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Character Discussion: Valeros


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#1
snapcall

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Hello everyone, I'm working on a comprehensive guide to all of the Pathfinder characters and wanted to get feedback from the community when I'm wrong or need to revise. This guide is from the perspective of a player who wants to make the best builds for legendary difficulty. I've finished the game, starting on legend, with three different parties. In case you were wondering, I gave it a lot of thought and my parties were:

 

Valeros Merisiel Lini Seoni 

Amiri Sajan Lem Kyra

Seelah Harsk Ezren

 

Before I begin, I want to give credit to jolyonb on these forums. He has made three character guides that helped me a ton when I was first starting out. He seems to have stopped making them though :(

 

Brief Intro to Legendary Difficulty and Team-Building

 

I'll probably include this part in the guide. Basically legendary difficulty gets pretty hard, pretty fast. For the most challenging gameplay experience, I like to start my parties at legend fresh out of the gate. The early levels are manageable but the game starts getting really tough in AD5. Thassilonian Sins, in particular, is one of the most challenging

 

The biggest challenge in Legendary is the need to roll strong for the end villain balanced against the need to roll strong to close locations with difficult checks. As a result, every party requires a very strong combat finisher. In general, you will need Valeros, Merisiel, Amiri, or Seelah for this task. The other characters get quite weak in the later levels for the real tough fights. You also need strong, balanced stats across the group since each character will head to their favored location. And finally, having mechanisms for scouting the end boss (so that you can temporarily close locations and end the map early) are very important.

 

I'll write more in depth in each character blurb but if I was to group the characters into tiers, it would be something like this

 

God Tier: Merisiel (Delay, Evade, Huge Combat Rolls), Seelah (Crusades, high closing rolls, decent combat rolls), Ezren (only strong INT character, gets WIS as well with add-on deck, fast explores, great utility), 

 

Good Tier: Amiri (Huge Combat Rolls, Move Another), Harsk (great teamwork, decent explores), Lini (one of the best characters when developed but way too weak early), Lem (decent utility, versatile, heals)

 

Weak Tier: Valeros (solid but runs out of tricks and is outclassed by the other finishers), Sajan (least favorite character in the game in my opinion), Kyra (healing is overrated in the game, combat liability, slow, not much utility)

 

With that said, let's start a discussion on Valeros.

 



#2
chaosticket

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Valeros is a boring but practical character. Weapons are reusable while spells require a successful roll to not discard them and THEN you can recharge them.

 

#1 Stat dice. For Valeros they are mostly physical, which is a problem as most rolls are actually mental stat dice like Wisdom. Strength D10 is good but not great.

 

#2 Cards. He has few blessings and low growth in them. He has many weapons and armor, more than necessary really. Items and allies are decent, can grow and depending on how many and which ones you can deal with things like traps, non-combat damage, and heal yourself.

 

#3 Powers. Err, he only has one strong power and its one he starts with. He can recharge weapons to your their particular powers. That is more and more useful later as enemies get stronger and discard/recharging weapons for additional dice is more necessary. He can unlock Ranged weapons to used like Melee weapons which is unique. In theory you could gte things like Bane ranged weapons to help alot.

 

Teamwork is too inflexible as it only works in the situation where you have multiple characters in one location when youre SUPPOSED to search through and close locations one character per location until the end.

 

#4 Roles, neither one is hugely useful. I favor the Weapon Master a bit more for higher strength dice from blessings and being able to use Ranged Weapons on Valeros.

 

Overall I would have like more blessings and less weapons. Who needs 5-8 weapons when youre revealing or recharging them each turn? One of his powers is great, but the others are meh.


Edited by chaosticket, 16 February 2017 - 03:36 PM.


#3
Kinesia

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With Valeros I found ranged weapons helped a lot. Usually he still has a melee weapon to use properly (because he has so many weapons), so he can recharge all his ranged weapons to assist other characters. This is especially good with the flaming shortbow since giving people Fire is often handy. (And now the Ornate Crossbow to give Magic reliably, the other needed one.)

