Jump to content

Recommended Posts

@Alesia: your impression with Ciphers is pretty much close to mine (I've ran a main character Cipher once and had Grieving Mother another run). I barely used beam spells (it's quite a chore to micro them) and mostly shoot with bow/wand/scepter, building focus for crowd control/defensive spells. I like a general concept of a class though and think it would shine in multiclassed character in PoE2.

Edited by Serg BlackStrider
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding PoEII - while I normally would prefer to have the challenge in a single thread, in his case, opening another one for PoEII seems like a very good idea to me, simply because there's so much more traffic in the PoEII forums, so starting another thread there is bound to get our little no-reload group a lot more attention, which could lead to some new players joining the challenge.

 

 

I wrestled with this when I started the challenge. The options were to open a single thread in the PoE II forums or open two threads, one in the PoE forums first and then another in the PoE II forums later. I decided to start here, in the PoE forums, because I wanted our challenge to get off on the right foot, with a friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere. We BG no reloaders take that for granted, but it is the exception, not the norm, in gaming forums.

 

If we were to start small -with a high proportion of people familiar with the BG no reload challenge norms- I was confident that we'd successfully recreate the atmosphere that we've all come to love. It was less obvious to me that we'd succeed in that if the initial proportion of BG NR vets was lower. I'm happy with that decision. The atmosphere is great here- like the BG challenge- and we've managed to garner enough views to entertain people and attract new entrants. It has worked. We've done well.

 

When we do open the PoE II thread, I'd like a group of us to make the transition to PoE II together. I'd like to have at least 3, preferably more, ready to start at the same time. We should strive to put on a good show, but also to establish a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Community norms are subtle but powerful modulators of behavior. We should strive to leverage that effect while also being mindful of how it could turn to against us. Precedent and numbers matter. 

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like a general concept of a class though and think it would shine in multiclassed character in PoE2.

 

I'd love to try a cipher/rogue. The synergy there seems great. Sneak Attack/Deathblows-> Focus; Escape + Shadowing Beyond + Beam spells. Now we're talking!

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I could write an essay on how awesome ciphers are. I think biggest issue people who are new to the class have is that they play them like a wizard and are then puzzled why their cipher is not as effective as a wizard.

 

Very briefly, a wizard has a bunch of spells (per rest) that they get to cast and which are refreshed on the next rest.

 

A cipher does not have a set number of spells, you instead have to generate focus (weapon damage) to cast more. The advantage is that you are not restricted on how many spells of each level you can cast - or rather the only restriction is how much damage you can do. Resting is irrelevant. But the downside is you cannot cast if you don’t have the focus to cast.

 

So very simply it all boils down to generating focus, and that means your cipher needs to be able to inflict weapon damage. If he/she can, you have a very effective character. If not, the cipher is baggage.

 

How to do lots of weapon damage is a longer story, but I’ll just point out a couple of things:

 

1) You have soul whip (+20% damage) automatically and you can take biting whip (another +20%). That means you are at +40% damage already, which is almost on a par with a sneak attack rogue, except it happens all the time, you don’t even need an affliction to enable it.

 

2) Certain afflictions (e.g. paralyse or stun) make opponents virtually defenceless (from a REF and DEF perspective) and if you attack them you can do tons of damage very quickly. More damage = more focus. And which class has tons of crowd control abilities, including a level 2 power that paralyses for a long duration? Cipher. There is a huge virtuous circle from crowd control —> damage —> focus —> more crowd control —> more damage —> more focus etc.

 

3) More to the above, the Cipher loves groups where you have weak enemies as well as strong enemies. You get to do a load of damage on the weak enemies that gives you the focus to attack the strong enemies. In other words, look for and target opponents who have low DEF or who are disabled to build your focus to take on the stronger enemies.

 

4) Once you have focus, the cipher has the widest range of offensive powers imaginable, including several sources of raw damage, as well as a range of crowd control options that target different defences, so you can target your opponent’s weaknesses.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I could write an essay on how awesome ciphers are. I think biggest issue people who are new to the class have is that they play them like a wizard and are then puzzled why their cipher is not as effective as a wizard.

 

Very briefly, a wizard has a bunch of spells (per rest) that they get to cast and which are refreshed on the next rest.

