This is a place to share various combat and strategy tips that can help the Princess get through some tough situations in ADwR. It should be noted that not every strategy will work for everyone and in every situation. Readers are encouraged to add their tips on this page in the proper section, but are asked to do so responsibly, preferably on the basis of actual experience. Readers should also consider the fact that the use of such strategies can make things too easy and may deprive them of the joy of coming up by with a way to beat the game by themselves.
Look also: Character Builds.
- In general, the Princess shouldn't rush into a fight, but rather consider her strategy first. This means distributing and putting on relevant equipment on her and her companions (like belts with fear immunity when fighting against Dragons), buffing, taking preferable positions, setting traps. Even if the fight is a surprise fight, sometimes it is better to run away and risk a few AoO, but come back later prepared for a fight. You can switch gear (except body armor) even during the fight, for example, moving Ironskin Ring to the ally who is a focus of enemy attack now.
- When facing numerous enemies, it is sometimes prudent to run away, risking a few AoO, but forcing the enemy to leave his preferable position. In such cases, sometimes not all enemies will follow right away, allowing the Princess to deal with only few of them at the time. Thus, it is also useful to repeatedly close doors during fights to separate groups of enemies. An advanced - and perhaps more dishonest - version of this tactic is the use of area transitions. No more than a couple of enemies usually follow, and the Princess will find it much easier to deal with them and then return to the previous location for luring the next set of victims.
- The Princess's and her companions chances of survival can be greatly improved by having heavy shields ready for use in case of need.When facing numerous hostiles with good attacking abilities (like Dhorn in the Bear Pit or Drow parties in Part 2) it is more important to raise a chance to avoid multiple attacks, then to have one or two additional off hand attacks against one enemy (unless, of course, he is a mage and should be stopped before buffing). Thus, even if it is not prudent to hold a shield while sneaking around (considering also that it blocks the view of the Princess' sexy thighs), it should be ready in the inventory. (However, unless you already planned on multiclassing into a class that has shield proficiency, the Princess may be better off spending her few feats elsewhere).
- Armor bonus, which comes from dexterity can be easily lost, especially by those who have no Uncanny Dodge feat. (like Anden). Purely for AC purposes, it is better not to use chainmail only when someone has +6 dex bonus, and not to use full plate when someone has +10 dex bonus. Therefore, especially for companions, it is sometimes preferable to use heavy or medium armors (with equal properties) instead of light ones they have.
- Potions of Rogue's Cunning, Invisibility Potions, and Scrolls of Knock and Find Traps are extremely useful early in game. Invisibility Potions can be also be used to shake off pursuers, if someone caught the Princess sneaking about. (Note, however, that city guards will give up the chase much easier than hostile enemies).
- Amulet of the Master grants +6 to most of your primary skill, as well as 16 Spell Resistance. It can be bough in Jeweller's shop. It's expensive, around 40,000 GP, but you can afford it after looting Dhorn's Barracks, and probably should.
- Greater Gloves of the Rogue can be bought for under 1000 GP in Hideout and gives +3 to many useful Rogue skills. Between this, Amulet of the Master and Potions of Rogue's Cunning you can get up to +19 on skill rolls total.
- Damage resistance items can greatly improve the Princess's chances of survival. Right at the start of the story, the Princess can easily obtain a Swordsman's Belt at a cost of some 800 -900 GP from Tanner in Betancuria South. The belt grants /5 resistance to slashing damage, which is the most common type of damage the Princess will meet at this stage (Dhorn swords, rats, etc.). Afterwards, the Princess can buy a Brawler's Belt and an Archer's Belt, quickslot the belts and switch them according to the type of enemy she faces.
- Lecturer Kathy's Dress has 5/+3 damage reduction and can be found early in the Academy. You'll find a lot of good armours through the game, so don't waste money on buying them from shops.
- The Rod of the Ghost, which can be bought for some 3000-4000 GP at Betancuria Academy, is another relatively cheap damage reduction item. It allows anyone to cast the Ghostly Visage spell once per day, which grants the caster /5 +1 damage resistance for 3 turns. As a side bonus, Ghostly Visage also grants immunity to first level spells, including those pesky magic missiles that are so frequently used by monster mages. The effects of the rod and the belts can be combined, granting the Princess the ability to shrug off 10 dmg points. Problem is, Damage Reduction does not stack, and you are likely to have other, better sources of it (such as Ironskin Ring).
