ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

Everything about ToME
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:44 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 363
Post One: Table of Contents and Thanks
(You Are Here.)

Update June 1st 2018: Mostly updated through Cults!

Thanks to many helpful people in these forums, including but not limited to fiske for originally pointing out Projection's synergy with Psionic Minion and giving me a whole new appreciation of its potential, Erenion for testing out many additional weird Projection edge-cases I hadn't even thought of, Visage for clarifying Dismissal’s (lack of) interaction with Danger Sense, and Micbran for getting me started with Battle Psionics after many early game fails. My conversation partners in other Possessor threads also helped clarify my thinking about this class significantly, and helped me bridge the gap between "WTF, Possessor?" and Possessor being my favorite class to date. Finally, 64legos All Tinker recipes spreadsheet was hugely useful in letting me spend points on Tinkers for only what I need.

Post two: Overview
1. 4 Insane Builds, TL:DR Edition
2. A Note on Terminology
3. Why Play Tinker Possessor, According to Timmy, Johnny, and Spike
4. Why this Guide is exhaustingly long but still not exhaustive
5. My Insane Wins
6. Suggested Addons

Post three: Possession Mechanics
1. Who Can You Possess?
2. Host Skills and You
a. Choosing Your Skills
b. Free Skills
c. Using Your Host's Weapon Skills
3. Other Host Properties
4. Antimagic
5. Leaving a Host

Post Four: Build Discussion
1. Decide Goal, then Choose stats
2. Races
3. Category Points
4. Inscription Choices
5. Prodigies
6. Weapon Loadout
7. Host Loadout
8. Class Skills
9. Generic Skills
10. Escorts
11. Getting Started and Piloting Notes

Post Five: Gear and Tinkers
1. Gear
2. Tinkers

Post Six: The Possessor's Bestiary - A Discussion of Host Body Properties
1. General Host Discussion
2. Hosts with the Most - Prodigies and Hosts

My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer

Last edited by Snarvid on Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:56 pm, edited 11 times in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:45 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 363

1. 4 Insane Builds, TL:DR Version

For all, your skill priorities are: Possess to 4, Self Persistence to 3, then max out Improved Form and Full Control, splashing Psychic Blows to 1/1/1/1 asap along the way. Then build out Psychic Blows to at least 1/1/4/3 and try to get Body Snatcher to 4/1/4/1. 3/1/5 in Solipsism is next for all but Ogres, who want Battle Psionics 5/1/1/5 at this point. (If you're not playing on Insane and drowning NPCs, you might float some points into Psionic Disruption first, to get skill-based damage while your weapon damage is still terrible).

Choose race:

Cornac. Inscription ->Body Snatcher->Tinkers->Psionic Mastery->Deep Horror.
After skill unlocks, Str>Will>Cun>Dex. Prodigies: Superpower, Flexible Combat.
Ignore all other weapon trees, focus only on Psychic Blows, wield ranged weapon offhand.
Pros: Strong start, fast level advancement, earlier access to all cat points means tinker schematics are completed earlier, lots of free generics, Deep Horror access.
Cons: Less powerful endgame. Some awkward levels where you have more than 4 class points that you're saving for Deep Horror but you haven't unlocked it yet.

Drem. Inscription -> Body Snatcher->Tinkers->Psionic Mastery
Str>Will>Magic>Cun. Prodigies: Superpower, Arcane Might. Learn Psychic Blows first, possibly dipping into Battle Psionics after Solipsism to get 1/1/1/5. Strongly consider maxing out Psionic Minion when you have the points.
Pros: Very good throughout the game. Frenzy is amazing from level 1-50 for both letting you switch forms quickly, double hitting with each of your Psychic Blows AoEs, and your projection game, while From Below It Devours serves as both gap-closer and bodyguard. "Horror" is a strong choice for your non-humanoid non-animal starting Possession type.
Cons: Shalore *might* be stronger endgame in the right host...?

Ogre. Inscription->Body Snatcher->Tinkers->Psionic Mastery. After skill unlocks, Str>Will>Magic>Cun. Prodigies: Arcane Might, Flexible Combat. After Psychic Blows, build Battle Psionics or Solipsism. Wield 2 hander+shield before Battle Psionics + good mindstar shows up, then 2 hander+mindstar.
Pros: Most possible weapon skills from hosts due to ability to combine two-handed weapon with an offhand, strong inscriptions from racials. Interesting ability to stick Psionic Disruption stacks on Psychic Blows AoE and Retaliation means Shockstar is often landing on max stacks.
Cons: Generics are tight if you want 5 points Mindstar mastery, lowered power from Ogrewielding, unimpressive starting choice of "immobile" as host type.

Shalore: Inscription->Body Snatcher->Tinkers->Psionic Mastery. After skill unlocks, Str>Will=Mag>Cun. Prodigies: PES, Arcane Might. Learn Psychic Blows first, possibly dipping into Battle Psionics after Solipsism to get 1/1/1/5
Pros: Highest global speed boost, great ability to stretch PES, Psionic Block, Grace, and host buffs with Timeless, best synergy with Magic stat.
Cons: Racial bonuses not truly apparent until around level 30, unimpressive starting choice of "immobile" as host type.

There are lots of other options, of course, but the TL:DR section is exactly the wrong place to discuss them.

2. A Note on Terminology

I refer to the bodies you have available from your Possess ability as "hosts" and the body you chose during character creation as your "base form."

3. Why Play Tinker Possessor? Timmy, Johnny, & Spike Answer

Why play a Tinker Possessor? Let's ask the 3 Magic the Gathering psychographic profiles.