 

A cipher does not have a set number of spells, you instead have to generate focus (weapon damage) to cast more. The advantage is that you are not restricted on how many spells of each level you can cast - or rather the only restriction is how much damage you can do. Resting is irrelevant. But the downside is you cannot cast if you don’t have the focus to cast.

 

Thank you for your perspective, Jaheiras Witness!

 

I get that, but A) wizards can cast faster, since they don't have to waste time generating focus- wizard casting times also seem quicker, in most cases; B) wizards spells tend to be equally powerful or more powerful, at comparable levels; C) I've yet to encounter a fight that could outlast a wizard book. So the cipher advantage reduces to per encounter ability fights, rest restriction runs and, perhaps, beam use- at least at lower levels, that is.

 

I could imagine a cipher having a comparative advantage at high levels, on account of the ability to cast high level spells repeatedly, but I suspect that a well managed team of wizard/druids//priest could end the vast majority of fights (possibly all fights) before that potential advantage could become manifest. 

 

I remain unconvinced, basically, although I could be swayed. I'd love to see a demonstration in the context of a caster heavy party run.

 

Best,

 

A. 

 

EDIT: Maybe I will go ahead with a cipher run, just to see for myself.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, everyone! Arcadia's posts are almost finished now. It's time for me to start a new run. Here are some options. Let me know what you'd like to see!

 

1) Arcadia Revisited. Arcadia's run started off well, and ended well with a nearly damage free Thaos fight,  but coverage and play both slipped in the mid-game. I feel her party configuration, two tanks, two wizards, two priests has a lot of potential, and that I only did that potential justice at a few stages of the adventure. I'm tempted to re run her in a no knockout run attempt.

 

2) Arcadia Revisted II, solo. This would be a solo wizard run, on normal.

 

3) Arista, Moon-Godlike Rogue, solo. I have a solo rogue waiting in Defiance Bay. I'm considering continuing her run, but I like the character, and part of me would prefer to wait until I understand rogues better before proceeding. I don't want to get her killed. 

 

4) Alora, human rogue, flexible party, frequent respecs. This would be a party run on PotD, structured like the very first Alesia run on the old, old Bioware forums. Instead of running with a single crew throughout the adventure, Alora would flexibly assemble teams for particular missions, sometimes going solo, sometimes using a small assault sqaud, and sometimes recruiting a full party. No custom NPCs would be allowed. This run would give me a chance to explore the rogue class further before attempting a solo. 

 

5) Alyssa, human cipher. This would be a PotD party run. It would give me a chance to learn the cipher class.

 

6) Alianna, human druid. This would be a PotD party run. It would give me a chance to learn the druid class.

 

Let me know what you'd prefer to see! I'm leaning towards Alora.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not disputing that wizards are powerful, I even had them higher than ciphers in my solo ranking. I was more referring to how to use a cipher (i.e. do NOT use him like a wizard). To pick up on a few of the points:

 

1) Wizards/traditional casters definitely have the edge at the start of fights since they can unleash immediately without needing to accrue focus.

 

2) I don’t agree that wizard spells are more powerful. Even low level cipher spells like the L1 beam or Whispers of Treason are quite a bit more powerful than what a wizard of that level can do. The cipher power list also has more variety than what a wizard (alone) can bring to the table.

 

3) You are right that there are not many fights that can outlast a full spellbook. But one thing to bear in mind for long/hard battles is that a wizard becomes a lot more vulnerable once Arcane Veils are gone, so the limiting factor is not necessarily the spellbook but the 30 seconds or so until both veils are used.

 

4) Resting after every fight is permissible and nothing wrong with it. That’s not how everyone plays though. If you had a balanced party and were resting more occasionally/realistically, then spellcasters who are not reliant on resting would immediately shine more.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Options 2, 3 or 4 for me! I’m eagerly awaiting company on the solo runs, so a solo run or a pathway to a solo run get my vote.

 

Then again, a rogue solo would play so differently to a rogue in a party that I am not sure how much you would learn from 4. So maybe option 2, playing one of the best classes solo is actually better prep for option 3, playing a weak class solo.

 

I am intrigued that you’ve already managed to get solo rogue to Defiance Bay. That’s impressive already! Would be interested to see the build (sword and shield or dual wield?) and what tactics you have used.

 

So I guess I am voting for either option 2 or 3!!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I am intrigued that you’ve already managed to get solo rogue to Defiance Bay.

 

 

It's really easy- easier than with a party. I can show you, if you like, even if I don't run Arista.

