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Champions of Krynn Trilogy

Discussion in 'The Playground' started by kmonster, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses

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    I had a look over the internet and found an article on Slamnic Knights in first edition AD&D. It's a bit strange - Rose Knights have very few advantages over Sword Knights. They get an extra hit die (which in the games is given to all Knight classes anyway) and a couple of extra weapon proficiencies (which don't seem to exist in the games anyway). They're also supposed to lose the Sword spellcasting abilities, though the trilogy manuals all show identical spell lists for Sword and Rose.

    Since they seem to be identical except for XP requirements and maximum level, I think I'll stay as a Knight of the Sword until level 18 (max level they can get). The trick is, if I switch then and there, I'll be demoted to Rose 14 (because of the XP gap between the classes). So I could stay as Sword 18 until I've accumulated enough XP to be Rose 19, and only then make the switch so I can continue advancing in level. That, of course, is assuming there is enough XP in the games!
     
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    Personally I never liked pure fighters, I'd rather take another melee guy with spell casting ability. Rangers... level up faster, but get less HP in the long run. There aren't as many giants as there was in the other series, so that bonus isn't as useful. They do get third level druid spells now, which really means protection from fire. Not sure if this is a bug, but I found that this spell acts like a permanent 50% resist fire damage when casted on non-rangers, and acts like a temporary 100% immune to fire on rangers. Good for withstanding enemy delayed blast fireballs.

    Agreed with the level cap on knights, and improved chances to manually control NPC's during battle. There's not enough XP in the games to get you to level 40. Without lingering for random XP, I think you'll level to around 25.

    I never had that HP bug before, but I did find a HP bug elsewhere in Dark Queen. If your level gets drained, your HP doesn't get restored exactly, and you often gain some HP. Unfortunately the HP wraps around to 0 after 255, so watch out for your levels. I had a knight on level 39 with 254 HP but I couldn't hit the last level without ending up with a level 40 knight with 1 HP :D
     
  3. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses

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    Woa! How did you get 254HP? I would have thought that was impossible even at level 40. Unless you kept reloading until you got maximum hit points on level up :)

    I finished Champions. The last 2 back to back fights were VERY easy compared to the ones in Pool of Radiance (either that, or I've got much better at the games since then). In fact they were easier than the earlier stage, where I kept bumping into large parties of draconians with no place to rest. I was pretty annoyed that my party gave away all their best items - including the dragonlance! Couldn't they have figured out they would get imported into the sequel?

    Death Knights starts with a bang - right in the middle of combat, when I had hoped I would be able to level up my characters before anything else happened.
     
  4. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses

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    Talk about a busy weekend! I finished Death Knights yesterday. I have to admit I found it very enjoyable, despite the fact there's little more to it than bashing anything that moves (hordes of undead usually). The lack of exploding draconians was a big plus. I was also impressed with the number of side quests in the game - there's a LOT of them (not a common feature in CRPGs back then) and most were enjoyable. Having a Cleric was such a boon - I must have used Turn Undead in every single combat. It's a little irritating that turned enemies don't give you XP, but that's far better than mowing through hordes of level-draining wights. Dave's Challenge at the end was veeeery easy compared to the Pools of Darkness challenge (it's still the hardest dungeon in the game though).

    I'd read a few reviews severely criticising Dark Queen for being buggy and very combat intensive. I must admit it's my favourite of the Krynn trilogy until now. I've not run across any bugs yet, and in fact the game seems to have far fewer random encounters than any of the other Gold Box - a big plus for me, as I hated the "a fight every two steps" encounters of some of the earlier games. The underwater segment was pretty neat as well - Lightning Bolt suddenly becomes the deadliest spell in the mage's arsenal!

    Protection from Fire is great - I can now send my Ranger to single-handedly slaughter dragons, armed with the dragonlance, and he barely takes a scratch, which naturally makes the dragonlance that much more useful.
     
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    Wow... you are slicing through these games so quickly! You did the Koa Toa ship in Death Knights right? It's easy to miss that subquest if you don't explore the overland thoroughly. I like how you can TALK to human "monsters" and sometimes avoid combat.

    The underwater part in Dark Queen is definitely unique. Did you try casting ice storm? Its radius becomes that of a fireball, but the damage is still mediocre. Never thought snake charm would be a useful spell either :) Cloud kill has been improved in this game, so make sure you try it out.

    The problem I had with Dark Queen was not knowing what the heck to do next, especially in some of the more challenging dungeons. I don't recall any bugs though (apart from the hit point one I talked about in my previous post). Another problem I had was insisting on leveling up to 40, which took all the fun out of the game because I stayed in one place repeating battles. So some games just got abandoned at this point.

    Watch out of Black Pudding - these guys will drain the enchantment level of your armour permanently. Also watch out for enemy clerics casting touch-range spells. Later in the game, they have access to Destruction! (meaning a dead party member) It's too bad we don't get those nice cleric spells.

