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First time playing The Temple of Elemental Evil

JanKrapivin

Novice
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
24
Hi! I have recently started to play ToEE. Before it, in DnD settings, i have completed Baldurs Gate 1 and 2, and Dark Sun Shattered Lands. But i find ToEE much more difficult and sophisticated. I am playing it with The Circle of Eight Modpack, if it matters. I have created my own characters: sorcerer, barbarian, fighter, cleric and rogue. With good stats. Later i added fighter and wizard NPCs. So, i managed to level up party to the 2nd level for most characters, but i still get my ass kicked too often in the Moathouse. I can't pass through Ogre and Gnolls without somebody from my party being completely killed. I see only two options here. 1) Replay combats, hoping for better luck, because i don't know how to improve my tactics, especially on the early levels, when there are not a lot of options. And 2) to grind, i think that is the word for it, traveling around Hommlet. But i think it is little bit boring. Side quests do not give a lot of XP, unfortunately. So i have to grind? Is this how this game is meant to played? Or it is gamers' decline i should (re)read manuals?
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
32,049
You need to use better tactics. You don't need to grind.

co8 also makes the game harder than it was originally. Might be worth your while to just restart with Temple+ instead (which fixes engine bugs and adds a bunch of classes and such but doesn't modify content).
 

The Limper

Novice
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
49
Location
Illinois
Temple+is the way to go. Hommlett has a lot go fetch doggie quests. Afterward, the game opens up.

The feats you choose are big for your warriors. PA, Cleave and Combat reflexes on a Human Fighter with a Long reach weapon is big with a 18 STR warrior. Dont wade thru the enemy ranks at the moathouse. Bottleneck them with 2 warriros and mass fire/CC them with your non-warriors.
 
Joined
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The Present
Party of 5 is optimal. You can hit level 3 party wide by completing the fetch and minor quests in Hommlet. It's so tedious, but worth it.

Initiative is VERY important. Don't neglect DEX or initiative related feats. I also find mobility to be much more important early game than AC. Getting 2 fighter rogues in quickly will make all of the difference. Control magic is also spectacularly good as the odds are most often far against you. Taking foes out of the fight is probably the single best thing you can do. Two-handed reach weapons with enlarge and combat reflexes is also king. Combat maneuvers make polearm masters glorious. Do it and enjoy. My classic party composition is:

2 Fighter/Rogues (50:50 level split) focusing on polearms
1 Cleric
2 Wizards. I prefer generalists, but Enchanters are probably the most powerful in ToEE. Sorcerer and Wizard also works great. Quantity & quality.

Crafting is also hyper-powerful. You will max level before you finish the game (if you're a completion), and crafting is cash positive. Use Co8 to set max level to 11, then never take the 11th level so you can continue to gain XP.
 

Melcar

Arcane
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
32,614
Location
Merida, again
Polearms are God tier. A high DEX warrior with the right feats can almost solo most basic melee encounters. You can kill an enemy before he closes in on you without even having a turn yourself.
As far as magic. Summons and disabling magic are the way to go. Direct offensive spells never impressed me in this game.
 

Gargaune

Magister
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
1,967
but i still get my ass kicked too often in the Moathouse.
If your experience is anything like mine, it'll stay that way a while longer. I think it's only around levels 4 or 5, once I got to the Temple proper, that I hit stride. You might wanna accept a death or two through the Moathouse unless you wanna grind all that Hommlet content (I didn't, it got me so exasperated I even tried to get through the next town as quickly as possible). The final encounter in the Moathouse is murderous, I got frustrated enough that I ran it through a Challenge Rating calculator and it came back "Overpowering", but you'll manage it in the end. If possible, try to pick the terrain for your battles, make good use of kiting, chokepoints and your full array of abilities, stuff like Total Defense and Ready actions.

The game gives you a rude welcome, but it's worth sticking with it. Probably the best D&D combat I've had in a videogame.
 

Tavernking

Don't believe his lies
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There's a tower in the entry courtyard the moathouse where you can rest up inbetween fights, that's the easiest way to get started working your way through it. No timed quests in this game so heal up between each fight if you need to.
 

Percy

Cipher
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
458
Location
Nigger
Hi! I have recently started to play ToEE. Before it, in DnD settings, i have completed Baldurs Gate 1 and 2, and Dark Sun Shattered Lands. But i find ToEE much more difficult and sophisticated. I am playing it with The Circle of Eight Modpack, if it matters. I have created my own characters: sorcerer, barbarian, fighter, cleric and rogue. With good stats. Later i added fighter and wizard NPCs. So, i managed to level up party to the 2nd level for most characters, but i still get my ass kicked too often in the Moathouse. I can't pass through Ogre and Gnolls without somebody from my party being completely killed. I see only two options here. 1) Replay combats, hoping for better luck, because i don't know how to improve my tactics, especially on the early levels, when there are not a lot of options. And 2) to grind, i think that is the word for it, traveling around Hommlet. But i think it is little bit boring. Side quests do not give a lot of XP, unfortunately. So i have to grind? Is this how this game is meant to played? Or it is gamers' decline i should (re)read manuals?
Hello are you from the past?
 

