Catacombs - Blue Dragons

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bcparfitt
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Catacombs - Blue Dragons

Post by bcparfitt » September 28th, 2018, 5:34 am

Got into a couple of scraps last night with some Blue Dragons down on lvl 2 of the Catacombs. In the first encounter there was only 1 dragon. He did some breath damage to several members of the party, but was dispatched by one of my casters during that same round.

The second encounter we ran into a group of 8 blue dragons and a bunch of barbarians and a skele iirc... I survived this fight with just one party member (a caster) left alive. It seems like in these fights it becomes a drag race between the dragons and the casters as to who gets their attacks in first. Whoever wins that race most likely wins the encounter. Is there any more to it than that? Is there anything that can be done to mitigate the breath damage from the dragons ahead of time to make running into larger groups of them more survivable?

I'm as far into the game now as I was back in '85 when I was 11/12 years old. I never made it out of the catacombs... I forget why I stopped playing, but I'm loving being back in this game. Looking forward to seeing this through to the end.

rakenan
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Re: Catacombs - Blue Dragons

Post by rakenan » September 28th, 2018, 5:57 pm

The Lucklaran Bard Song will make your entire party highly resistant - to the point of near complete immunity - to all forms of magical attack, including dragon breath. Only magical attacks carried on physical attacks - like a spider's poison bite or a basilisk's stone touch - can bypass this resistance. Well, spells that do not directly hit your party, like summons and buffs, also ignore Lucklaran. Just have your Bard sing Lucklaran in the first round of any fight that includes dangerous magical attackers and you'll be fine.

Leveling up also helps resist magic. And equipping Luckshields. I believe there is a spell that has a similar effect to Lucklaran, but my casters are usually doing more important things with their combat turns and SP. Paladins have superior magic resistance to other characters, and I *THINK* that having a Paladin at the front of your team will help the whole party deal with incoming hostile magic, but I'm not sure.

Blue Dragons are jerks because they're the first dragons you meet in significant numbers, and their breath attacks are brutal so early in the game. Later on dragons are less deadly, as a full party breath attack will inflict damage on one or two characters at most, and not enough to be fatally dangerous.

If you find yourself seriously struggling against dragons and the like even with all that, I recommend having your Bard sing Lucklaran out of combat and sing Traveler's Tune in the first round of combat instead of vice versa. You'll have worse AC, but melee attacks are less likely to truly cripple your party than breath attacks and the like, at least until you start running into monsters that petrify, possess, or drive your party members insane with a melee hit.

This assumes you are playing the Remastered Trilogy. Level drain is far worse in the original series than in the remaster, and is quite common from melee hits. In that case, just grind out some levels to build better spell resistance.
This year, I resolve to work harder. . . because it's obvious the world is not going to end itself.

Zadkiel
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Re: Catacombs - Blue Dragons

Post by Zadkiel » September 29th, 2018, 12:58 pm

rakenan wrote:
September 28th, 2018, 5:57 pm
equipping Luckshields.
In the originals, Luckshields in BT1 only affected rogue skill checks, making their hide in shadows 100% guaranteed (although there was a bug in the game logic in some versions that actually inverted the check meaning you had 100% success rate if you DIDN'T have the shield equipped and a skill check if you had it equipped).

This was changed in BT2&3 to a luck check bonus for all luck checks, not just hiding.

Now it's entirely possible that they changed this in the remasters - given it's one game engine for all 3 versions they may have just standardised the item across all 3 and made it into a +luck item in BT1, but I havn't tested that.

bcparfitt
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Re: Catacombs - Blue Dragons

Post by bcparfitt » October 1st, 2018, 7:22 am

Thanks for the tips! I've been using Lucklaran and it seems to be helping quite a bit. I'm just playing Traveler's Tune during the first round for the AC drop and that seems to work just fine.

Thanks again all.
Brian

gibble_fenwick
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Re: Catacombs - Blue Dragons

Post by gibble_fenwick » October 1st, 2018, 6:37 pm

Zadkiel wrote:
September 29th, 2018, 12:58 pm
rakenan wrote:
September 28th, 2018, 5:57 pm
equipping Luckshields.
In the originals, Luckshields in BT1 only affected rogue skill checks, making their hide in shadows 100% guaranteed (although there was a bug in the game logic in some versions that actually inverted the check meaning you had 100% success rate if you DIDN'T have the shield equipped and a skill check if you had it equipped).

This was changed in BT2&3 to a luck check bonus for all luck checks, not just hiding.

Now it's entirely possible that they changed this in the remasters - given it's one game engine for all 3 versions they may have just standardised the item across all 3 and made it into a +luck item in BT1, but I havn't tested that.
My observations (admittedly not rigorously tested) of Luckshield in the remaster:
* I've never seen my rogue fail a Hide in Shadows check.
* I haven't noticed a change in any other rogue skill checks.
* In "burger fights", my monks with Luckshields seemed more resilient against AoE attacks. So I suspect they offer all classes at least some resistance against attack spells.

rakenan
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Re: Catacombs - Blue Dragons

Post by rakenan » October 1st, 2018, 7:00 pm

Glad it's helping.

As I said, later on you'll want to go back to Traveler's Tune out of combat because enemies carry some truly obnoxious status effects on their melee attacks. By that time, you shouldn't be facing too much hazard from dragons and the like in the single round before you can play Lucklaran.
This year, I resolve to work harder. . . because it's obvious the world is not going to end itself.

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