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TOPIC: Best way to run-balance a stronger build?

Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #1

Say it's an in-person PUG. The coach has recorded your strong (Nightmare+) build, and in come some newer folks who will need coaching guidance and have much lower level tokens. Clearly this run will be Normal, or Hardcore at most.

Can one effectively run-balance a stronger build through play actions (e.g., your melee fighter will only use ranged weapons) or need one pull out a backup lower-level build and ask the coach to change your stats on the party card?

I ask in part because I am trying to decide if I can carry to cons just one build per class and mulch/newbie-gift my for-hardcore-build tokens.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #2

It all depends on how letter of the law you want to be.

In my experience, most coaches will happily put in lower stats for you in an effort to balance the party, so you don't end up overshadowing the group.
First ever death in True Horde
"Well, with you guarding 2 players, that means you take 90. Are you dead?"
-Incognito

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #3

It's entirely possible ... in my experience and friends' experiences ... to self neuter by what actions you take.

I had a generic Epic ranged build for a friend who proceeded to only make melee attacks, when he was attacking at all as I think he played cleric on Normal run. To my knowledge, that run worked out.

My last GHC run, another player was NM/Epic spell damage bonus and made physical attacks on Normal run.

I routinely take rounds off in combats we will easily win. That includes when playing NM. I also will do things like play overpowered bard build and only do bardsong rather than attack.

Some of these things aren't going to be fun for the player self-neutering, but, then, self-neutering to balance with others is intrinsically a problem. Not mechanically. Social dynamicwise. Players should be on similar level. People with wildly different collections doing designated sealed run is fine. People lending people they know builds is fine. Constructed where someone doesn't need any of the players for the difficulty played based on collection strength rather than build strength is not, IME.

I highly suggest people with collections to buy out runs so that people play with peers.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #4

Btw, you can just take one build's worth of tokens. If you know the difficulty level is going to be lower than your standard build, just remove tokens. Doesn't take very long to clone builds and remove tokens, which can all be done ahead of time.

I'll absolutely run Eldritch or Legendary tokens on things like Normal rather than carry around a bunch of extra chaff around - I'll just run very few tokens. My last Normal run was 14 tokens, five of which were TEs.

Actually, specifically, my last Normal run, I ran: Badge of Nobility, 2x Eldritch, 1x Arcanum, 1x Legendary (CoA, of course), 1x Relic, 8x URs. My to hit was +6 and damage +5, 32 hp, AC 18, saves 8/8/8. That's still OP for making Normal challenging, but I'm not sure the group cared if the run was challenging as some other people's builds were far more potent than mine.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #5

Arg, I tried to edit a typo in my previous post and somehow deleted it instead.

TL; don’t want to redraft: options include 1) don’t bring a NM build to a PUG; 2) wait until the rest of the party shows up to calibrate accordingly; 3) use the “wrong” attack mode; 4) slide last and try to bump others into hits, or even skip rounds.

Anyway, another option is to plan to play a support class. Parties with lower-level players probably won’t mind a tricked-out bard, cleric, or druid who can help them hit/hit harder and/or keep them alive. Or even a Paladin who can shrug off hits in place of whoever has the lowest AC, can do a little (but meaningful at this level) healing, and hits but for not that much damage.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #6

In PUG runs, I'll offer whatever help people want to try on their builds then play a support version of whatever class I'm playing. Elf Wizard constantly boosting, druid/cleric being a healer, Paladin guarding 2 in every room and 3 in the final room, etc.. Keeping the option for being able to do significant damage to bail the group out in a room 7 combat is helpful (typically, I'll ask if the group wants me to jump in at full power late in a final combat to tip the results towards a victory.)

Fred
What do we want? Evidence based science! When do we want it? After peer review!