Conan

Learned
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
64
Generic advice for playing TOEE: use a sorcerer specialized in enchantment. Upon entering a dungeon cast charm on the toughest guy and sleep on the rest. This is the easy mode.
 

rojay

Scholar
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
174
The Co8 added content version has a couple of quests that will give you the experience you'd otherwise get from Hommlet, but if it's your first time you should introduce yourself to the townies.
 

deuxhero

Arcane
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
10,159
Location
Flowery Land
ToEE is all about using casters as support (and sometimes heavily buffed combat masters in the case of Cleric) to disable enemies and buff martial types.

Generic advice for playing TOEE: use a sorcerer specialized in enchantment. Upon entering a dungeon cast charm on the toughest guy and sleep on the rest. This is the easy mode.
I wouldn't specialize in enchantment: Too many late game enemies are immune to it. There are plenty of non-enchantment spells that function as "save or die" spells (Color Spray is a big early example) and having access to all schools is useful in a game with spelllists this shallow.
 

Jasede

Arcane
Patron
Sad Loser
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Messages
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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
I think you're all faggots using weird mods and having to grind. Level 2 is enough in the original to begin the Moathouse, at least when you're not changing the game into some other game with some fan-made garbage. Cloud's sword my ass.

Disable the ogre and the gnolls with level 1 spells. Surely you can use something like Grease, Entangle, Sleep...
 

deuxhero

Arcane
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
10,159
Location
Flowery Land
ToEE is all about using casters as support (and sometimes heavily buffed combat masters in the case of Cleric) to disable enemies and buff martial types.

Generic advice for playing TOEE: use a sorcerer specialized in enchantment. Upon entering a dungeon cast charm on the toughest guy and sleep on the rest. This is the easy mode.
I wouldn't specialize in enchantment: Too many late game enemies are immune to it. There are plenty of non-enchantment spells that function as "save or die" spells (Color Spray is a big early example) and having access to all schools is useful in a game with spelllists this shallow.

Don't be an RPG autist. Most of the game is not the late game. By that time you can specialize in other stuff along with enchantment.
Realizing that crippling a character late game in exchange for marginally better (and arguably worse: Grease works on undead and casters, enchantment does not) during the early game is a poor choice is hardly autism. Also specialization is a choice made at character creation with huge downsides (losing two schools of magic) that can't be undone, so you can't just "specialize in other stuff along with enchantment". It's not "Enchantment isn't as good late game" it's "Against a large percentage of the enemies you find later in the game, enchantment does nothing because of explicit immunity to enchantment being common".
 

Darth Canoli

Arcane
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
5,604
Location
Perched on a tree
Hi! I have recently started to play ToEE. Before it, in DnD settings, i have completed Baldurs Gate 1 and 2, and Dark Sun Shattered Lands. But i find ToEE much more difficult and sophisticated. I am playing it with The Circle of Eight Modpack, if it matters. I have created my own characters: sorcerer, barbarian, fighter, cleric and rogue. With good stats. Later i added fighter and wizard NPCs. So, i managed to level up party to the 2nd level for most characters, but i still get my ass kicked too often in the Moathouse. I can't pass through Ogre and Gnolls without somebody from my party being completely killed. I see only two options here. 1) Replay combats, hoping for better luck, because i don't know how to improve my tactics, especially on the early levels, when there are not a lot of options. And 2) to grind, i think that is the word for it, traveling around Hommlet. But i think it is little bit boring. Side quests do not give a lot of XP, unfortunately. So i have to grind? Is this how this game is meant to played? Or it is gamers' decline i should (re)read manuals?

There is absolutely no reason to use Co8 on your first playthrough.
ToEE + Temple+ is the way to go.

If you rolled characters with high attributes, like you said, and they're level 2, that's enough for the early moat house, just rest in the tower SW of the courtyard whenever you nee to.
One high dex fighter with a reach weapon will do wonders in ToEE, with all the Attacks of Opportunity feats you can get, it's more important than cleave.
Grease, sleep, web, don't bother with low level damage spells yet.
Use bless.
Put your reach guy between the meanies and your squishy party members and watch him getting free attacks...


