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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Strats for different characters?

    Just picked up this game and have played it twice now. Some of the characters have left me wondering how you're supposed to do anything with them. Durkon is pretty straight forward once you get a few schticks out (defend against everything and murderize undead in the face) and Roy gets asked for help tons and can kill stuff on attack easy. Elan, though, seems almost incapable of killing anything on his own, and so can't get experience for schticks, which leads to be underpowered. Especially when other people are wiping out whole stacks of monsters and getting a schtick every turn. Or Belkar who is so reliant on attacking, but you only get to attack if you happen to start in a room with monsters. Which is hard when people can easily move into a room and wipe them all out. So, what are some strategies people have found for different characters?

    Also, how come Haley's Longbow adds defense when boosted? Seems like it should add attack so that you can actually kill stuff at range. As is it's much better to move in and take advantage of sneak attack or straight defending.
    Tali avatar by the talented Thormag.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
    PePe QuiCoSE's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Strats for different characters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sholos View Post
    So, what are some strategies people have found for different characters?

    Also, how come Haley's Longbow adds defense when boosted? Seems like it should add attack so that you can actually kill stuff at range. As is it's much better to move in and take advantage of sneak attack or straight defending.
    Basically every character has a good reason to make other people's fight hard so they ask for assistance.
    Elan can get lots of points by always getting asked for help since with his Bard Song he can give ridiculous bonus (people usually want to give you this loot to you). Plus people like asking him for help since he is not a threat. Play in character, go around being goofy, following the strong chars but make sure to give them a strong monster (but that they can kill). When the game ends, you'll be swimming on loot, it's not rare for him to win this way.
    Belkar wants to be just behind the meat shield. With his Leaping Attack he can attack in "range" from the beginning of the game. Sure it's only 1 monster per attack, but it can start his XPs to get shticks. He wants people to fail battles and threaten people into asking him for assistance or get attacked. He is strongest early and it's stronger the threat of the attack than attacking players itself. So basically he works best when people don't play to their max strengths just because he is around.
    In general both Elan and Belkar (as Durkon) want a long dungeon, with far apart stairs so their strengths are active during more time.

    As you can see all these are more tips on how to play the character within a given group more than what is a strong strategy. But that's pretty much what the game is about. I find that the hardest char to play though is Vaarsuvius who wants to do a bit of everything: stay around, get asked for help and kill lots of Monsters (who other pops up for hir).
    V, Roy want a shorter game, since they excel at killing stuff, so they want a straight line of stairs to Xykon's lair.

    About Haley, mechanically her longbow works better in defense since she can use it to fight monsters. Sneak Attack and Swipe are her main attacks.
    In general Haley is fine with any kind of dungeon, since she goes stealing (or drawing extra) loot and can fight the good fight.

    So yeah, basically the best strategy for each character is play them in character .
    solo tú sabes bien quien soy y por eso es tuyo mi corazón
    AKA Yakkul

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
    Hamiltonz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Strats for different characters?

    There are so many ways to play that questions like this are hard to answer.

    Mostly, when someone says that one character is unplayable, or that another character is unbeatable, it's just an indication that the person speaking doesn't now how to play more than one style. It's like saying Rock is over powered because it always beats Scissors, and that Paper is useless because Scissors always beats Paper.

    The game is well written and well balanced. Each character has it's strengths and weaknesses. You need to play to the strength of your character. If a given style of play is not working for you then change the way you are playing. Half of the fun is finding out what works.