 

(The Eothasian temple can be done with stealth. Most of Raedric Hold can be done with stealth + mechanics and some easy one on one battles. The Caed Nua hall can be done with stealth + Shadowing Beyond. Maerwald can be killed with a single use of Shadowing Beyond)

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your perspective once again, Jaherias Witness!

 

1) Wizards/traditional casters definitely have the edge at the start of fights since they can unleash immediately without needing to accrue focus.
 

 

Agreed. And during, in most cases, because they won't need to pause again to re-accumulate focus.

 

 

2) I don’t agree that wizard spells are more powerful. Even low level cipher spells like the L1 beam or Whispers of Treason are quite a bit more powerful than what a wizard of that level can do. The cipher power list also has more variety than what a wizard (alone) can bring to the table.

 

My statement was that they tend to be more powerful or equally powerful, at the same level. There are some exceptions.

 

I would not include Whispers of Treasons among them, however. It's single target and the duration is short-ish. I find that I can get more mileage out of Slicken and Chill Fog. Whispers of Treason, in comparison, is a situational use ability. 

 

The L1 beam is pretty powerful, but then you have the micro-management issue. 

 


3) You are right that there are not many fights that can outlast a full spellbook. But one thing to bear in mind for long/hard battles is that a wizard becomes a lot more vulnerable once Arcane Veils are gone, so the limiting factor is not necessarily the spellbook but the 30 seconds or so until both veils are used.

 

In party play veils needn't be used for the entire fight- only at the times when a wizard is vulnerable, which should be rare. In any case, I don't see any defensive spells on the cipher list that exceed the efficacy of the wizard options, even excluding Arcane Veil.

 

 

 

 4) Resting after every fight is permissible and nothing wrong with it. That’s not how everyone plays though. If you had a balanced party and were resting more occasionally/realistically, then spellcasters who are not reliant on resting would immediately shine more.

 

Agreed. And that, I think, is the cipher's clear, undisputed comparative advantage.

 

I'll note, though, that in Arcadia's run, with a caster heavy party, we never left an area to rest or proffer camping equipment. Resting restrictions would have to be more onerous than even that.

 

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Then again, a rogue solo would play so differently to a rogue in a party that I am not sure how much you would learn from 4. So maybe option 2, playing one of the best classes solo is actually better prep for option 3, playing a weak class solo.

 

My intention would be to let Alora solo much of the content, taking friends along for backup and support when needed. Basically, I could experiment with solo tactics, while having friends to bail me out if and and when I muff things up. I think it would be a good way to prep for a solo run while still NRing.

 

Best,

 

A. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Arcadia, Moon-Godlike Wizard: Undead Raedric

 

Ok! I'm going to finish up coverage of Arcadia's run with a post on undead Raedric. We had faced other content, including a few bounties and, of course, Sun in Shadows, but we were so over-leveled that those fight hardly seem worth covering. I'll cover them, nonetheless, if others would like to see them.

 

This was my first time fighting undead Raedric. It was fun, although we were significantly over-leveled. I'd be interested in hearing what others think the right level for this is.

 

Here's the opening: Pallegina, adra beetle; Raedric, wood beetles; Arcadia, Scroll of Defense; Alikae, Llengrath's; Alena, Shield for the Faithful; Cassia, Prayer Against Treachery. Prayer Against Treachery basically wins this fight.

 

 

kEkJQex.jpg

 

 

In our second round we went with Arcane Veil ->Eldritch Aim for Alikae and Arcadia; Alena, Crowns for the Faithful; Cassia, Prayer Against Fear. We worked in Devotions for the Faithful soon after and added Arcadia's Llengrath's. Raedric's crew opens with some damage spells. That was very nearly all the damage we took in this fight. We fixed that with a quick Holy Radiance cast.

 

 

3vJcM77.jpg

 

 

The wizards start us off with some recently acquired high level spells Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar from Arcadia and Death Ring from Alikae. in retrospect, the Death Ring was poorly timed, but I was eager to see how the spell worked.

 

 

Z8zJwYc.jpg

 

 

The freezing pillar is working nicely. The priest start of with Shinning Beacon, since the backline charging fampyrs have left our allies and foes intermingled. The priests also take their Llengrath's potions, to thwart the fampyrs' with the backline assault.