Elf Wizard build
truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=570&id=247398

Rogue build
truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=569&id=245490#287189

Items for Sale or Trade
truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=583&id=247555

Items needed to complete my collection
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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #7

Just have a stalker build with a weapon and treasure enhancers ready for any class and you will be fine.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #8

Fred K wrote: In PUG runs, I'll offer whatever help people want to try on their builds then play a support version of whatever class I'm playing. Elf Wizard constantly boosting ... Fred


I like that idea, but how does your Elf Wizard constantly boost? I've just got 1 each of Bull's Strength/Invisibility/Ironskin from the card, plus one more from Charm of Spell Storing, plus 1 healing potion/room from a Grunnel's Funnel.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #9

Conserve/Bull's Strength is a thing that only requires a specific legendary.

Sandbagging as a spellcaster, for in person play, has always been easy for me.

Can just cast 0 level spell if a wizard, something I did a lot of at GHC on NM Grind run, or just skip casting spells and slide to bump or not slide at all. Healers can be waiting to heal someone and somehow miss attacking. Bard is bard.

Harder to hide in VTD, but it's easy to roll rather than cast or spend round healing or find some Horn to blow to cancel some effect on someone else. Many of my rounds playing spellcasters is chucking a Hammer anyway even if I won't run out of spells, can just run some low yield weapon instead, like a common, that may hit hard if it hits but might miss often enough to keep combat interesting.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #10

I made a build that had 10 tokens. Stats came out around a rare class build and I got to use my cool tokens.

Jeff Martin wrote: All damage is Sacred.

Acherin wrote: I also added VTD support for the most annoying token of 2024 the +2 Sun Scimitar.

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Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #11

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions! Taking from the various posts, I now have a KISS solution for my nightmare-level Elf Wizard on a Normal/Hardcore in-person PUG run:

- Coaching room: Change my Mage Medallion to a Medallion of Magick. No need to bother the coach (it doesn't change the party card), only need to carry one build + one token, and have time to gift to the new folks appropriate rares that I would otherwise have simply mulched.

- Round 1 each room: Cast 1-2 support spells on the new folks. Pick from among 3 x Bull's Strength (Card, Charm:Spell Storing, Medallion:Magic [FA on round 2]), 1xIronskin, 1xInvisibility (after party attacks), and Protection from Evil (Tome:Useful Scrolls).

- Rounds 2+: Attack using Level 0 damage spells.

- If late in room and party in trouble: Ask if they want me to shift to full power.

Again, thank you for the guidance and perspective, and any further suggestions are most welcome!!!

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Last edit: by Andy Strassmann.

Best way to run-balance a stronger build? 8 months 2 weeks ago #12

Andy Strassmann wrote:

Fred K wrote: In PUG runs, I'll offer whatever help people want to try on their builds then play a support version of whatever class I'm playing. Elf Wizard constantly boosting ... Fred


I like that idea, but how does your Elf Wizard constantly boost? I've just got 1 each of Bull's Strength/Invisibility/Ironskin from the card, plus one more from Charm of Spell Storing, plus 1 healing potion/room from a Grunnel's Funnel.


For this type of run, I switch to crown of expertise for an additional 3rd level spell slot to boost. That gives me a total of 6. You can only do it once per combat so typically 3-4 times as fireball, fireball, ray of shock, then magic missile. I'll add MEC to it as well. My Elf Wizard Pug build usually has 100+ hp with some self-healing built into it so it can burn 100+ damage and still be standing. I rarely use the support spells beyond bull's strength but will break out scrolls pretty often.

For hardcore runs, a great option is to revise your build to have decent wisdom/int/chr for spellcasters (whichever is their prime stat) then use the rare mystic staff. It is pretty easy to have a +10 to hit with it and you get your ranged damage bonus - that tends to be decently high for casters. Add enchanter's whetstone for another +1/+1. It is also all sacred damage - a great option against undead. Next year's UR gives an additional benefit of counting as a magic weapon, slightly better damage, and +1 more to hit.

Fred
What do we want? Evidence based science! When do we want it? After peer review!

Elf Wizard build
truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=570&id=247398

Rogue build
truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=569&id=245490#287189

Items for Sale or Trade
truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=583&id=247555

Items needed to complete my collection
truedungeon.com/forum?view=topic&catid=61&id=253058

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