- The Ironskin Ring, which can be bought from Jeweler in Betancuria North for 70,000-80,000 GP, gives +5 Soak 10 damage reduction and is very helpful in advanced stages of the story. Other notable rings you can buy there are Ring of the Elemental Resistance (+15/- resistance to four elements, 15,000 GP) and Ring of Invisibility (Invisibility once/day, 5000 GP)
- You'll need some protection from Level Drain. Particularly, during Golden Chalice quest. Cheapest option is to buy Cloak of Blackflame from Tanner's shop.
- Darkness Potions, sold at Saman's alchemist shop in Betancuria North for an approximate price of 1200 gp per 10, are very useful tool. They create magical darkness, which can only be pierced by Ultravision or True Sight, and which lasts for 3 rounds. The Princess can use such potions to temporarily block a line of sight, so she (and her whole party) can escape or hide, every time somebody spots her. Such potions can also be used to give the party a brief time to buff, share equipment, change positions, or place traps in case of surprise attack.
- A Sequencer Robe can be bought from Hante Thenneset in the Academy for about 30,000 GP. Besides being useful armor, it allows the Princess to use, once per day, a single non-offensive self-targeted spell she has previously "loaded" into the robe. The Princess only needs to "load" the spell once and can do it from a scroll - meaning this item allows the Princess to use any powerful spell she can buy (for example Premonition or Time Stop), at a cost of the scroll and the item itself. But probably the best way to use it is with a high level Summoning spell. You can find a Summon IX scroll on Academy's upper floors, by the way.
- Isaac's Sequencer Robe can also be bought from Hante for 150,000 - 175,000 GP. It works similarly to the Sequencer Robe, but allows the use of 3 spells, which are activated at the same time. Besides allowing daily use of 3 powerful spells, simultaneous casting of 3 spells opens many tactical options. There any many possible combinations both for defense and offense. Some strong choices include: Premonition, Improved Invisibility, Spell Mantle, or Premonition, Mestil's Acid Sheath, Elemental Shield, or Time Stop, True Strike, Haste. It also has quite +7 Armor AC enchantment, which makes it a good "everyday" armor.
- Weapons with stunning or dazing effects, like the Courtesan Blade, are useful to rogues even if their duration is short, since any attack against a stunned or dazed enemy is considered a sneak attack. It also allows the rogue to hide and escape or land her next strike from the shadows.
- Warchman's Helm is one of the very few magic head slot items that give bonuses. It gives +8 to Search (also, Listen and Spot).
- Bags of Holding are sold at Bags and Pouches in Betancuria North. If the Princess has a low strength, these are an extremely wise investment. They will allow the Princess to carry back ALL of the loot from out-of-the-way locations like the Temple of Hyath.
- The usefulness of summons can not be underestimated. They work for 24 hours and can give the Princess lots of needed backup. Also, summoning a monster right near an enemy mage usually disables him for a while. You can also summon using scrolls. It can be very expensive, but gives access to level 9 summons right from the start. And you can store it on Sequencer Robe to use it every day for free.
- Darkness potions and spells can be used to give the advantage to a rogue during fights. While fighting takes place in darkness, every target is considered to have 50% concealment and every attack is considered to be a sneak attack. Usually Darkness is used in combination with Ultravision so one party will have a clear advantage. But for a rogue, it is advantageous to fight in darkness even without having Ultravision, since all her attacks will be sneak attacks.
- Grease, Entangle and Web spells are useful to rogues. Rogues usually have higher reflex saves than their enemies, thus they have the advantage when fighting in an affected area. Attacks against prone enemies are also considered sneak attacks.
- Spells and effects which stun or daze enemies, even for a short duration (like Hold Person,Color Spray, Daze, and Fear) are useful to rogues since any attack against a stunned enemy is considered a sneak attack. It also allows a rogue to hide and escape or land her next strike from the shadows.
Here are some tips on improving the Princess's financial situation:
- Before selling her loot, the Princess should check for a vendor offering her the best prices. It is better to do this with some piece of the Princesses equipment she has for a long time, so she would be able not only to compare the merchants attitude among themselves, but also to see if the attitude of the same merchant hasn't worsened following a new appraise check after leveling up. Usually it is best to sell equipment to Sanah Senner in her Healer's shop, Drago Blake, found in South Betancuria's warehouse, will buy all item types for good prices as well.
