ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:15 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:32 am
Posts: 10
Psionic/Dreamsmith is a cool category that can hit really hard, but 3/4 of the talents are melee range and it's stuck on Solipsist where you'd rather not stand next to people that much since you don't have many defenses beyond solipsism itself and burst damage is extra scary because of the potential to lose large amounts of global speed. This is my attempt to build "The Dreamsmith," a psionic warrior who fights in melee with the dream hammer.

Here is the most recent version of the character. I used the "slightly more adventurous" mod to access the Psionic/Psychic Blows category on this character, but I also ran a similar character with Technique/Two-Handed Assault and that worked fine too. It makes cleaning up mobs a little more tedious since Psionic/Psychic Blows has windblade lite and Technique/Two-Handed Assault's Death Dance and Fearless Cleave have less range, but it's not essential. And in the latter case Stunning Blow is nice to have since you will be pumping Str.

https://te4.org/characters/229407/tome/8d5ea1d5-6b6d-48ab-b81e-1a65f74d1e7a

Being "The Dreamsmith," the following categories are mandatory for thematic reasons

Psionic/Dreamsmith
Psionic/Dreamforge

Here's the build at a glance.

Race: I used Cornac, as I usually do for adventurers. You have lots of good places to put generics, especially since as an adventurer you get Harmony and Fungus for "free." But I think Thalore, Halfling, or Krog would work too. Yeek has good synergies, but you won't have much hp.

Stats: Wil > Cun > Str

Class Talents
Technique/Battle Tactics 5/5/0/0
Cursed/Punishments 1/1/1/5
Psionic/Absorption 2+/2+/2+/0+
Psionic/Dreamsmith 5/5/5/5
Psionic/Solipsism 2-3/0/0/0
Psionic/Psychic Blows 1/1/5/5 OR Technique/Two-Handed Assault 4/1/1+/1.

You could also use 1H, dual weapons, or mindstars and take a relevant category, but I wanted to use the dream malleus for maximum dreamsmithery.

You have enough cat and class points for 2 more categories. I went
Wild-gift/Sand Drake Aspect 4/1/5/0
Psionic/Psi-fighting 1/5/0/0

Generic Talents
Technique/Combat Training 5/5/0/0+/5/0
Wild-gift/Harmony 1/0/0/0
Wild-gift/Anti-magic 5/1+/3+/0+
Wild-gift/Fungus 5/1/1/1
Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations 1/1/1/5
Psionic/Dream Forge 5/1/1/4

Inscriptions: Movement, Movement, Heroism, Healing/Phys/Mental Wild, Regeneration
Prodigies: Superpower, Mental Tyranny. Could go with Windtouched Speed if you invest more in Harmony. Or something defensive like Spine of the World etc.
Escorts: If you can save a Loremaster early, having a point of Mind Sear makes the early game easier. Unflinching Resolve is better than usual since you have 1.0 mastery, not much cleanse, and super high stats. Dream Walk is worth 1 point if it's offered. Other than that the usual stuff is good.

Pros
-dream hammer hits hard
-pretty good at using weapons
-good at applying stun and confuse to enemies
-lots of defenses vs. a variety of damage types
-resource management is a breeze
-you can have 5 inscriptions immediately if you want
-crazy high stats and mindpower so saves are not an issue
-Willpower is super high so easy to maintain Anti-magic Shield

Cons
-rough start before you get your dream hammer going
-not much movement/escape beyond movement infusions
-not much cleanse beyond infusions and realign
-not much AoE damage

General Summary:

The dream hammer talents all hit hard, and since you get mind damage on all dream hammer attacks once you learn Forge Echoes, the build takes Madness from Cursed/Punishments. Dream hammer attacks also apply any "on melee hit" effects, so you can look for egos with glooms, slow, disease, etc. Equipment that adds more instances of mind damage is good too since it procs Madness again. Once you have a few points in Resonant Focus, your bump attacks/weapon talents should be reasonably good too, since you always max Willpower first.

You are best at smashing single targets, but when combined with Madness, Forge Echoes and Dream Forge give some crowd control. Forge Echoes is not as strong as the other Dreamsmith talents but still does solid damage in radius 3, and Forge Echoes applies mind damage to anyone close to you each turn you don't move, which procs Madness.