Timmy loves Possessors because he enjoys powerful characters, and Possessors have access to the best of everything within their extradimensional Pokemortuary. The highest potential stats, the most Prodigies, the most hitpoints, the most high-level skills. The only way that a Possessor could get more awesome is if they jumped into a body of an overpowered greater multi-hued wyrm from the Room of Death, got another +70 in net stats, strapped rockets onto their taloned feet, and carried laser-firing crystals on their sword OMG DO IT ALREADY!

Johnny loves Possessors because of the interaction between a fixed set of tools (Possessor skills) and a rotating set of abilities (host skills) provides new and interesting windows for deeply exploring different playstyles. Finding just the right body and Tinkering it up just so is when Johnny is happiest. There's a ton of replayability in making progressively stranger niche-exploring characters - taking Vital Shot and running a Mindslayer host so you can triple-wielding Steamguns? It's not about optimizing effectiveness as such, it's about doing something new and interesting as hard as you can.

Spike loves winning on the hardest difficulties. He plays Possessors because they're confirmed S class, and given that Possessors have relatively few good generics he'd be taking Tinkers even if all they had was Grounding Strap and Razor Edge.

(Counterpoint: Why not play a Possessor? Because for the most part your hosts can't heal, and that changes the game on a fundamental level. Possessors therefore require a high degree of vigilance, in that a few turns of poor play can permanently remove your favorite host from the game. And they'll never have the option to fully customize the toolset of one of their host's classes, having instead to run with whatever the host had. Finally, they are very confusing to learn, enough so that the game warns you about it in their description. This guide is an attempt to remedy the last of these issues.)

4. Why this Guide is exhaustingly long but still not exhaustive

When thinking about pretty much every other class in the game, creating your character is kinda like building a vehicle from scratch to take you to a destination. Figure out how you're going to deal with the obstacles on your path, build towards those capabilities, fix it when it breaks down, refuel it when it's out of gas, get better at driving/piloting it, and hopefully you finally get there. A class guide, therefore, is something like a parts listing, building instructions, and driving instructions.

Playing a Possessor is still a little bit like that (as you still have two viable weapon trees to build out), but it's a lot more like deciding to get to your destination by hijacking whatever vehicles you come across, driving them until they crash, run out of gas, or you just see another one you want more. Because of this, it's hard to write up a concise set of instructions as to how you'll get from point A to point B, or how to drive every possible vehicle. The challenge, the fun, and the build diversity of the Possessor come from choosing how much you want to focus on boosting your innate melee abilities vs. your host abilities, and which, if any, of the latter you want to specialize in. There probably isn't a "right" answer to most of these questions, or at least not a singular one that will satisfy Tommy, Johnny, and Spike equally. Nonetheless, I'm writing up what I've learned in a handful of Insane victories on Possessors, as a guide to playing a Possessor, mixed with a manual on how Possessors actually work, and an appendix about what monsters make good hosts.

Finally, it's worth noting that any DLC that adds a new race, class, or monster type changes the Possessor, so this guide may lag behind from time to time despite its length.

5. My Insane Wins

This guide is built for Insane, based on lessons learned there. It should work on Normal as well, with the notable exception that Possession Mastery is weaker on Normal because of a lack of randBosses.

Ogre ... 9ff8f05250
Shalore ... 5e371b7010
Drem ... 1423fde83e

My Shalore beat the game with 0 deaths, but he managed to die during a weird edge-case in Projection testing (NB: don't go into Fearscape while a Projection).

My Drem is still at 0 deaths, and managed to beat the Hypostasis of Entropy on the first try without knowing anything about the fight ahead of time. Projection - From Below - Frenzy - double Psionic Minion was a workhorse on this one, although I think most of the utility there was From Below’s pull/taunt given the specific rules of that fight, rather than the Minions doing damage.

I've gotten a Cornac to 50 in Nightmare and 48 on Insane before the games fell apart due to bugs in mods, I feel like I "get" them without having won with one. Insane Cornac: ... 831d28c3a8

I'm pretty happy with my Cornac and Shalore builds, I would do Ogre quite differently now. Ogre also came first, so the greater number of deaths should be attributed to my playing learning curve as well as the many build mistakes there (PES is not great on Ogres, 4 points wasted in over-commitment to Solipsism and Self-Persistence that could have gone into Psychic Crush) rather than the idea that Ogres aren't good Possessors.

My Drem build worked well, but I think I would choose Superpower over Flexible Combat to improve mindpower for Projection-based summoning shenanigans if I had it to do again. I'm not sure Dismissal was worth it's raising my Solipsism threshold, might have been better to max Psionic Minion, and I should have grabbed Bloodcaller to help deal with the high Psi costs that Frenzy can generate.

6. Suggested Addons
This is a guide for Possessors using Tinkers. You can rely on luck of the draw or save-scumming, but I just use Select First Escort. It does what it says, is quite stable, and I think is a good choice for “I really want to get Tinkers but don’t think I should be able to choose absolutely every Escort I get or have to spend somewhere between 5 minutes and an hour save-scumming.”

Zizzo’s Possessor Tweaks mod provides helpful additional information while playing a Possessor, I think it’s a pretty good tool for lowering the skill floor of the class. I don’t share Zizzo’s opinion that Possessors need any buffs (such as letting their host bodies regenerate to full health), so I do not favor of the “Proper Possession” mod, but I’m not the boss of you.

My class guides: Possessor, Oozemancer

Last edited by Snarvid on Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:05 pm, edited 25 times in total.