    General tips:
    • plan to rest
      • judge how costly fleeing will be against the expected reward of attacking while wounded. Accept that attacking that 'easy kill' may not be wise; especially when you only have one or two wounds left.
      • don't use up all of your flipable attack shticks early without a plan to get them back.
      • always have a 'retreat room' to fall back to. This can be a room that will become free to rest in in the future. Beware though that this 'pro move' can backfire and get you killed.
    • plan when to ask for help
      • having automatic kills (or nearly automatic) might be great for this battle, but don't sacrifice future battles for an easy win. Try to spread out the risk evenly (i.e. it's better to win two out of three battles than to always win the first of three, then lose the next two).
      • don't be the first to descend to the new level unless you know you can handle fighting alone. Realize that it may take awhile for others to follow you down. Resting is very important when you are by yourself.
    • know what you are fighting
      • fight the entire stack not just the top monster. In other words don't keep fighting if you don't know if you can take them all out. It's better to be in a room that someone else cleared than to be the one that almost cleared the room. This is even more important when playing with 5 or 6 people, especially when everyone is traveling together because the loot will all be gone before your next turn.
      • check if you can even attack the other monsters in the stack. Cleave is useless against monsters with Impervious when all you have is the Greenhilt Sword.
    • loot is extremely important
      • always steal take loot that is laying on the ground.
      • even useless loot to you is preventing someone else from getting any benefit from it.
      • loot that boosts one of your shticks is worth attacking another player for...I'm just saying...
      • if you budget your loot well you can always have a [75%] or better chance to kill every monster you fight (3 in 12 or better). Fighting fewer monsters, but killing more on average is the goal here.
      • remember you can offer any loot, not just loot with the other character's face on it. This only gives you a bonus when giving loot to Elan while he has Bard Song in play, but that is not the only reason to give loot away. There IS such a thing as good Karma. Avoid giving away loot with more than one of your faces on it as well as loot with someone else's face as those tend to never come back to you.
      • NEVER turn in loot for shticks. (The only exception is when you are stalled i.e. stuck on a higher level because you don't have enough sticks to fight on the level that everyone else is fighting on.)

    Character tips:
    • Elan
      • NEVER FIGHT ALONE. Always be on the same level as others.
      • Always steal take loot off the ground that others leave behind.
      • always REST if you can take TWO loot cards. People will wait for you to wake up to give you 'Bard Song' loot.
      • never refuse to help others. Never choose the shtick that drops it's bonus when you help others (unless you never plan to help others again, it happens in some cut-throat games, roll with it).
      • remember that your shticks give you amazing bonuses later in the game. Don't sweat the early game
      • take the easy kills
      • linger in rooms that other people are fighting in. Grab loot when they clear the room.
    • Durkon
      • always choose to enter new rooms when possible
      • use armor only when you cant win
      • choose multiple attack shticks when possible (i.e. grab Lightning instead of another Hammer shtick)
      • Rest often, but only for good reasons. You should be taking a lot of damage but you should not be using Cure on yourself unless you are going to get it right back from resting.
      • USE What Would Thor Do, to prevent losing the really good Screw This cards. It is possible to build up a one hit kill on Zykon (even against wandering Zykon) with the right set of cards. Other characters can only do this if they are extremely lucky. For this reason alone WWTD is probably the most powerful card in the game.
    • Haley
      • grabbing loot takes precedence over everything else.
      • if the shtick lets you look at the loot stack or it lets you take one extra loot always take it before any other shtick. Take the 'extra loot' shtick if you have to choose between them.
      • never fight at range. How are you going to take the loot if you aren't in the room when the monster dies?
      • never give loot away unless it will gain you more loot overall. Early on this means giving loot away to gain kills shticks that will gain you more loot later...see how that works...
      • did I mention loot? If you don't end up with more loot than everyone else you are not playing Haley right.
    • Vaarsuvius
      • think "glass cannon" and you can't go wrong
      • it's not uncommon for V to use all of it's attack shticks while clearing out a single room.
      • don't sweat that after clearing a room everyone steals takes the loot you just sent to the room. Remind yourself that you are gaining X's much faster than they are. Rub this in their face for fun. Watch as they play their characters 'wrong' trying to keep up with you. Laugh quietly or they will catch on to the subtle ways of 'magic'.
      • you cannot take on Zykon all by yourself. Live with it.
      • magic missile is a defensive spell. Fireball is an offensive spell. Basically MM gets you in the room, FB clears it. Lightning is what you use in between to soften up the stack. It is very important that you clear the room when you attack. Half measures [Yoda_voice]lose you the game it does, yes[/Yoda_voice].
    • Roy
      • Kill anyone that breaks your sword (unless you are a 'nice guy' or are REALLY staying in character). Remember when the sword is broken new sword shticks still just boost the now broken sword. Hey, maybe you should take at least one copy of that magic bag shtick, just in case.
      • helping people lets you unflip one of YOUR shticks or heal one of YOUR wounds.
      • Flipping other people's shticks is just plain mean, but not if they broke your sword, then it's "Karma" and you are just the vehicle of it's delivery or some such babble. That and if they are Belkar, everyone picks on Belkar, why should you be left out.
      • cleavage is awesome. Don't listen to other players complain about how unfair it is, because it isn't. After dozens and dozens of games I can attest that once Roy has all of his shticks being able to clear a room just generates loot for everyone else. Being able to gain shticks 'a little bit faster' really doesn't help all that much in the long run, but it makes the end game much less boring, trust me. Roy's job is to clear out he weeds blocking the way to the jungle temple, and everyone benefits from that path being clear.
    • Belkar
      • never play Belkar
      • Okay, sometimes you have to play Belkar. Like when there are six people and no one wants to sit out for several hours while everyone else has fun
      • Also, IF everyone starts attacking each other THEN Belkar is actually the best character in the game. On the other hand if ONLY Belkar is attacking people, well, then Belkar has to play on his own level to avoid retaliation, and everyone else likes it that way.
      • Belkar is the only character that can attack from distance and still pick up treasure after the kill, because he moves into the room AFTER the attack (even if he loses). People get this wrong, a lot. Also they get wrong the fact that Belkar cannot continue fighting because he just attacked from range, combat over, move along, nothing to see here.
      • I have to admit I don't play Belkar so I have no 'pro tips' on how to win with him, sorry.

