HP, spell slots, and ability uses, so you could opt for 15% HP recovery, 40% spell slots and 50% ability uses, for example. It could range from 0% (by the book 3.5e) to 100% (full recovery after each encounter, more along the lines of Pillars of Eternity 2). In this way, people could adjust difficulty to their liking, depending on the module difficulty, and how often they want to reload the game due to character deaths. This should be fairly easy to implement, since you already have items and feats implemented that do this sort of automatic healing after combat, and some items restore spell slots too. Feats like Die Hard would still apply on top of the short rest recoveries.

An even better, more random approach, would be to randomly check each used ability or spell slot or damage point using the Player specified percentage. So, if you chose 20% HP and 30% Spell Slots and 50% Abilities. So, you take 8 damage, 20% of it (rolling for each damage point) is not taken in the example above, and if you cast a spell, it has a 30% chance to NOT expend a spell slot, and using an ability or feat has 50% chance to NOT expend the use. This would be very exciting, a sort of Press Your Luck aspect to using spells and abilities. Shouldn't be difficult to implement either. This option alone could really let people customize difficulty and play style. Note this is not healing, but a chance of not losing the HP or spell slots when used.

Instead of charging GP to level up, allow characters to be resurrected without an item by paying GP. In this way, your economy should not be disrupted much, since in this difficult module, I would say each character is likely to die once per character level up, so you end up paying the same money, but level advancement is not blocked when short of GP. The explanation is simply that the character was not actually killed, just badly injured. :)

Instead of charging GP to level up, allow us to create additional characters during the game to replace dead ones. This is also where the GP that would have been spent on level up could be spent. So, it would cost GP to create new characters during the scenario, as per the level up GP costs, but don't charge for level up. I guess this would happen at certain merchants who offer mercenary services, and also available at Campfires, since reinforcements arrive, but they need to be paid! :)

Make it a little less damaging and more difficult to have characters "die". Allow game option to specify death HP threshold. Default is -10 as per 3.5e, but other options could be -10 per character level, or -1*max HP. It's tough enough they get knocked out easily, but even in the real world, only about 1 in 6 casualties is actually a death, and the default of -10 does not allow for that, as even at low levels, one critical hit can take you way below that. This would avoid having to reload just because a character got to -10 HP.

Another option to allow for fewer character deaths would be to give the character a Negative Level as if drained by an Undead when they would normally die, and they just fall unconscious instead of dying. Those Negative Levels could be removed in the usual ways, and as usual, if a character gets as many Negative Levels as their Character Level, they do actually die for real in the usual way, requiring Resurrection or Raise Dead. The neat thing about this approach, is you'll get those Negative Level penalties until healed, so there is a simulation of severe lasting injury in this approach.

Another possible game option to limit deaths would be to allow the character a Death Saving throw. When the character would normally die, they get a saving throw to prevent the death, and they just get KO instead.

Something I would really love is to have Is Injury Effects applied when knocked out instead of always death. I'm thinking the old AD&D injury charts by damage type, so different effects for Piercing, Fire, Bludgeoning, etc. This is a great way to slowly diminish a character's effectiveness when defeated in an encounter without needing to actually kill the character. And of course, healing spells could remove the injury effects. I think the AD&D was similar to Warhammer, where injuries had intensity 1 to 15 or something like that, and I would say an appropriately powerful healing spell would be needed to cure the injury effect. Say, something like CLW for 1 to 3, CMW for 4 to 6, CSW for 7 to 9, CCW for 10 to 12, Heal for 13 to 15. Or even better, the injury is removed by a caster level equal to or greater than the injury level. You allow spells to be cast at elevated levels already, so you could cast a CLW at level 4 to cure a level 4 Injury Effect, or a higher level cure spell would automatically cure the injury if its base CL is high enough. That also works for potions and scrolls - the CL of the potion or scroll would be used to see if it cures the Injury. I would also love to see injury effects applied both to PCs and Monsters on Critical Hits. Several possibilities here. Maybe a Fortitude save on Critical Hit (even if not confirmed) to avoid injury. Maybe a Game Option where PCs have a player specified chance of receiving an Injury Effect instead of Critical Damage on a confirmed critical. So, instead of taking double or triple damage on a confirmed critical, a PC could make a Fortitude Save (or by Game Option, always successful) get an Injury Effect instead of the extra damage. I find the critical hits are what is destroying my party the most, but they should still happen, but maybe as Injury instead of Fatal Damage.

I would LOVE to see the game keep track of how many times each character gets knocked out and killed as well, in the character statistics panel, in a list preferably including the cause of KO or death in each instance :)

For me, the challenge is to get through the module without a total party kill AND without reloading. So having some of these game options available, it could be possible to do that. I would love to see any and all of these options implemented :)
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Re: Difficulty way, WAY, to high

Postby Hesmah » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:33 am

I've managed to get up to goblin king, but stuff is getting ridiculous. Level 5 party against lots of stuff including CR 12 caster that summons a CR 10 demon, huge scorpion that's immune to pretty much everything, and of course bunch more. And since things aren't hard enough already I start surprised :D

Edit: Came back after tomb on a higher level, but still at a loss how to beat him. He nukes the whole party easily, can't be silenced since he's psychic, and well yolo grappling won't work since there's so many other friends of his who'll get him free. All it takes is one huge nuke from him more or less, and since he can select the element, no way to protect from it really.
Last edited by Hesmah on Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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