For defense, you have Resolve, Anti-magic Shield, Psionic/Absorption and Forge Shield. In addition, taking Solipsism and putting 2-3 points in the first talent only makes Psi management a breeze and allows you pretty much ignore fatigue so you can wear massive armor. And you only have to worry about losing at most 20% global speed below 20% Psi, which should pretty much never happen if you are exercising any amount of caution. In the end, physical damage dealers are still usually the biggest threat late game, but you can get 100/100% armor/hardiness plus whatever Absorption and Forge Shield can block.

Admittedly, the build is weaker when it comes to movement/escape options, especially early. However, you can afford to run 4-5 infusions off the bat if you play Cornac, depending on your category unlock preferences, and in NM+ you can usually find a movement infusion in one of the starting shops somewhere. Later on, once you max Step Up, you can often use that to close gaps/reposition and save one of your movements for escape if you need it. You can also try to get Dream Walk from an escort. The accuracy is low so it's unreliable, but sometimes you really need to get somewhere else while pinned and it accomplishes that. It can also get you out of vaults.

You also don't have much cleanse beyond your wild and realign, so you have to be careful about using movement proactively so you don't get stunned and managing your immunities. Wintertide Phial is great if you can find it, and magical debuffs usually aren't too big a deal.

You can also easily get your stats super high. You can TK wield a gem early (and late if you want to easily get 100+ mindpower) and use Augmentation to pump your physical stats, which with Superpower is even more mindpower.

I rolled NM with this build. I don't have much experience with insane (just got my first insane win with PM today, no deaths!), but my guess is that it wouldn't be awful on insane. I'll probably try that sometime in the future.

In-depth Breakdown

Class Talents

Technique/Battle Tactics: 5/5/0/0 - Greater Weapon Focus is instant, has 50% uptime when maxed, applies to Dream Hammer hits, and you have ways of boosting your Dex enough to make it good, even though you aren't building Dex. But the real prize here is Step Up, which gives you some badly needed mobility for pursuit and repositioning against mobs.

Curse/Punishments: 1/1/1/5 - You can float some points in the earlier talents early game to give you more buttons to press for damage, but you're really only here for Madness. Once you unlock Forge Echoes, all your dream hammer attacks do mind damage, and so have a chance to proc madness. Madness also makes Dream Forge not useless, since whenever you don't move you deal mind damage to everyone around you and possibly stun/confuse them.

Psionic/Absorption: 2+/2+/2+/0+ - This is helpful for not dying and generating some Psi early, and gives some defense throughout, but tbh I'm not completely sure it's needed. Still, you have no shortage of class and cat points. I might try without next time.

Psionic/Dreamsmith: 5/5/5/5 - Self explanatory, you're the Dreamsmith. All these talents hit hard. Hammer Toss counts as a melee attack despite being ranged, so it can apply your "on melee hit" effects. Dream Crusher is a stun and with your high mindpower you shouldn't have trouble landing it. Forge Echoes is your only good AoE attack if you don't have Psionic/Psychic Blows or take Windblade as a prodigy.

Psionic/Solipsism: 2-3/0/0/0 - The motivation for taking this is that you need a large Psi pool for the mindpower based sustains you want, and the Psionic/Dreamsmith talents aren't cheap, plus with the cooldown refresh from Dream Hammer you can use them quite often. Putting 2-3 points in Solipsism basically solves all your resource management problems since it gives you +5 Psi/level and lets you use healing to replenish your Psi. You do lose some life rating and gain a 20% solipsism threshold, but in exchange you get a bit of damage reduction from Solipsism and you can wear heavy or massive armor without worrying too much about fatigue. I think it's a worthwhile trade, although you could also try taking a Psi management category from Mindslayer instead.

Psionic/Psychic Blows: 1/1/5/5 - You need an addon to access Possessor talents as an Adventurer, but if you do Unleashed Mind and Seismic Mind give 2 nice AoE attacks. You have the points to get max range.

OR

Technique/Two-handed Assault: 4/1/1+/1+ - You have the points to pump stunning blow enough for duration = cd. Cleave is nice since it can be used while pinned. And you could go for the bleed with Death Dance if you want. Execution is an automatic crit, and the stamina cost is no issue for you.

If you are Cornac, you will have 2 more category points and enough class talent points to make them worth using. I went with Psionic/Psi-fighting to pump my physical stats with Augmentation and make my Greater Weapon Focus more potent, and then with Wild-gift/Sand Drake Aspect for Burrow, since at level 5 it's instant, helps with high armor/phys resist enemies, and gives a digging tool. But at this point I think you can do whatever you want.