    Your mileage may vary...

    [Edit: I forgot about V's Raven picking up treasure from a distance, but then again even V forgets about the Raven. Honestly I think I've only used the Raven once EVER to pick up a treasure that way.]
    [Edit: math is hard, changed 25% to 75%]
    Last edited by Hamiltonz; 2012-07-19 at 10:36 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Giant in the Playground Administrator
    The Giant's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Philadelphia, PA

    Default Re: Strats for different characters?

    I don't think I could give better tips than those, honestly. Generally, we designed each character to play like their personality, so if you just try to muscle through with Elan, you'll probably lose.

    For Belkar, the best thing I can say is that different gaming groups will have different opinions based on how amenable to player vs. player conflict they are. If everyone in your group has an unspoken agreement that it's "not cool" to kick each other while they're down, then yeah, Belkar is going to be subpar. If you play a more cutthroat style where it's seen as just good tactics to, say, attack a player while he's resting, then Belkar is a lot more useful.
    Rich Burlew

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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Strats for different characters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sholos View Post
    Roy gets asked for help tons
    He shouldn't, any more than anyone else. If this were Munchkin, where his strength in his own battles is what he would add to yours, then he'd be a great assistant. But since assistance is based only on the value of Loot given away, Roy isn't special here.

    Elan, though, seems almost incapable of killing anything on his own, and so can't get experience for schticks, which leads to be underpowered.
    He's definitely weak in the beginning, and on average he doesn't measure up to most of the others in the monster-bashing department, but he has advantages in other areas, as others have said. Also, if you're very lucky with your shtick and loot draws (Conscience Angel, boosted X-Treme Diplomacy, Chain Shirt, Megaphone), he becomes tremendously powerful with a non-flipping defense score of 8. I've beaten Roy in a two-player game this way.

    Or Belkar who is so reliant on attacking, but you only get to attack if you happen to start in a room with monsters.
    You might make a house rule that Belkar can continue to fight additional monsters in the same room after moving due to Leaping Attack. That should let him make more progress when cleaning up other players' scraps.

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