Author Topic: Xanos the Barbarian  (Read 739 times)

Legacy_Malifaun

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Xanos the Barbarian
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:47:03 am »


               After a very successful duo with a paladin pc and Dorna the rogue a long while ago, it was Xanos´  turn now. Earlier attempts using him as a barbarian had failed miserably because he loves casting cantrip damage spells, even in later levels when his melee is far superior.
But TonyK solves as I can tell him to shut up; before battles: "cast buffs" and he buffs everyone with mage armor, a nice ac boost, and then proceeds to melee.

I picked a rogue as his companion, halfling and archer. Feats went into shortbow and shadowdancer prereqs.
The first surprise came when I managed to down Rumgut without breaking a sweat. While some of my characters (not all) had managed to kill him before, it had always been a hard battle with many reloads.

However, that was about it for pleasant surprises. From there, the road was a hard one, starting with J´Nah: my usual approach of luring her outside, closing the door and creating a "my team vs you alone" fight failed because I couldnt dent her with mundane bow/arrows. Various tries and setups didnt work as she would quickly dispose of or disable Xanos.
Luckily I had acquired the help of the Gnolls, suspecting the fight might become tough. So I tried quickly sneak-attacking away her entourage, leaving her alone for the gnoll pack and Xanos to target. But even many attempts with that method didnt get her dead - her aoe obliterates the pack too quickly, and remaining big guys like Xanos or the gnoll chief get disabled and killed.
Eventually I got her down, by retreating to a side room with Xanos during the battle, healing him up, setting traps, looting the shelves for useful scrolls like summon creature or resist elements; let Xanos fight her for a bit while I did the same procedure in the next sideroom, rinse, load and repeat. Ugly and very unsatisfactory. I hadnt seen any +1 shortbow or arrows, I didnt buy expensive elemental or poison arrows (I doubt they would have helped anyway), I am curious what kind of archery setup would be needed to damage her.

When planning my road, the main worries had been for the undeads in the interlude. Hence I was well prepared and had saved many traps and scrolls for this. It turned out to be no problem; I mostly supported Xanos who skillfully wielded the acid halberd, occasionally I joined the fray swinging the desert fury morningstar. This was the last time where I could be effective with melee; I considered picking weapon finesse, but didnt and so my melee ab was becoming abysmal soon.

The wind zombie was almost soloed by a buffed up Xanos. He didnt quite win on his own, but my little added arrow damage sufficed to take it down.

The last big hurdle was Heurodis: her bigby + igms approach meant dead Xanos. I could protect myself with spellmantle scrolls, but took way too long to destroy the mythallars. So I tried using the shadow portal (for the first time, my toons sofar didnt have to), and found out that while its impossible to use in combat, I could save -> load and use it before combat was resumed. At some point we ended up so far away from Heurodis that she wasnt active, but I could still target the mythallars with my bow and destroy them while she stood around. After that it was easy.

=========================================================================================

While my rogue wasnt very powerful as builds go, I had a lot of fun with her and proceeded to also play through hotu. The group consisted of me, Deekin the pure bard and a tank - the latter changing each chapter, from Daelan to Valen to finally Aribeth. Now a bard buffed tank can "solo" the module, so all I had to do was coordinate the fights. With the exception of the Valsharess, who posed quite a problem untill I thought of buying all the mestils acid sheath scrolls from the djinn. Combined with what I had collected myself in the department of damage shield buffs, it was enough to have the Valsharess suicide while I drank heal potions.

The final build was 26 rogue/ 1 shadowdancer, epic feats being ewf shortbow, couple sneak damage and as last feat epic dodge.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Empyre65

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 11:56:30 pm »


               The moral of the story is that Xanos is mostly useless.
I recently played SoU with a Rogue Wizard AA, and used Dorna, who I told to level only as Cleric. She took on Herodis while I took out the mythallars. When I had destroyed the mythallars, Herodis cast a spell that took me out of combat, and as I just stood there helpless (next time I'll drink a Clarity potion), Dorna finished her off all by herself.
After HotU, I played the Sands of Fate series, and ended up with Rogue 17 / Wizard 1 / Arcane Archer 22.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_HipMaestro

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 07:54:02 pm »


               

Empyre65 wrote...
The moral of the story is that Xanos is mostly useless.