    When you get to fight beholders, I really think this was the way beholders were meant to be programmed. Almost immobile, but deadly rays, not like the BG2 ones that chase you down with flesh to stone rays casted in the middle of their turn.
     
  6. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses

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    I have noticed I'm going too quickly as well :) However, aside from Pools of Darkness, which was too difficult, and Silves Blades, which was too repetitive, I really like all of the others, and that makes me want to keep playing them.

    I did find the Kuo Toa ship. Quite a funny story really - I stumbled upon it after completing the Challenge, and on my way back to the town to level up. Really the last thing I did in the game! It was quite a fun subquest though, like most of the optional quests.

    I did try Ice Storm underwater but was unimpressed (as usual) with the damage - Lightning was much more useful. I never did try Snake Charm (except in Death Knights - lucky I always have a copy of it memorised). I haven't tried Cloudkill in Dark Queen either, I tend to stick to Cone of Cold, as with proper positioning it can be very potent!

    The dungeons are quite big, bigger than in the other games. I am having trouble knowing what to look for as well in some of them. Being able to look at the list of quest items is very useful though - it usually gives me an idea of what to look for. I do hate the occasional quest item that you get from a combat but only IF you search after combat - I missed a piece of the Oracle in the Kristophan tombs and had to go through a big chunk of the dungeon with Search active before I found it.

    I didn't know Black Puddings could do this! Nasty. It doesn't mention that in the Journal. I did notice they were immune to weapons so I tend to roast them with a couple of well-placed Fireballs. Beholders I already fought in previous games. I don't think I will forget the Mulmaster Beholder Corp from Curse of the Azure Bonds - there were dozens of the buggers, and that was one VERY difficult fight! The satisfaction at the end was great though :D
     
  7. Giles Barskins Gems: 6/31
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    Oh man, how I love these games. All of the Gold Box games were strong fixtures of my childhood. I've been planning to replay the Pool of Radiance series over again soon, but really have no idea how to get them to work on my computer. I guess I need to sit down one day and figure out how to make DOSbox run.

    I loved the Dragonlance series as well, but was disappointed that DQoK took place in Taladas. I loved the appearances from the cahracters from the novels in the other 2 games so not having that (except for a cameo by Laurana at the very start) was a huge letdown.
     
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    I didn't read much of the books, just a few with the brothers Garamon and Raistlin, and the talkative kender, and that was after I played the games. So it was the actually the game that made me try to read the books, rather than the books making the game more enjoyable.
     
  9. JT2 Gems: 1/31
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    Giles, there is a *major* cameo late in DQK. In fact you could say the game centers around it -- I'll spoil it if you ask. There are probably also some minor cameos midway through which I've forgotten.

    Some general comments inspired by older posts in the thread:

    - Qualinesti C/F/M is the most powerful build. You should have two or three of them, a knight, and two or three F/M.
    - Cleric/fighter is unimpressive, because cleric spells aren't that good compared to mage spells like cone, DBF, mind blank, power word kill...
    - Fighters are important; you are going to be doing a *ton* of hack and slashing, and they get twice as many attacks as other characters, and at a better BAB. (yes I know it is not a 3E game; just humor me). Also they get more HP.
    - Thieves are mostly useless; the backstab is too hard to pull off in my exerience. You can temporarily swap one in for the few quests where their lockpicking skills are needed. If you feel this is cheap, at least combine the thief role with a good class: M/T or F/M/T
    - Unfortunately, kender and other non-elves are very bad choices in the long run, because of level limits.
    - Humans are weak in Krynn because they can't multi- or dual- class. Knight and single-class mage are their only decent choices.

    - kmonster's party is not Krynn-legal. In fact the battles he describes are from the end of the Pools series. (Just in case anyone missed that detail.)

    - I also had difficulties getting tri-classed characters to gain their full HP when leveling up. Probably something about rounding off. If you care about the missing few HP, create them in DQK as level 10+ characters.

    - Best cleric choice is clearly Kiri-Jolith for the +1 BAB. Mishakal is nice also; increases all healing spells by 1d8, which doubles the power of CLW. The rest are junk.


    I think Tal should make a sub forum specifically for gold box games...
     
  10. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Since, like I wrote before, multiclass fighters get only d8 instead of d10 rolls at creation in DQK (at least in the PC version) starting the triple class in DKK can yield more hitpoints if you use reloading at level ups.

    Cleric of Majere is also a good. Turning undead is useful, and the higher turning level can make battles easier. If the undead turning bonus allows to destroy the undead instead of making them run away you can get even get more XP with less effort.
    I'd give Majere to the fastest levelling cleric.
     
  11. JT Gems: 11/31
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    The Old Guard

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    Kmonster, I never knew that about DQK. I actually loaded the game just to prove it to myself. What a weird bug.

    The turning bonus isn't much good past CoK. There are too many "turning doesn't work" areas in DKK, and hardly any undead in DQK. Furthermore, the bonus becomes irrelevant when your cleric reaches level 14, because the turn undead table doesn't go past that.
     