When starting he can use the ranged weapons himself until he draws one of his normal weapons. Using him on the Garrison (His most regular first stop) he can recharge on the Bandit to clear up things blocking his hand and help him get to what he needs. So for me his teamwork really comes from the types of weapons he has, not his powers. (Those I admit he doesn't use much early game.)



#4
chaosticket

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I dont  think I would use any ranged weapons on him before he gets to Weapon Master and has the feat that allows him to use his Melee skill. Before that he just has a d8 dexterity die compared to a D10+3+(0-4) melee.

 

Later he could use Ranged weapons equal to melee ones and be able to use their support abilities without discarding. It wouldnt be great but it would at least give him some extra support use.


Edited by chaosticket, 18 February 2017 - 05:44 PM.


#5
Eumaios

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Some of the *toughest* locations later on legendary stick the party together. That harshes Harsk's buzz, but really lets Val shine. Meanwhile, how many multiples do you need to kill the boss? If Val kills him twice over, is that inferior to Amiri killing him five times? ...And Amiri, to get those awesome rolls, will be burying cards. Val suffers less attrition to get enough to push him over the edge. Note, I'm talking legendary. That really balances things other than combat. Val's diplomacy really falls short in later scenarios, but his teamwork pumped to max makes a killing machine out of his comrades in the tight spots where they're screwed if they don't stick together. ...Or forced to do so. Meanwhile, Amiri doesn't shine because she can overkill the bad guys. She's not even all that for movement, even on legendary. She shines because when you need that really big roll for something physical, she can pull out all the stops to get it.

Meanwhile, if you set up a lot of party dynamics, there are only a couple of people who have a hard time with combat rolls. I still think Lem is worth it, but the runt isn't all that great at offensive, even chucking spells at the baddies.

#6
chaosticket

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If you compare characters I would put Lem higher on the list. Note this isnt basing on later adventures on legendary so experiences may vary.

 

Valeros is a combat specialist. He has miniminal blessings, location closing  is pretty much stuck to "fight monster", and his support ability is stuck mostly to whatever allies and items you can get. He is strong at fighting(der) but doesnt even get into any kind of secondary function. Closest you can get it extra items and allies for utility.

 

Lem has strengths in most area Valeros lacks, but can also fight. a D8(+0-3) Dexterity for ranged checks is alot worse than Valeros D10+3(+0-4), so its more of a backup to deal with weak monsters while the big ones get offense spells like Holy light and Lightning Bolt. When Lem gets Solo Performance at tier 4 then he adds more to combat making them closer and making Lem much better at at what Valeros lacks. Its a question of Valeros' specialization versus Lem's versatility.

 

Amiri, well I almost never find a good time to use Barbarian Rage. She is too close to Valeros in terms of functions. I like Valeros recharging weapons A LOT better. I can see her real strength being in Move Fast/Another to "taxi" other characters around, but also in "Our Lord in Iron" making her far more versatile with 6 blessings giving d12s to ANY stat.

---------------------

Anything you can do to Valeros after a point is really just there to increase his utility. Thats not bad, but its means Card Feats and new equipment are more important than possible SKill or Power Feats decisions


Edited by chaosticket, 22 February 2017 - 06:42 AM.


#7
Nathan Davis

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Whenever I make an antimagic party, Val is my mental stat guy. Amiri, Harsk, and even Meri can cover Wisdom scores, but Val is where I beef up Intelligence and Charisma. Someone needs to close those locations! Sajan can kind of do those as well, but he's more reliant on Dex bonuses and like the others, he is a better Wis guy. I also tend to give him a number of items in this situation. In an antimagic crew, he's my versatility!

#8
Eumaios

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Val's diplomacy is actually pretty nifty until you get to locations where the d6 just doesn't cut it anymore. That's not until later decks, though. Even then, he's got a decent chance to roll for allies.

There's an excellent reason to take Val over someone like Seelah (whom I'll admit is simply miles ahead in terms of mechanics) and Amiri (whom I would suggest isn't tremendously better and in some circumstances isn't as good) or even Sajan (who just sucks):

Sajan is a monk, so unless he's brewing the beer or stomping the grapes, I don't want him around.