- The merchants attitude to the Princess and her ability to sell loot and buy equipment is affected by her appraise skill. An appraise check for any particular merchant occurs only after the Princess gains a new level or when the Princess's appraise skill goes UP.
- Following an appraise check, the game only reports if the merchants attitude is favorable, unfavorable or neutral, but the result of the check and subsequently the prices, can be very different. Therefore, it is better to compare the price itself and not to rely on the game's report.
- Right at the start, the Princess can purchase Gloves of Appraisal from the Tanner's shop for 100-130 GP. Also since the intelligence bonus is added to the Appraise skill, any item or spell which raises intelligence helps. For example, when dealing with expensive equipment, use of a Fox Cunning Potion, which costs a meager 100GP-150GP, can lower the price by thousands of gold pieces.
- Since an appraise check occurs only when the Princess's appraise skill goes up, even temporary bonuses to appraise skill can improve the merchant's attitude for a long period.
- The Princess shouldn't approach the vendor with all her appraise improving equipment and effects activated right away. At first, the Princess should try her luck with no appraise bonus. Then, if the result is not satisfactory, she should put some of her equipment on and try again. The more trials the Princess has, the better the chance to get the best attitude and the best price. She shouldn't be greedy though, and should know when to stop.
- A cheap way to have additional opportunities at appraise checks would be to approach the merchant a first time after leveling up, while drunk (drinking lowers intelligence). It is a lot of hassle, but is sometimes worth it.
- Sometimes, when the best attitude isn't achieved in spite of all your efforts, it is better to wait for the next level and a new set of appraise checks, then to sell a hoard of expensive loot at a bad price.
- During the story the Princess will encounter lots of traps. Instead of choosing to disarm them, the Princess can recover them and then sell to a vendor dealing with stolen goods like Drago. The most cheap traps are spike and frost traps, while the best profit is received from selling Fire, Electrical and Gas traps.
- Be warned that when the Princess recovers traps placed on the floor, she doesn't receives the XP otherwise received for disarming. She does receive full XP, when she recovers traps placed on placeables like doors, chests, etc.
- The DC for recovering the trap is 10 points higher then the DC used to disarm it. A Potion of Rogue's Cunning gives 10 bonus points to a rogue's disable trap ability, and costs less than the gold received from selling Fire, Electrical and Gas traps.
- The Felgen Mining Company in Betancuria North sells an infinite amount of quartz crystals. These can be converted into electrical traps and sold in the Family hideout for a high profit, effectively creating an infinite source of revenue.
- Playing Dice in the hideout can provide some starting bucks. If played smart, it's not hard to win thousands in gold.
- Some highly lootable places (namely the Barracks and the Academy) can be raided as early as level 2, with help of relatively cheap scrolls and potions. In particular, scrolls of Knock will defeat almost any lock and are sold for a mere 324 gp by Merit Fendt at the Academy. You'll need Use Magic Device skill or a level in Wizard or Sorcerer to use the scrolls, though. Barracks has 45,000 gold and Academym has some good magic items. Again, you'll need some magic ability to use them, or you can just sell them for cash.
- The first menace standing between the Princess and prized loot will be rats, who infest sewers and many buildings. A Swordsman's Belt turns rats into harmless, furry creatures.
- It also should be noted that as far as it concerns the vermin problem in the city buildings or some parts of the sewers, there is no reason why the Princess should deal with it instead of all those bored Dhorn soldiers or other useful idiots, hanging out nearby. The Princess should just show rats and spiders some of her yummy flesh and run to the streets (or towards Hideout guards and Tony and his men in the sewers). When they finish the job, the Princess can return and pick up the loot or move forward.
Tony the Tiger
Following the blast during Tony the Tiger quest, the most important tip for survival is not to wait until someone strikes the Princess, but run away or strike first, the moment the Princess is able to do it. Since there are two hostiles, it is better to run to another room and first deal with one of them. Then, and only then, if the Princess wishes so, deal with the second one.
Killing Rick Cars
One way to make this quest easy is to kill Rick and two of his cronies while they are asleep in their home during the day. It can be accessed through a tunnel in the abandoned building across the street.