Generic Talents

Technique/Combat Training: 5/5/0/0+/5/0 - Standard for weapon and heavy armor user, points in Combat Accuracy if you have trouble hitting stuff.

Wild-gift/Harmony: 0/0/0/1 - You get this without spending a cat point, and the first talent is quite useful even with one point. You could also go in a different direction with the build by investing more here and taking Windtouched Speed as a prodigy.

Wild-gift/Anti-magic: 5/1+/3+/0+ - You will have super high willpower, so Resolve can often get you to the resist cap lategame, and you don't have much trouble keeping Anti-magic Shield up. Silence can be useful against casters and can reduce your equilibrium, but generics are tight, so you may decide not to invest much here. Same deal with Mana Clash.

Wild-gift/Fungus: 5/1/1/1 - Standard. Once you have this, you can pretty much always have a regen infusion going to keep your Psi full, and it takes less than half a turn to use it.

Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations: 1/1/1/5 - Realign is a nice bonus since it can remove stuns, but you're primarily here for Resonant Focus. This lets you use Willpower, which is your main stat, for all your weapons and makes whatever you decide to TK wield significantly better.

Psionic/Dream Forge: 5/1+/1/4 - What would the Dreamsmith be without his dream forge? Forge Shield gives some defense, although it's not as good as on Solipsist because your hp pool is bigger. Forge Bellows can be useful to get a breather if you invest in it. Dream Forge is normally pretty useless, but since we have Madness, it gives you more chances to stun or confuse anyone around you whenever you do something that isn't moving. 4 points maxes the radius.

Unlock Order:
lvl 1 - Cursed/Punishments, Psionic/Absorption/ Psionic/Dreamsmith, Psionic/Solipsism, Psionic/Psychic Blows OR Technique/Two-Handed Assault, Psionic/Finer Energy Manipulations, Inscription slot, Inscription slot
lvl 10 - Technique/Battle Tactics
lvl 20 - Psionic/Dream Forge (or switch the order of 10 and 20)
lvl 36 - Whatever you want (I did Psionic/Psi-fighting)
Wyrm Bile - Whatever you want (I did Wild-gift/Sand Drake Aspect)

You could also start with only 4 inscription slots, take 2 unlocks at level 10, and get your 5th inscription later.

Prodigies: I took Superpower to get more mindpower, and Mental Tyranny to get more Madness procs. Other options I think would be useful are: Windtouched Speed (if you invested more in Harmony), Spine of the World, Windblade, Draconic Will, Eye of the Tiger

Inscriptions: You can start with 4 or 5. I recommend getting a movement right off the bat. Lategame you probably want Movement, Movement, Heroism, Regen, Heal/Phys Wild

Equipment: Look for stuff with good "on melee hit" procs, since dream hammer attacks count. Also, anything that gives more instances of mind damage will proc Madness. Plate of the Blackened Mind is nice if you find it. Beyond that, the usual stuff is good. Use the dream malleus if you want to be a true dreamsmith.


I had fun playing this character. I'd be interested to hear what others think if they decide to try it, or get any constructive feedback from the many members of the forums who are more experienced than I. Thanks for reading!


Last edited by whitelion on Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:20 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 390
Depending on how committed you are to your hammer attacks, you could play Drem, drop your extra categories of Wild-gift/Sand Drake Aspect and Psi Fighting, and run Slime. Slime Roots can reset Frenzy, and Frenzy being up means Slime Roots won't go on cooldown, so you can use your Dream Hammer forever as long as you don't run out of Psi or need to use another ability that Slime Roots might cooldown instead of Frenzy (at somewhere around effective talent level 5 it starts resetting 2 talents, that would let you use one generic per rotation as well, which might argue for Augmented Mobility instead of Finer Energy Manipulations, assuming that TKwielding's penalties do not apply to the hammer, which I'm not sure about). You also get Poisonous Spores, whose debuffs might interact humorously with Mental Tyranny/Punishments.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:49 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:55 pm
Posts: 252
Just wanted to say that these are the kinds of Adventurers I love to read about: built around a fun theme instead of just being built for maximum power. Good job!

