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Old February 14, 2016, 04:33   #1
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Request: Early Build advice

I am new to Sil, its very different than other games and Roguelikes, but it looks very interesting! I would like to request some of the more experienced players to lay out some "effective" builds. I imagine that there are alot of other newbies that would appreciate these sorts of builds as Sil is a very complex game and has free form skill builds (and as far as I'm aware there isn't anything like this, at least, not in one place). I'm interested in early game advice and tips only. What I mean by that is, that I would prefer to figure out the general playstyle myself, but getting the starting stats and skills right is a little overwhelming. Its also fairly hard to figure out whats "viable" to get early, and whats worth building towards. So what I would like to see is something like:
  • Build name.
  • The point of the build (Like dex/ accuracy based melee, the end goal of the build, be brief).
  • Early stat and exp location, what to build at the first forge or two if applicable.
  • How to play the early game in general, give some tips for how to play Stealth or Singers for example. Try not to spoil everything about it though.
  • I don't want to see builds only made for beginners. If theres a small change for a build that makes it more suitable for beginners and gives it early survivability then just say as such.

That sort of format, feel free to change it however you wish, its just the best way I could think of to convey my thoughts simply. I would prefer this to be focused on the early game. If someone wants to give mid, or late game advice I would prefer for it to be elsewhere as it ruins some of the fun for me. I would love it if every reasonable build was listed, even less viable ones, or ones unsuited for newbies (like Stealth pacifist). Thanks for any advice!
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Old February 14, 2016, 09:18   #2
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Let me offer three builds:

* Hunter
* Stealth + archery: pick your battles and engage targets at distance
* Balanced stats (e.g. 2/4/4/4)
* Notable abilities: Disguise, Weaponsmithing (for arrows), Sprinting, Focus, Concentration, Listen + Flaming Arrows to engage armoured targets
* Equipment: start with longbow, you can graduate to a good shortbow / dragonhorn bow for larger criticals later
* Start: a bit melee at start helps, either take versatility or put 3-4 points into it

* Military / intimidation archer
* Archery + fear: pick your battles by inducing fear and engage targets at distance
* Notable abilities: Song of Elbereth, Majesty + good light sources, typical archery / archery-aiding abilities
* Start: again a bit melee helps

* Lullaby singer (aka Luthien)
* Only needs dexterity and grace.
* Walk to Morgoth unnoticed and pick up a Silmaril / both possible as pacifist or with opportunist archery on easier targets
* Notable abilities: Song of Lorien, Disguise, Listen, Vanish
* Equipment: collect a weapon able to cut a Silmaril (Angrist is best, both for feeling true to lore and for cutting)
* Note: needs perception otherwise a random trap going off will alert a dozen enemies you are ill-equipped to fight

Last edited by taptap; February 14, 2016 at 09:37.
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Old February 14, 2016, 11:10   #3
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Newbie Fingolfin
To hit dudes
3353 stats, 6 melee, 6 evasion to start. Only level melee and evasion until ~500'. After that take Dodging and Flanking.
Just hit dudes. Use corridors to take on foes one at a time until you are sufficiently buff to dance with flanking.
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Old February 14, 2016, 12:11   #4
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The above build pretty much. In general, the question isn't "what ability should I take" but rather "is this ability better than another point in evasion/melee"? Also remember that the "true" cost of any ability is the cost of the last ability you take in that paticular tree. For a point-by-point guide, my preferred build is:

*3353 Fingolfin
*5 Melee, 5 Evasion, 4 Smithing + Jewelsmith
*Make +1 Evasion/Accuracy rings and a Lesser Jewel (opens up inventory space) at the first forge. Additional forges are used to id "useless" jewelry for xp and eventually a pair Feanorian Lamps once you find mithril to melt.
*Only buff melee/accuracy until you have 8 or so of each.
*Then get up to 6 stealth, Assassination and Opportunist. This is a great quality-of-life ability in general and makes dealing with Archers less of a chore. Even this modest stealth investment will also make it easier to avoid stuff at a distance and sometimes stab unwary critters (eg Dragons) later on.
*Then go back to buffing melee and evasion for pretty much the entire game. Once you start encountering Wights you might want to buff Will up to hardiness (for the "free" ability and avoiding stat drain), once you encounter Sulraukar buff perception up to Keen Senses and eventually Rauko-Bane (this is enough to spot all invisibles enough of the time). I usually end up buffing will to the con point, but this is a low priority compared to more raw attack/dodge numbers.
*Dodge/Flanking once you have 10-12 melee/evasion (fighting in corridors will trap you as you enter cat/kemenrukar territory). Either Power or Finesse/Subtlety once you find an artifact weapon you like enough to build around (look for sharp weapons in general). Eventually get Follow-Through, Momentum and Strength if your weapon supports it (most do).
*Get Song of Slaying shortly before entering the throne room. It's situational, but the endgame has a few of those situations guaranteed. Rapid Attack sometimes shine here as well but pretty much needs you to use strength potions in order to penetrate armor consistently.