 

 

JNLs55n.jpg

 

 

Action timing was a bit off in this fight, since I was eager to see things like Death Ring. Belatedly, the wizards adds our standards, Curse of Blackened Sight and Expose Vulnerabilities.

 

 

3xHBOcm.jpg

 

 

Just Raedric left now and, yes: he's in trouble. The warriors end it before our last round of spells land.

 

 

wc93ioy.jpg

 

 

Fin!

 

 

d9TGgMG.jpg

 

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

So, coverage of Arcadia's run is now complete- or at least as complete as it's likely to be. As a reminder, Arcadia's final battle post was submitted earlier, it can be found here:

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/106596-the-pillars-of-eternity-no-reload-challenge/page-31

 

We're now faced with a decision: should Arcadia be submitted for entry on our Honorable Mentions list. Also, should she be allowed to continue on to PoE II.

 

Arcadia's adventure had some high points -and it was my first completed run of both White March and PotD- but I violated my own rule about keeping coverage up to date with progress and I left out certain fights in the mid/late game. The question becomes whether some solid early work and a respectable final fight should redeem my spotty coverage. I'm leaning towards no on that, but I'll let you decide. Yay or nay, everyone!

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd vote for a place in Honorable Mentions. Regular posting should be strongly encouraged, but denying a character a spot on the list is a bit harsh.

 

I'd also vote for Alora the rogue in a party. Better to practice the rogue before undertaking a solo run; it'll make the solo run last longer.

 

I definitely support the idea that we should hold off on the PoE2 thread until we have at least 3 people ready to start simultaneously--and maybe we should open with several posts on the same day, to establish a positive trend early. I should be ready to do so in January.

 

As for ciphers, I'd consider them a very effective class. I worked with ciphers a lot during my "no per-rest abilities" run and found that they have offensive potential that's difficult to match. With Biting Whip and Soul Whip, they have 40% extra base damage to all physical attacks, as @Jaheiras Witness mentioned, which already gives them some of the best damage output in the game. Their Powers make a huge impact in encounters, which I should address individually:

 

1. Whisper of Treason has a short duration, but it also only takes 10 Focus, and can be learned from level 1. A level 3 cipher enters combat with 10 Focus and few enemies have strong Will defenses, so a cipher can charm a single enemy at the start of combat and immediately cause several enemies to attack each other when they would otherwise engage the party, since the charmed critter is closer than the party. That's the key distinction: if you use it early on, it screws with multiple enemies; not just one.

 

2. Antipathetic Field (10 Focus) is very party-unfriendly and isn't always the best option on hand for that reason. However, the damage is substantial and few enemies have extra resistances against corrosion damage. In the few fights where it's safe to use, it can deal much more damage than any spell of similar level, though it does so over time.

 

3. Amplified Thrust (20 Focus) is a key rescue option in certain circumstances. The knockback can break engagement, which lets a threatened character scurry away without risking a disengagement attack. The damage of Amplified Thrust is also extremely high, which helps break through high damage Reduction.

 

4. Mental Binding (20 Focus) is a paralysis effect with an important bonus: it targets Will defenses, which makes it much more reliable than Fetid Caress.

 

5. Puppet Master (30 Focus) has the same benefits as Whisper of Treason, but imposes no stat penalties while it's active, and also lasts 60% longer. I normally prefer Whisper of Treason, since both have the same Accuracy, but Puppet Master is the better option when the cipher's Focus is not at risk of running low.

 

6. Ectopsychic Echo (30 Focus) is, as far as I can tell, by far the best damage spell available anywhere near level 5. It targets the Reflex defense (though at +5 instead of +10, unlike other spells) and deals 20-30 damage per second for 10 seconds. A high-Might, high-Perception cipher can deal over 300 damage to multiple enemies with this spell, and since it hits multiple times, it's not as subject to bad luck (though it does mean damage reduction applies multiple times, which can substantially decrease the damage).

 

The key thing here is that you need an ally who can drag the beam over multiple enemies, and I'm guessing your playstyle, @Alesia_BH, generally involves keeping the enemy together, and very rarely involves sending a lone ally past the enemy wall. The disadvantage is that you isolate one party member from the group and also spend a few seconds having them move around rather than attacking. However, the benefit is worth it: I've routinely found that Ectopsychic Echo can bring entire groups of enemies down to low Endurance while repeatedly interrupting them before it even runs out. I have a lot of practice in dragging beams over enemies due to my experimentation with Agannazar's Scorcher in BG, so others might find it clumsier to use, but Ectopsychic Echo has broken many encounters for me. Few enemies can stand up to it.