Realizing that crippling a character late game in exchange for marginally better (and arguably worse: Grease works on undead and casters, enchantment does not) during the early game is a poor choice is hardly autism. Also specialization is a choice made at character creation with huge downsides (losing two schools of magic) that can't be undone, so you can't just "specialize in other stuff along with enchantment". It's not "Enchantment isn't as good late game" it's "Against a large percentage of the enemies you find later in the game, enchantment does nothing because of explicit immunity to enchantment being common".

It's certainly not for a first playthrough, I give you that but I had most fun with a beguiler for one playthrough, it's a sorcerer mostly working like a bard with no songs but early enchant spells, higher enchant DC and no damage spell at all. You'll need a second mage but it was great.
 

Jigby

Augur
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
240
Scribe scrolls with your wizard. Level 1 spells are worth I think 1xp per scroll which is nothing. So don't rely on memorized spells. Grease + enlarge person on the polearm guy for AoOs. (Although newer temple+ changed reach and I haven't tried it yet, not sure how enlarge person plays into it there)

Edit: s**t, I just noticed that you rolled a sorcerer, not a wiz. Oh well... sorcerers suck. The wizard NPC should be able to scribe lvl1 scrolls though?
 
Last edited:

JanKrapivin

Novice
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
24
Edit: s**t, I just noticed that you rolled a sorcerer, not a wiz. Oh well... sorcerers suck. The wizard NPC should be able to scribe lvl1 scrolls though?
Yeah. He will be able to do it. But i will think about starting a vanilla campaign.
There is absolutely no reason to use Co8 on your first playthrough.
ToEE + Temple+ is the way to go.
I found a following advice on the GOG forum: "1-Download the Circle of 8 Modpack with New Content. Tons of new quests, even some mini romances, great fun." And decided to give it a try -_-. Why do you not recommend it for first playthrough, except for the combat difficulty?

Thanks everyone for the replies!
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
46,197
Codex Year of the Donut
I found a following advice on the GOG forum: "1-Download the Circle of 8 Modpack with New Content. Tons of new quests, even some mini romances, great fun." And decided to give it a try -_-. Why do you not recommend it for first playthrough, except for the combat difficulty?
Co8 adds a lot of new (read:frequently unwanted) content and generally increases the overall difficulty(see: https://co8.org/community/threads/co8-7-x-vs-vanilla-toee-long-winded.9501/ ) I get the feeling most people are unaware of the difficulty increase, and it's not documented anywhere(?)

Contrasted to Temple+, which is a partial rewrite of the engine itself to fix longstanding engine-level issues, and also fixes various scripting bugs. AFAIK, any additions Temple+ makes are optional and can be toggled on/off in its options menu in the launcher.
 
Last edited:

Jasede

Arcane
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Messages
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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
Temple is after my time but I can only strongly recommend against Co8.
 

Gregz

Arcane
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Jul 31, 2011
Messages
7,784
Location
The Desert Wasteland

JanKrapivin

Novice
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
24
I found a following advice on the GOG forum: "1-Download the Circle of 8 Modpack with New Content. Tons of new quests, even some mini romances, great fun." And decided to give it a try -_-. Why do you not recommend it for first playthrough, except for the combat difficulty?
Co8 adds a lot of new (read:frequently unwanted) content and generally increases the overall difficulty(see: https://co8.org/community/threads/co8-7-x-vs-vanilla-toee-long-winded.9501/ ) I get the feeling most people are unaware of the difficulty increase, and it's not documented anywhere(?)

Contrasted to Temple+, which is a partial rewrite of the engine itself to fix longstanding engine-level issues, and also fixes various scripting bugs. AFAIK, any additions Temple+ makes are optional and can be toggled on/off in its options menu in the launcher.
As far as i know you can choose between Co8 mod WITH or WITHOUT additional content. Don't know if the version without additional content make the game harder too. Oh, a lot of read by your link. Thanks, will dive in it. Probably should try Vanilla, at least to make compare of the pure interest.

Also i have found these advices for Co8. Should i follow them on Vanilla version also?

Set your video card to a 'no scaling' setting for video playback. This will make in-game videos play at their original resolution. Some systems experience game crashes when they try to scale ToEE's videos to fit the monitor.

Do not play at a resolution greater than 1680 x 1050. The highest resolution reliably supported by ToEE is 1680 x 1050.

Do not use quicksaves with ToEE. They corrupt easily. Instead, use an array of at least 5 regular saves while playing ToEE, overwriting each in turn. This practice should ensure that you have a good save to go back to if one becomes corrupt.

Do not save during combat. This also runs a greater risk of save corruption.

Do not play in Ironman mode. Save corruption is a fact of life with ToEE, and if your Ironman save becomes corrupt, you're finished. If you want an Ironman-style game, it's best to simply play Ironman-style in a regular game.

Do not use autosave on map change with ToEE. Using this feature will break certain scripts in ToEE. It is set to 'off' by default in the Co8 modpack.

