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Old March 17, 2018, 02:26   #3
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 319
Quirk is on a distinguished road
So I note from a couple of giveaways (Impale and Expertise in the skills list) that this is Sil-Q; this needs a small correction then to Philip's advice on going upstairs at 50 feet, as the forge will implacably remain at 100 feet. On the bright side in Sil-Q guaranteed forges also exist at 500 feet and 900 feet.

My own thoughts on your questions:

1) Can't really improve on Philip's answer. I'll note that +Damage sides is better than +Strength in most circumstances because +Strength is useless on light weapons.

2) Axes and hammers benefit from the new Anticipate skill, which does a lot to negate their accuracy disadvantages. Quarterstaffs are good with Parry, though the weak damage tells against them in the late game.

3a) So I just made a quick run down to 100 with a Naugrim statted as you suggest. The first important question for me would be "what are you making?". After making Gloves of the Forge +2, and investing another point to reach 14 smithing, I could make two of Gloves of Strength +1, a Mail Corslet of Resilience (+1 Con) or Boots of Nimbleness (+1 Dex). This is undoubtedly mid-to-late-game quality gear, but it requires a high investment and you'll need to survive with quite low Melee and Evasion for a longish while.

Without spending on Gloves of the Forge, at +11, the best bang for your buck from Expertise is probably Boots of Speed and Helm of Brilliance. Little else that low in Armoursmithing really benefits from Expertise except in the turn count.

(I note that at 11-12, you can really go to town making Stealth gear: a Robe of Stealth +3 is 11, Boots +2 are 10, a Cloak +2 is 12. +7 Stealth is substantial).

There are many many other possibilities.

A lower investment, giving you 1800 XP to spend elsewhere, would be just Armoursmith and Enchantment; that gives you a Mail Corslet of Venom's End, Round Shield of Nogrod, and a Helm of Clarity; this blanks a wide array of nasty effects and provides 4-13 protection. Alternatively a Mail Corslet of Protection, a 1d4 Round Shield of Frost and Greaves of Free Action gives you 4-16 protection along with protection from fire and free action.

I would be tempted to spend on 3 Melee and Evasion as you have been doing, and keep much of your XP floating until you reach the forge, spending it if it looks like you'll get into trouble. Even if you reach it with just 600 XP to grab Armoursmith, you'll have 7 points to spend, which gets you decent studded leather [-1, 1d6], a [+1, 1d3] round shield and [+1, 1d1] boots, and you can save your second skill for a future forge when you're in better shape.

3b) will help a bit, but here's more specific advice on the very early levels.

Pick up daggers, spears and throwing axes so you can weaken foes at range.
Fight in corridors, don't get surrounded. If you're going to be surrounded, retreat to a corridor.
If there are lots of enemies in a room, go the other way unless you have to cross it to find the stairs.
Getting some kind of armour aids survivability a lot. Search skeletons.
Closed doors block the wolves, birds and spiders you'll meet on the early levels.
Antidote is a common early potion drop. Murky brown potions are always Orcish Liquor and can heal you.
'S' puts you into stealth mode. If you stick close to the walls and stay in stealth mode, even with 2 Dex and no points in Stealth, many enemies won't even notice you're there.

4) I guess I mostly answered this in response to 3a). There are many different approaches.

5) Philip's answer says it all really.

6) Power is popular with quite a few skilled players. Finesse works well with Subtlety, but this is strongest for Stealth builds. Knock Back I don't personally find useful but some players love it. Polearm Mastery does combo with Focused attack in Perception, but I think it might benefit from a buff. (Proficiency gives +1, so Mastery should surely give +2). Charge is quite good with many dice weapons. Follow-through is not that strong, but opens up Opportunist in Stealth, which is both strong itself and opens up Rapid Attack.

In general though it's often good to invest in skills sparingly until adding more Melee and Evasion gets expensive.
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