...perhaps for you, Empyre.  But that may not always prove the situation for all, especially if approached differently.

The sad fact is that just about all spellcasters are a huge problem using the stock hench AI controls and though TonyK's Ai helps, it is far from perfect and IMO doesn't make them productive.

TBH, Xanos is the only henchie I use until Deekin is available. Dorna's trap skills seem seldom needed (I always at least xclass the trap and lock skills in all my toons) and cleric buffs are extremely short-lived at SoU levels. Mischa is decent as tank if you have the fix applied.  But I recommend training Xanos as a barbarian and forgoing the arcanist skills for the most part (you can't avoid that single sorc level unfortunately).  True, a few buffs can help from time to time, but he is still a better tank than a sorc.  Also, when he does cast a lot, he spams Find Traps so if your rogue wants to recover traps, you need to be extra cautious of his perception range.  I've been tempted to kill him myself MANY times.

I'd recommend setting Xanos up as either a S/S (there are a few +X 1H weapons in the early game) or greataxe-wielding barb.  Keep dropping Bull's potions on him before each battle (and Cat's for extra AC) since the level-up package will continue to boost CHA as his primary ability.  Also, equip him with ogre mitts and any other STR-boosting items, like belts, if available.  Conbined with his raging boosts and occasional Power Attacks and Cleave opportunities, he will cause lots of damage and withstand a fair amount of damage with the elevated HPs from the barb levels. By the campaign end he'll have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 or more HPs while raging... fairly high for an SoU toon.

Remove ALL his weapons except the one that you prefer to have him use.  Bring up his spell selection before combat and try to exhaust them beforehand.  At Sorc 1, there should be very few attempts at spellcasting on his part.

Playing Xanos otherwise, well, then... I agree with Empyre's assessment... a sorc is just plain annoying to drag along, just like Glinkle in the OC.

edit:  Oh, and as far as Heurodis battle goes, you have already figured out the key if you take Xanos all the way.  Set up the shadow door, immediately where you enter the chamber out of her perception range and leave Xanos on Stand Ground well back while you go about destroying the mythallar, since your toon is the only one with suitable defenses vs. her spells.  Then once she no longer has the mythallar regen, place Xanos on Attack Nearest or Defend once you have Heurodis engaged (I recommend melee with all act bosses except those with reciprocal shields erected which may have been too difficult to dispel).  Drop a speed potion on Xanos from time to time, when you can.  Unfortunately, the boss is immune to sneaks so your rogue damage will be limited to just what the weapon (or ammo) does on its own.  Those fire pots will help damage as well.
               
               

               


                     Modifié par HipMaestro, 11 février 2013 - 08:09 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_cds13

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 08:48:18 pm »


               Unless I play a sorcerer myself I like using their support actually, Xanos being surely better than Boddyknock. I let him advance in level the standard way since his pre-buffing is quite useful. My tactic is to let them behind firing spells and arrows (I equip Xanos with longbows, medium armor and all the scrolls I cannot use) and if I ever need a more direct support I simply run behind them so that they can switch melee while I heal myself.
Oh, I find Xanos sometimes more amusing than Deekin (I said "sometimes"), when he boasts over himself or complains about the desert and the small quarters I simply burst laughing; but man... that Dorna is awful... surely not good for morale.
Boddy could simply kill you in a while unless you are protected at least from elemental damage while Xanos is more accurate since generally doesn't use wide area spells (i.e. burning hands, Mestil's breath etc.).
If I don't go wrong you don't find Boddyknock in HoU as henchman, did they make a poll in order to admit him or not in the mod?
In order to maximize variety of game I often switch my henchies; let's assume I play a fighter I could be overloaded by wands and scrolls, I don't sell them but equip my henchies (in SoU every henchie can use them).
These were just a few ideas I wanted to share.