 

7. Soul Ignition doesn't deal as much damage as Ectopsychic Echo (90 fire damage over 10 seconds), but since it targets Fortitude instead of Reflex, it's more useful against certain enemies. It also doesn't require any special positioning, unlike Ectopsychic Echo.

 

8. Silent Scream is an 8-second stun effect that also deals high area-effect Raw damage for situations where Ectopsychic Echo would be hobbled by high damage reduction. Both effects target Will, so it's also very reliable.

 

I'm not very familiar with the other cipher spells, since the above have been the ideal options for almost every situation.

 

I don't think the cipher should be compared to a wizard any more than a priest should be compared to a wizard; they occupy different roles. Ciphers are primarily ranged damage dealers with Will-based disablers on the side for special duties. Unarmored and with high Perception, Might, and Dexterity (the Grieving Mother is kind of subpar, in my opinion), they are excellent at pinning down key threats, screwing with enemy functioning via Whisper of Treason, isolating heavy hitters with Mental Binding, bailing out endangered characters with Amplified Thrust, and dealing massive area-effect damage using Ectopsychic Echo. Generating Focus should be fairly simple with Biting Whip, Draining Whip, decent stats, and no armor, and opening with an arbalest or firearm gives them a lot of Focus early on. Targeting low-Deflection critters generates Focus more reliably.

 

Think of them as offensive-oriented archers with Will-base disablers and a high-damage, party-friendly beam spell in the form of Ectopsychic Echo. They're very much nonstandard characters when compared to conventional D&D classes, but they're good at killing stuff.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

 I'm guessing your playstyle, @Alesia_BH, generally involves keeping the enemy together, and very rarely involves sending a lone ally past the enemy wall. 

 

I appreciate that ciphers can be effective.

 

I think it's a playing style issue. I prefer to keep everyone safe, to unload all spells in key battles and focus on action timing. I also don't  sweat the small battles, being content to muddle through the fights that don't matter. Ciphers are less likely to be useful, given that approach: my cipher felt either slow, to the point of irrelevance (if you have multiple ranged casters, all unloading their books and casting as quickly as possible, most fights end very quickly, in game time- too fast for a cipher, reliant of focus building, to keep up) or like a distraction. I found that the beam spells led to sloppy play, although they can certainly be effective.

 

I think the wizard/cipher comparison is fair, to an extent, since they're both primarily ranged damage dealers. To my eye, given my playing style, wizards seem to win that comparison, unless we start considering rest restrictions. I'm sure a cipher could be fun, though, even if they don't seem to fit my play-style. I think I'll try one.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

See lots of mention of ranged ciphers. Perfectly valid, though I prefer melee ciphers. Given the +40% damage from all weapon attacks with Biting Whip, you now have a character with a rogue’s damage output who can unleash best in class crowd control, very damaging spells, and incredible enhancement spells that also weaken the enemy.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

See lots of mention of ranged ciphers. Perfectly valid, though I prefer melee ciphers. Given the +40% damage from all weapon attacks with Biting Whip, you now have a character with a rogue’s damage output who can unleash best in class crowd control, very damaging spells, and incredible enhancement spells that also weaken the enemy.

 

 

That's interesting. In a melee role I could imagine a cipher having a comparative advantage relative to most alternatives, at least from an offensive perspective.

 

Again, I think the thing for me to do is try one.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the value in a melee cipher dual-wielding sabers or what have you, but I think a ranged weapon has better synergy with the class. Ciphers benefit from high Dexterity and low armor because they want to alternate between Powers and normal attacks, and wearing armor, which is fairly important for melee combat, really slows them down. Psychovampiric Shield is long-lasting and strong, but but it's one of the few defensive Powers they have (several of the others can only be used on other party members; not the cipher itself). The cipher's strongest spells are all ranged attacks, so dual-wielding only buys a little more offensive power compared to ranged attacks, while putting the cipher in a level of danger that it's not really well-suited to. Most classes have more defensive options on hand.

 

If the cipher had good support from the party and could fight safely in lighter armor, I can see how it would be useful, but I see their melee role as more akin to rogues: attacking from the sides, preferably on weakened targets, while avoiding engagement with many enemies.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the value in a melee cipher dual-wielding sabers or what have you, but I think a ranged weapon has better synergy with the class.