Another way to deal with Car's gang is to lure them into the nearby Abandoned building and kill them separately. The Princess should put a few traps there, and then get to Rick. She should check to make sure there are no Dhorn around (they will side with Rick) and then attack Rick. It is important not to stay, but instead run away right after making Rick hostile. If he does not follow, the Princess can further annoy him with her bow, while standing near the door to Abandoned Building. With some luck Rick, and maybe one or two of his guys will run to her, and follow her into to the Abandoned building. She can get rid of them there, and then finish the rest of the gang. This can also be done cleverly, for example by sneaking to the guy standing on the ground in the left corner. His position is can't be seen from the positions of the rest of the gangsmen above - so if the Princess fights him there, they won't notice it.
Bear Pit Fight
The Princess can "win" this fight by avoiding it. She can leave the Bear Pit through the kitchen window or through a secret entrance to the sewers. A common problem with this approach is that once someone attacks the Princess she is considered to be in combat and window/entrance exit dialog won't initiate. To overcome this problem, the Princess should disengage. This can be done by hiding, either by a use of HipS, potion/spell of invisibility, or darkness potion or spell, to block enemy's line of sight. There are other ways to disengage, like disabling area spells (like Balduran's Iron Horn, Stinking Cloud, Grease, etc.), but they are much less effective.
Some would choose to fight, rather then escape. Maybe because the Princess reviews 100 XP for every killed Dhorn. Here are some tips:
- The most dangerous Dhorns in this fight are the Dhorn Wizard and the Dhorn Commander. While all other Dhorn soldiers have regular blades, and can barely touch the party, the Dhorn Commander has two +2 swords, which easily bypass the damage reduction of Anden's armor (and probably by this stage the Princess's and Pia's armor). Therefore, the Commander and Wizard should be the primary targets in this fight. The party should concentrate on attacking one of these primary targets and not spread around.
- Since the fight comes as a surprise, the Princess can use a darkness potion right at the start to even the odds. It will give her time to buff, hide and regroup her party before attacking a preferable target.
- Since this fight is a fight with numerous equal hostiles, defense must come before offense. Thus, Anden's and Pia's chances of survival can be improved by giving them heavy shields, even if it means sacrificing off hand attacks.
- If playing on the Hard setting, Anden shouldn't be given a bow in this fight. The use of a bow in close proximity with multiple hostiles will subject Anden to numerous attacks of opportunity. In fact, the Princess should take away Anden's bow, so as to to force him into using melee weapons.
Biggest problem in the last major fight of the first part is Cata. She deals a lot of damage and has several Heal potions which make it's hard to kill her just by removing HP. Use some save-or-die spell on her, such as Flesh to Stone, which is available in item's form - Bearded Man's Amulet. On your side Vico is the strongest by far, so it's worth buffing him with spells and items.
- Before the fight, the Princess should use the "fire breather" - a lever found besides Sziths in the hall where he meets with the Dhorn. Sziths will think the Dhorn betrayed him and attack, and the battle will weaken him.
- The Princess should equip herself (and her party) with fire resistance and fear immunity equipment. Such equipment can be found in Sziths' treasury and on Dhorn corpses.
- The Princess should use a weapon with a high enhancement bonus (like a Drow Morningstar + 4) or a weapon with elemental damage (preferably cold), since Sziths has high damage resistance.
- The Princess doesn't have to fight Sziths alone. If she continues past him she will eventually exit his lair and find her lost companions, and then be able to return and finish the job. She should pick up the Dhorn's equipment BEFORE leaving the lair however, since the corpses will disappear later.
- The Princess can take on Sziths alone if she wishes to do so. Sziths is very powerful, but has no way to deal with stealth. Using HipS on him and shooting him to death works wonderfully. An alternative tactic is quite similar, but more tricky. The Princess should shoot at him with a bow, then run around so a huge dragon statue in the middle of the room will be between the Princess and Sziths (he will look transparent when it happens) and use this brief moment to hide. Alternatively the Princess can use Darkness spell to create an area of Darkness to enter into, hide, exit, shoot, enter, hide, exit, shoot, etc...
- It is possible to defeat Sziths by kiting, running around the statute and the pole at the south, while occasionally shooting missiles at him.