There are a few variations on the goodstuff builds; eg you can get Opportunist by way of Follow-Through rather than Assassination to save (but the occasional +10 stab is worth 1000 xp imo).

Smithing is wholly optional but pays for itself early on (the +1 rings usually hold up down to 5-600' or so), makes inventory management more bearable since you can ditch torches and ID junk jewelry early (and wearing a hunger ring allows you to start id'ing herbs earlier as well), and easier access to Lamps gets important later on. Well worth 1500 xp imo.

Archery is a good alternative to stealth/opportunist for killing flitterers and fleeing enemies. Usually I only get Flaming Arrows and eventually the Dexterity point for moar accuracy/evasion.

Songs are too situational to be of use, sadly. Song of the Trees is a good alternative to the smithing splash in order to guarantee some light midgame, Lorien is useful for stealthy characters and Slaying gets good in the endgame. Mastery is for the most part a trap option for "optimal" smiths.
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Old February 14, 2016, 12:27   #5
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Slight variant on the above (nikheizen's), sacrifice 1 starting melee & evasion to start with 5 will & clarity. Good will saves against a bunch of annoying criters, stops trolls stunning you, makes murky brown potions a lot more useful.

Here's a trickier build: a polearm assassin. Details are for a feanorian artifact smith, but it's easier to do with a finarfin without smithing or just plain weapon smithing.
The point: Fun alternative to light weapon assassins. Polearms bigger damage dice require less criticals, so smaller melee outlay.
Start: 1/5/4/4, 4 in melee, 4 in evasion, 1 in stealth/perception/will. You'll need to clear 50' & part of 100' for 7 smithing + weaponsmith/enchantment.
1st Forge: Gondolin Greatspear, Longbow of radiance, dagger/quaterstaff or curved sword of doriath.
Key abilities: Focused attack, polearms mastery, assassination (charge + disguise will also work)

You're very weak till the 1st forge. Walls & doors are your stealthy friends. After the 1st forge pretty much terrorise any orcs & trolls, use the doriath weapon to warn against sword spiders & stay above easterling depth till you've fixed either melee/evasion or stealth. Concentrate on 1 or the other, I like stealth 1st but melee/evasion is more solid. I'd wait till after 4 stealth for assassination, the extra stealth is more important.
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Old February 14, 2016, 13:08   #6
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Thanks taptap, nikheizen, Infinitum and wobbly! I probably won't reply just to say thanks again to avoid clutter, but the advice is really appreciated!
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Old February 15, 2016, 02:32   #7
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Glaurung, Father of the Dragons says, 'You cannot avoid the ballyhack.'
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Old February 15, 2016, 20:52   #8
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a slight variant on Infinitum's I really like is 3443 Feanor.

the Con for Dex means you have to be a bit more careful in early game, but it's a good trade by late game. And you can get Jeweler for free.

two neat things about Jeweler and light that might not be obvious:
--) lesser jewels still give light when they're on the floor. this is great when you need that one extra point of light intensity to see something, e.g. if you're fighting shadow spiders with just a lantern.
--) +0 grace amulets of the blessed realm are reasonably easy to make and probably the best amulets you can get until ones with actual stat bonuses start dropping in the lower depths.
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Old February 16, 2016, 09:59   #9
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Originally Posted by debo View Post
Obligatory: make MORE of these vids
PWMAngband variant maintainer - check (or to learn more about this new variant!
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Old February 18, 2016, 08:55   #10
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another useful ability for taptap's "hunter" build is song of elbereth. very cheap. very effective. i wouldn't consider myself experienced though; i haven't won yet. so take that how you will.
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