Seelah wants to die for a cause, and I'm not keen on rushing towards it with quite the same fervor.

Amiri is a great sulking glowering beast who looks at every man as if she's considering when she want to chop off his head.

Val is the only one of the bunch who'll throw down a pint or two with you and might just have your back in a tavern brawl the he didn't start in the first place. [quick look towards Amiri]

But, Harsk, yeah, that little dude's great, but he'd rather be working than be in the tavern, which puts him out of the running straight away.

I'd even put Val ahead of Meri for that reason except that she's got that quasi- homo-erotic thing going with Kyra. If Kyra herself weren't so useless, we'd get to see that more often. Someone said that healing isn't all that big in the game. I disagree. Especially the last scenario with six people. Burying a card every turn means you need to keep your deck full. The irony is that Kyra's sad skill that makes her lose an explore to heal might not be so bad in a location where you really need to pick your battles carefully anyway.

Edited by Eumaios, 23 February 2017 - 11:33 AM.


#9
chaosticket

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Oh yes, Sajan. I dont know why people say he is terrible. In terms of raw combat ability he has the most blessings that he recharges for combat checks. He can beat basically anything. For him weapons are weaker but more only need to be revealed. He has plenty of item slots for things like healing items. He never learns spells and his roles are rather weak so there's that that.

 

I didnt know anyone until this point who actually based anything in the card game about Roleplayng.



#10
TheSapient

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I didnt know anyone until this point who actually based anything in the card game about Roleplayng.

 

I have a few parties that carry around a Charmed Red Dragon.  It never gets played, because I don't want to lose it.  I sometimes choose between similar armors based on how they look.



#11
Eumaios

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In a game where any group will do okay, why not base our preferences on the in-game interplay and roleplayerish things? I don't dig Sajan, but I'm certain he shines in someone else's deck just fine. With so many paths to victory, just follow the one with view you like best. There's no need to take the freeway unless you just really want to get there faster.

#12
Yorien

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Oh yes, Sajan. I dont know why people say he is terrible. In terms of raw combat ability he has the most blessings that he recharges for combat checks. He can beat basically anything. For him weapons are weaker but more only need to be revealed. He has plenty of item slots for things like healing items. He never learns spells and his roles are rather weak so there's that that.

 

I didnt know anyone until this point who actually based anything in the card game about Roleplayng.

 

Sajan kicks asses and chews bubblegum all over the place. For me is probably the strongest character for solo play if you don't mind clearing everything thrown at you.

 

With a decent mix of Erastil's and supportive blessings you just recharge several to unload a pile of dices on any combat that requires a single check to beat and move on to the next bane, this allows you to equip supportive items (specially the "recharge to beat" ones, Masterwork tools, Chime of opening, Crown of Charisma...) to deal with most non-combat banes, with maybe the help of a support blessing (one that grants 2 dice on specific rolls) here and there.  Since Sajan can cycle his hand extremely fast, if you have a decent mix of blessings you can almost always ensure you have the one that you need when closing a location that requires a specific check.

 

Sajan main weakness early on is that he requires the amulet of MF to beat enemies that require the Magic Trait, at least unltil you upgrade his punch to add the trait by itself (and you'll usually prefer to initially increase hand size instead, more blessings or an extra item = more oomph and easier runs).



#13
DrDior

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On Sajan.....
I have played every (11) character through legendary deck 6. Looking for more gameplay, I decided to develop Sajan as a bow master instead of a drunken uncle.
I must say, I've been pleasantly surprised. I partnered an inexperienced Sajan with a fully decked Seelah, giving him over strength weapons and items from other characters.
In one day, that duo flew through b, 1, 2, 3 and 4. The only replay was the dam (almost a random quest for that duo).
I believe that Sajan may be even stronger with deck 6 ranged equipment. And then, his array of support blessings is massive.
I always thought that rechargeable healing was a limited bonus. I really like the bow master setup.




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