Bye!
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Drewskie

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2013, 11:17:10 pm »


               worthless...  I had to load an older save game and swap for Deekin, since it got to the point Xanos would cast invis on himself and just stand there.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Rogue1618

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2013, 08:57:00 pm »


               When I got through the SOU Campaign, it was with Xanos using a Ranger/Blackguard.
I always thought Xanos did better with a physically tough character, anything like a Wizard or Rogue would be better off choosing Mischa or Dorna.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 07:00:01 pm »


               Malifaun I am surprise that you didn't find the 'shortbow +1 in the Kobbold Caves.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Westan Willows

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 11:44:35 pm »


               

Malifaun wrote...

After a very successful duo with a paladin pc and Dorna the rogue a long while ago, it was Xanos´  turn now. Earlier attempts using him as a barbarian had failed miserably because he loves casting cantrip damage spells, even in later levels when his melee is far superior.
But TonyK solves as I can tell him to shut up; before battles: "cast buffs" and he buffs everyone with mage armor, a nice ac boost, and then proceeds to melee.

I picked a rogue as his companion, halfling and archer. Feats went into shortbow and shadowdancer prereqs.
The first surprise came when I managed to down Rumgut without breaking a sweat. While some of my characters (not all) had managed to kill him before, it had always been a hard battle with many reloads.

However, that was about it for pleasant surprises. From there, the road was a hard one, starting with J´Nah: my usual approach of luring her outside, closing the door and creating a "my team vs you alone" fight failed because I couldnt dent her with mundane bow/arrows. Various tries and setups didnt work as she would quickly dispose of or disable Xanos.
Luckily I had acquired the help of the Gnolls, suspecting the fight might become tough. So I tried quickly sneak-attacking away her entourage, leaving her alone for the gnoll pack and Xanos to target. But even many attempts with that method didnt get her dead - her aoe obliterates the pack too quickly, and remaining big guys like Xanos or the gnoll chief get disabled and killed.
Eventually I got her down, by retreating to a side room with Xanos during the battle, healing him up, setting traps, looting the shelves for useful scrolls like summon creature or resist elements; let Xanos fight her for a bit while I did the same procedure in the next sideroom, rinse, load and repeat. Ugly and very unsatisfactory. I hadnt seen any +1 shortbow or arrows, I didnt buy expensive elemental or poison arrows (I doubt they would have helped anyway), I am curious what kind of archery setup would be needed to damage her.

=========================================================================================

While my rogue wasnt very powerful as builds go, I had a lot of fun with her and proceeded to also play through hotu. The group consisted of me, Deekin the pure bard and a tank - the latter changing each chapter, from Daelan to Valen to finally Aribeth. Now a bard buffed tank can "solo" the module, so all I had to do was coordinate the fights. With the exception of the Valsharess, who posed quite a problem untill I thought of buying all the mestils acid sheath scrolls from the djinn. Combined with what I had collected myself in the department of damage shield buffs, it was enough to have the Valsharess suicide while I drank heal potions.

The final build was 26 rogue/ 1 shadowdancer, epic feats being ewf shortbow, couple sneak damage and as last feat epic dodge.




     I found J'nah to be a letdown. My fgt/Wiz/AA. Had no problen with her. At the time he was lv5 Fighter lv 1 Wiz. I use a summon lv3 dire wolf and Dorma. Until she cast 'Elemental Shield' Ice arows etc will damage her. After that Acid or lighting will still damage her. Her 'damage reduction' is why your mundane arows/bows didn't work.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Malifaun

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Xanos the Barbarian
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2014, 07:43:36 pm »


               I am not entirely sure, but I think the shortbow +1 might be in a chest that, if opened, causes the gnolls to go hostile. In my playthrough I didnt loot those to have the gnolls as allies.

As for elemental arrows, I expected Jnah to be mostly immune due to her shield spells and am surprised that she isnt. But how did you get them ? They dont drop as random loot unless your character is of sufficient level, and the vendors price them most outrageously high.