 

I agree that there would be better synergy between a cipher's abilities and a ranged approach. At the same time, setting aside the beam spells, I suspect that ciphers are trumped at ranged damage dealing by both wizards and druids, absent rest restrictions- flame priests, too, in the late game.

 

I'd be interested in seeing a disabling melee cipher in action.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Alyssa, Wood-Elf Cipher: Introduction

 

Ok, everyone! Meet my new character: Alyssa, Wood-Elf Cipher

 

FVza1ou.jpg

 

Game Version: 3.7.0.1318 with White March I & II

Difficulty: PotD

Settings: Maim Before Death: On; Injuries: On; Expert Mode: OFF 

Mods: None

 
Character Description: Growing up different can be hard in any world. It's even harder on the edges of civilization. When Alyssa's parents, Living Lands colonists, noticed their daughter's unusual abilities, they knew they had a problem. The family kept Alyssa's talents hidden for as long as they could, but when that was no longer possible, they encouraged Alyssa to return to the family's ancestral land of Aedyr. Alyssa offered no protest, but on the day of departure, she silently set off on her own, seeking her fortune on the road- choosing to embrace and explore her abilities, rather run from them. Alyssa knows not what lies ahead -and that frightens her- but she is guided by a quiet confidence in herself and her abilities. She may die, but she believes that exploring who she is -and what she is- is the only hope that she has of ever truly living.
 
Alyssa will be joined by a custom character, a rogue named Alora. Alora is the only custom character I will allow in this run. With Escape + Fast Runner + Shadowing Beyond, she will be Alyssa's Ectopsychic Echo partner. She is perfect for the task, because she knows how to take a beating and yet beat back.
 
LBPAdJ4.jpg
 
Character Description II: Alora calls herself a merchant, but by now, virtually everyone in the Deadfire Archipelago knows what she really is: a thief who specializes in daring museum raids, and a smuggler to Aedyrean patrons. Alora's short but legendary career in the Deadfire met an early end when her boldest, most unhinged plan yet led to tragedy. Piloting a rickety, aging vessel, hastily equipped with a stolen canon, Alora and her band of followers threatened a sleepy, seaside Valian town's grandiosely named "Hall of Wonders," thus enlisting the aid of the museum staff in unloading the goods. The haul was immense -almost beyond comprehension. Word of such deads spreads quickly. In this case it spread too quickly. En route to Aedyrean's shores, Alora's ship was overtaken by Quinne, a well connected pirate, in the know. Alora's vessel and crew were no match. Alora was beaten; her face was slashed; She was then tossed overboard, left for dead. No one expected her to live. And yet she did- returning to the Deadfire, to slay her assailant under cover of night. Despite all the fortunes she has made -and all the fortunes she has squandered- Alora, currently on the run from Quinne's many allies, now owns but one thing: Quinne's lucky rabbit's foot.    
 
Gaming Notes: I've decided to run Alyssa in the interest of learning the cipher class. I can't comment on our odds of success, at this time. No reloading PotD now seems straightforward to me- with a party that I understand, that is. Alyssa's team will, however, include at least four builds that are new to me: 1) a ranged cipher; 2) an evasive, scroll using dual-wielding rogue; 3) a druid (Hirvias); and 4) a chanter tank (Kana). This run will, in effect, be a bit like Enuhal's second run: an exploration of classes the I know less well, following a success with a party that I understood. We'll see how it goes.
 
Best,
 
A.
Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Serg! It was hard to find a wood elf cipher portrait. Most female elf portraits are, too my eyes, offensively over sexualized. The others tend to be bright and nature-y, better suited to a ranger or druid. I was happy when I found this one. It's perfect.

 

(I like Alora's portrait, too)

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Alyssa, Wood Elf Cipher: Entry 1- Raedric Hold

 

After escaping the ruins of Cilant Lis, Alyssa visited the Black Hound, where she met Alora, a thief from the Deadfire Archipelago. Alyssa was charmed by Alora, seeing the rogue as a yang to her yin, but our heroine was understandably skeptical of the woman's boasts. It didn't take long for Alora to prove herself: before the night was out, Alora had proposed a daring raid of Raedric's Hold. Recognizing the need for coin, and seeking Alora's approval, Alyssa agreed to the plan. She would not regret it. 