ETC
 

Baron Dupek

Arcane
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Messages
1,869,031
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Kitchen sink
As someone who managed to reach new content in Co8 after vanilla engame - that crap ain't fun. Avoid like a plague.
Pure, unadultered:prosper:
Good luck fighting four Balrogs / St. Cuthbert / Iuz (depending on your party's aligment) and then clean up some random camp boobytrapped with invisible mines... oh sorry, these are explosive runes.

I'm still baffled that after all these years the only big mod for ToEE is this crap.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
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Codex Year of the Donut
Also i have found these advices for Co8. Should i follow them on Vanilla version also?
The first two: no, all that's fixed by Temple+.
The saving part: I'm not sure, so I'll just ping Sitra Achara to see if he's done any work on the save system.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
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I found a following advice on the GOG forum: "1-Download the Circle of 8 Modpack with New Content. Tons of new quests, even some mini romances, great fun." And decided to give it a try -_-. Why do you not recommend it for first playthrough, except for the combat difficulty?
Co8 adds a lot of new (read:frequently unwanted) content and generally increases the overall difficulty(see: https://co8.org/community/threads/co8-7-x-vs-vanilla-toee-long-winded.9501/ ) I get the feeling most people are unaware of the difficulty increase, and it's not documented anywhere(?)

Contrasted to Temple+, which is a partial rewrite of the engine itself to fix longstanding engine-level issues, and also fixes various scripting bugs. AFAIK, any additions Temple+ makes are optional and can be toggled on/off in its options menu in the launcher.
It's all documented in
http://files.co8.org/docs/Circle of Eight Modpack 8.1.0 - Release Notes.txt

Of course there are so many changes who has time to read all that, especially when you've never played before? Here are some examples

- Made moathouse giant frogs and courtyard bandits trigger each other, so you don't get to kill them one at a time.

- Made ghouls near the gelatinous cube rush in to aid the harpies on Level 1.

- Made it so ogre will join the gnolls near the southern entrance on Level 1.
- Made it so Romag's troops will join the fight if you attack him.

- Overhauled Lareth and troops battle scenario and made them reactive.
- Tweaked Lareth's prebuffing.
- Updated Lareth's spell selection to include Dispel Magic and Obscuring Mist.
- Improved Lareth's guards' AI to allow them to wake each other up if they're asleep.

As far as i know you can choose between Co8 mod WITH or WITHOUT additional content. Don't know if the version without additional content make the game harder too. Oh, a lot of read by your link. Thanks, will dive in it. Probably should try Vanilla, at least to make compare of the pure interest.
Yeah here's the thing, regardless of which version you use there is no "pure bugfix" co8 patch. The content is modified in both. The one without additional content just means no co8 original content. They're pretty arrogant about their changes too:
Standard versions contain mainly bugfixes, rules compliance modifications, AI tweaks, and content restoration, in addition to a few actual mods like the Rannos and Gremag revenge scenario and the Moathouse Ambush. These are 'mini-mods' compared to the major expansions, and we include them in the standard modpack because we don't feel they significantly impact the balance of the game, and because our longterm feedback indicates that over time, they have become considered part and parcel with the basic game. Many players don't even know that they are mods.
 

Sitra Achara

Arcane
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Sep 1, 2003
Messages
1,832
Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
Also i have found these advices for Co8. Should i follow them on Vanilla version also?
The first two: no, all that's fixed by Temple+.
The saving part: I'm not sure, so I'll just ping Sitra Achara to see if he's done any work on the save system.
(Un?)fortunately I've never been able to reproduce a save corruption, so haven't been able to fix any such issue.

So in that sense the recommendations still stand. While it is a rare occurence, it's probably for the best to do that.

Regarding auto save, loading an auto save can indeed break a few co8 scripts (usually "spawn stuff on map entry" type of thing), but I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
 

Sitra Achara

Arcane
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Sep 1, 2003
Messages
1,832
Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
It's all documented in
http://files.co8.org/docs/Circle of Eight Modpack 8.1.0 - Release Notes.txt

Of course there are so many changes who has time to read all that, especially when you've never played before? Here are some examples

- Made moathouse giant frogs and courtyard bandits trigger each other, so you don't get to kill them one at a time.

- Made ghouls near the gelatinous cube rush in to aid the harpies on Level 1.

- Made it so ogre will join the gnolls near the southern entrance on Level 1.
- Made it so Romag's troops will join the fight if you attack him.

- Overhauled Lareth and troops battle scenario and made them reactive.
- Tweaked Lareth's prebuffing.
- Updated Lareth's spell selection to include Dispel Magic and Obscuring Mist.
- Improved Lareth's guards' AI to allow them to wake each other up if they're asleep.
BTW, coincidentally these examples are all my doing :p
 

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