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Brainstorming fun handicaps


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With a solid understanding of the game mechanics and knowledge of the most overpowered spells, abilities, and combos, PoTD isn't really a huge challenge. For a more difficult experience one can utilize one or more of the triple crown options - Expert, Trial of Iron, or solo. However, none of these particularly appeal to me.

 

I currently have only really limited myself in two ways - avoiding use of consumables (food, potions, scrolls, traps) and not abusing the rest system too badly. These have not been enough to prevent the overwhelming majority of battles to be one-sided romps (after Act 1, at least). Thus I would like to impose additional handicaps upon myself in subsequent playthroughs. Essentially I want to be able to power-game within limits so that the game remains a reasonable challenge.

 

I have a few ideas so far. Some or all of these could be used to make the game more challenging while hopefully not making it less fun. In most cases I have a potential variant of an idea to further increase the difficulty; I will list these in italics.

  • Random class selection (no duplicate classes). The first class must be your PC.
  • Each sub-race cannot be taken more than once. No Moon Godlike or Wood Elf.
  • Each character is limited to one maxed attribute and one dumped attribute. All other attributes must be between 7 and 15. You may not have the same attribute maxed or dumped on multiple characters.
  • Alternative to the previous idea: randomly distribute a -6, -3, -1, +1, +3, and +6 modifier to each attribute. Negative modifiers reduce the maximum you can set an attribute to while positive modifiers increase the minimum.
  • Each character must be from a different culture. Each character must be from a unique background.
  • Each character is restricted to weapons from one weapon focus (once the weapons become available). You may not have multiple characters using weapons from the same focus. Taking the relevant weapon focus talent is optional, however.
  • All characters must wear armor. You may not use the same armor type on multiple characters.
  • Each individual Spell, Invocation, and Cipher Power may not be used more than once per battle. Ciphers and Chanters may repeat an Invocation/Power if each one has already been used once.
  • Only one figurine may be used per battle. Or they could be entirely off limits.
  • Randomly select two favored and two disfavored dispositions (Priests and Paladins should use their presets). You must follow your favored dispositions whenever possible (choose if both are an option) and you may never select options from your disfavored dispositions. Priest Deities and Paladin Orders are chosen randomly.

Please let me know what you think of these potential handicaps, particularly in regards to how they would impact the difficulty and fun of the game. If you have your own handicaps you use or think might work well please don't hesitate to share.

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Each character is limited to one maxed attribute and one dumped attribute. All other attributes must be between 7 and 15. You may not have the same attribute maxed or dumped on multiple characters.

How about no dumping at all? :cat:

 

All characters must wear armor. You may not use the same armor type on multiple characters.

This one seems like a pain to me.

Pillars of Bugothas

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I don't think it's that hard to resist to powergame. Most of the stuff you mention didn't even feel like a handicap when I did it, it is just an byproduct of being lazy / unoptimized on purpose to not abuse everything.

 

If you want to create normal characters, just distribute the numbers 8,10,12,14,16,18 on the attributes. If you want to have balanced characters, additionally group them so that each defense is the same, e.g. might+con=dex+per=int+res=26, although there is some RP value lost in the process of adding these constraints. Otherwise, just use the games companions without resetting them in the options. That being said, the attributes are just a small tip on the scale of balance.

 

Being used to hoard everything in RPGs, not using any consumables saved me a lot of time on management and was straightforward  and giving everyone armor just makes sense RP wise.

 

If you want the game to be harder, you can also just do without most stuff from caster classes. No CC from the wizard and letting priests only heal for example will change the game a lot as well.

 

I did most of this on hard, and could still beat the game quite easily by building all the characters towards being passive, low maintaince, the only exception being the last boss and the optional boss in the mega dungeon. I guess this shows both that the game is balanced and unbalanced at the same time, in some senses at least.

 

The real issue is: If you feel the game is too easy, skip a lot of optional content. You will have less experience and less gold, so handicapping yourself that way makes a bigger difference. Just skipping the bounties changes the pace of the game by quite some margin later on.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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I don't think it's that hard to resist to powergame. Most of the stuff you mention didn't even feel like a handicap when I did it, it is just an byproduct of being lazy / unoptimized on purpose to not abuse everything.

 

If you want to create normal characters, just distribute the numbers 8,10,12,14,16,18 on the attributes. If you want to have balanced characters, additionally group them so that each defense is the same, e.g. might+con=dex+per=int+res=26, although there is some RP value lost in the process of adding these constraints. Otherwise, just use the games companions without resetting them in the options. That being said, the attributes are just a small tip on the scale of balance.

 

[...]

Statlines > Point Buy. No exceptions.

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