 

With Aloth and Eder tagging along, Alyssa and Alora scaled the ramparts of Raedric Hold. There, they faced their first battle together.They immediately developed a rapport. Alora, a reckless dual wielding rogue can benefit immensely from Alyssa's opening Eyestrikes.

 

 

ybUVmG2.jpg

 

 

And Alyssa, a colonist with points in Survival, gets a bonus to damage against Flanked enemies, currently 10%, later to be 20% and, possibly 30%. Alora excels at flanking.

 

 

7uQPrVf.jpg

 

 

Upon entering the Sanctuary, the party assumed disguises and immediately began looting. Alyssa was giddy- nervous but exhilarated. Alora, in contrast, was cooly in her element. Before long, Alora proposed penetrating further into the keep. Promising to free an acolyte, Giacco, under the guise of seeking an audience with Raedric, furnished an opportunity.

 

Down below, in the keep dungeons, Alora recovered some useful traps, more on those later.

 

 

mDCqKKu.jpg

 

 

And soon Alora and Alyssa would fight their second battle together. This time their friends chipped in.

 

Aloth offered Curse of Blackened sight, freeing Alyssa to hold her focus for a Mental Binding cast and granting Alora free sneak attacks.

 

 

ECzoquK.jpg

 

 

Alyssa's Mental Binding, in turn, relieved pressure on Eder, who did yeoman's work as a defender of all.

 

 

OrYAHbu.jpg

 

 

Soon the bodies dropped, and the path to Giacco was clear.

 

 

t1uCPeb.jpg

 

 

So, to, was the path to this delightful ring, perfect for Alora:

 

 

CMolT4P.jpg

 

 

After announcing the liberation of Giacco, Alora led the party to Raedric's bedroom where Alora was the beneficiary of another find: the celebrated Gloves of Manipulation. 

 

 

UvX8EYu.jpg

 

 

A trip to the ramparts yielded yet more goodies, including a scroll of Fan of Flames and a pair of Gauntlets of Accuracy. Alyssa was amazed by the haul. Alora was happy, too, but she couldn't help but mention that she has seen better. The total haul, not including gold and gems, can be seen here, paired with the party members who will benefit from them. Notice that I've included the traps in the useful category, rather than the sellable category.

 

 

hgedXNf.jpg

 

 

So about those traps. They're not great, but their not useless. Consider those little cheap ones that I highlighted earlier, on the dungeon floor.

 

 

UGTOLDb.jpg

 

 

That's a free 22-30 pierce damage attack. Not great, but not nothing. It's associated with a -10 against Deflection. But Alora -only at level 2- presently has a +24 bonus to trap accuracy. If Alyssa opens with a Blinding Strike, that trap will fire with a total adjustment of + 34. That's a passable free attack. Arista, my solo rogue, killed multiple foes before they could reach here using Blinding Strike (via Fine Arbalest)->Arrow Trap. The traps aren't great, true, but there is no opportunity cost since they're placed pre-battle. We're actually going to use them, in particular, in conjunction with opening Eyestrikes.

 

Next, the Eothasian temple. A solo mission for a respecced Alora?

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Alyssa, Wood-Elf Cipher: Entry 2- Minor Quests in and Around Guilded Vale, Part I

 

After the success of her daring raid on Raedric's Hold, Alora turned her attention to Guilded Vale's second most promising mark: the Eothasian temple. The party agreed to her plan, but Aloth, sick of porridge, proposed rescuing the Black Hound's chef and recovering Tuatanu's crates first. Alora, a bon vivant with a fondness for blades, agreed. And so it was decided.

 

Alora kicked off festivities with a 42 hitpoint arbalest shot, immediately followed by an additional 19 damage from an Arrow Trap.

 

 

KbbVtv2.jpg

Zd5CP6u.jpg

 

 

Alyssa added an Eyestrike, helping Alora finish her target.

 

 

6rdsmbB.jpg

 

 

Alora reciprocated by flanking the party's next target, helping Alyssa rebuild her focus. 

 

 

Pq7Ded9.jpg

 

 

Alora with the finish.

 

 

VQF0ttV.jpg

 

 

Alora and Alyssa's teamwork rescued Tenfrith. Alora's savvy recovered Tuatanu's crate. No blood shed was necessary here. Stealth sufficed.

 

 

Pk2ef0S.jpg

 

 

It's time for the temple.

 

Best,

 

A.

Edited by Alesia_BH
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...