  12. Mad Weirwood Gems: 1/31
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    So, while I plan to tackle Pools of Darkness eventually, Champions of Krynn is what I'm actually playing right now.

    Does anyone know for certain how the kenders' YELL works? I read it give -1 to hit but +1 to damage, and the enemies will target the kender unless someone else is already in melee range. Can someone confirm these stats?

    What is your opinion on paladins in the Krynn series? Are they redundant compared to knights? I suppose they still have their PfE '10 aura going for them.

    I don't understand the love for F/M/Cs. The synergy seems poor. Every turn, you have to choose between casting or attacking. A C/M will progress faster and have better spells, while F/Ms and R/Cs are better multi-classes for straight fighting.

    I do like F/M/Ts, however. Backstabbing works great with a fighter's THAC0 and extra attacks, and you can buff yourself further with mage spells. Generally I've found that you want to have two thieves if you want to go for frequent backstabs; three would be overkill, as every thief also needs an assistant character to set up the backstab. With two, the frequency of getting at least one of them into a good BS position is much higher. I recommend a kender C of KJ/T and a Qualinesti F/RR/T if you want to seriously use backstabs.

    JT's note on turning is interesting. I made a human cleric of Majere for Champions, but if what he says is true, I'll replace him for DKK.

    Here's what I would propose for a good party:

    Human Knight
    Silvanesti Ranger/Cleric of Mishakal (Mish. makes casting CLW in combat much more useful)
    Human White Robe Mage
    Qualinesti Fighter/Red Robe Mage/Thief
    Kender Cleric of Kiri-Jolith/Thief (+1 THAC0 helps with backstabs)

    Last character would be either a F/M or a Paladin.
     
  13. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again

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    When running the Krynn series, I have 2 rules that I must follow... since it is a Dragonlance setting, I always include(at least..) one Knight and a Kender, for RPG reasons only(obviously...).

    A standard party for me is...

    Human Knight
    Human Knight
    (as there are several suits of armor to be found that only Knights can wear in a certain crypt.....)
    Half-Elf Ranger/Cleric(Mishakal)
    Kender Cleric(Kiri-Jolith)/Thief or Fighter/Thief(sometimes straight Thief as well. It does allow the character to reach maximum backstab capability the quickly. never underestimate the backstab!)
    Human White Robe Mage
    Half-Elf(or Qual Elf) Fighter/Red Robe Mage

    My knights are the frontline along with the R/C for killing giant-types. The mages are for hasting, enemy disabling and bombardment. The Kender yells from within the middle of the group(except againt dragons!). The Krynn series to me is unlike the Pools series as you really don't need to dual class to beat the series easily. Which allows for trying out the various races and class type combos.
     
  14. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Half-elves are capped too early to use them in DKoK or DQoK.

    Paladins are inferior to knights. In DQoK they'll level faster and have more hitpoints than knights (at 11,200,000 XP 138-219 vs 72-180 with 18 con) but I consider the extra spells more useful.

    Rangers or ranger/clerics are inferior to fighters or fighter/clerics in the first two games. They level more slowly and at the level caps they have less HP and attacks.
     
  15. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again

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    Except against Gaint-classed monsters. I like that specialization in these games. There are enough giant-classed monsters to make them useful.

    The level-cap on Half-Elves is annoying.
     
  16. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Only very few of the larger than human sized monsters take extra damage from rangers. There are barely any of them in the Krynn series, especially not in difficult battles.
     
  17. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again

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    Not true. There are plenty of Ogres and Giants in these games. Plus, you are forgetting about random battles when wandering the overland map. Which is a great way to gather up some extra XP......Ranger-hater:p

    Though I will admit, Rangers were really made for the Secret of The Silver Blades.
     
  18. Mad Weirwood Gems: 1/31
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    Yeah, now that you mention it, rangers really get shafted on their extra attacks by the level limits in the first two games.

    For a full playthrough though, the unlimited advancement of an elven ranger/cleric easily beats a fighter/cleric. And even before then, they do bring their unique druid spells to the table in DKK. I'm not worried of losing out.

    For the paladin, I do think he brings enough to the table to warrant taking over a second knight. But I'm pretty sure having a fighter/red robe mage as a third mage instead easily provides the most firepower, between the other members of the party I described earlier.
     
  19. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    I agree about a qualinesti fighter/red mage adding the more firepower than an additional knight or paladin. But with your party composition I'd rather take a cleric/red mage to get access to level 7 cleric spells at level 12 during DKoK.

    There's a bug in DQoK, each time your ranger/cleric trains for a ranger level his XP is set back as if he just trained for the same level as cleric, it doesn't matter in the beginning (reaching ranger level 17 won't be delayed much) but you loose a lot of XP later.
     
  20. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again

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    It could be said that once you hit the later 2 games, the more Area of effect damgage spells and Haste do make the game much easier. MCs rule the day. But I always found that to be less fun than utilizing classes from the setting. Knights of Solamnia are awesome!:D
     
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