Also, that synergy between Slime Roots and Drem's frenzy.... :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:32 am
Posts: 10
Snarvid wrote:
Depending on how committed you are to your hammer attacks, you could play Drem, drop your extra categories of Wild-gift/Sand Drake Aspect and Psi Fighting, and run Slime. Slime Roots can reset Frenzy, and Frenzy being up means Slime Roots won't go on cooldown, so you can use your Dream Hammer forever as long as you don't run out of Psi or need to use another ability that Slime Roots might cooldown instead of Frenzy (at somewhere around effective talent level 5 it starts resetting 2 talents, that would let you use one generic per rotation as well, which might argue for Augmented Mobility instead of Finer Energy Manipulations, assuming that TKwielding's penalties do not apply to the hammer, which I'm not sure about). You also get Poisonous Spores, whose debuffs might interact humorously with Mental Tyranny/Punishments.


That's certainly a cool idea. You don't need Resonant Focus for the dream hammer. So you could go with Augmented Mobility for TK Leap/Quick as Thought and use your TK wielding slot to stack more +phys damage/res pen instead of weapon attacks or a gem. You would need to cut down on some of the generic investments from my build too, since you need points for your racials and you don't get the extra points like Cornac.

tabs wrote:
Just wanted to say that these are the kinds of Adventurers I love to read about: built around a fun theme instead of just being built for maximum power. Good job!


Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 390
Well, it depends on what you want to do where you would cut generics. You could certainly drop weapons mastery if it doesn't help dream hammer (and focus on proc effects or other cool options on your TK weapon, like Skysmasher or Dream Malleus). You could lower Wild Growth as much as you want, as you're going to reset your regen infusion with Slime Roots. You should keep Augmented Mobility at 1/5 because you don't want TK Leap (you're going to be teleporting a ton anyway, and you don't want to waste your one generic/infusion Slime Roots reset on Leap when you could do From Beneath it Devours, Quick As Thought, Aura of Silence, or an infusion), but you really want the global speed boost because it lets you fit more activations in each Frenzy (you're not terrible at EQ management given Ancestral Life and Resolve, but no point overtaxing it either). I think Heavy Armor 3 is standard and 5 is good but not required.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:25 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:32 am
Posts: 10
Yeah that's certainly another way to go and you're right since you never have to worry about dream hammer cooldowns you don't need to worry about weapon damage, but at some point I think you might as well make Frenzy/Slime Roots the focus of your build, in which case you could get more +global speed options by not going anti-magic and using Essence of Speed, Haste, etc. There aren't any particularly interesting interactions between Frenzy/Slime Roots and the dream hammer/dream forge, it's just a generally good combo that any Drem adventurer with appropriate resource management and +speed options can take advantage of.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:32 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 390
Forgot to mention that Drem need a cat point to get Antimagic (since they can't enter the Zigur town), so you might do something else instead if you don't want to trade a cat point for it. Light might be good.

There are actually some fun synergies (teleporting around can make your Hammer Toss return path pretty interesting, you can stunlock by spamming Dream Crusher, you can spam Forge Bellows once you have Slime Roots 5 and keep opponents locked in burning walls, you can hit with one Dream Smith talent after Frenzy wears off-> pop Frenzy-> hit with Dream Smith's Hammer to have that one back, you no longer need Step Up for mobility so could potentially drop that tree, Black Blood Bleeding off Drem's spikeskin should be affected by Mental Tyranny and proc Punishments) but as tabs said this seems like a "lets deeply explore this theme" build and using Slime Roots lets you have a lot of theme uptime. It obviously plays quite a bit differently, and it's not the strongest possible use of Frenzy + Slime Roots, but it's there if you want it.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:37 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:32 am
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Based on how Hammer Toss plays with Step Up, I think it just returns to the tile you threw it from. Though I haven't tested specifically with teleportation effects so maybe those work differently. And Black Blood proc'ing Madness is fun thematically to me: anyone who touches you goes crazy. If you ever decide to run a Slime Roots/Frenzy version along the lines you've been suggesting, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the experience. Not that the theory isn't solid, but I always find I learn even more once I actually play a build.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:55 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 390
I agree with the "actual play" thing. I'm currently playing a Drem Oozemancer on Madness to see whether I can survive long enough to unlock their infinite combo (which is what brought it to mind), I suspect I'll have had enough of the Slime Roots/Frenzy interaction when I'm done with that.

Thought I recalled Hammer Toss working differently... will test at some point to see whether it returns to your throw point, tracks you perfectly, or goes to wherever you were when it turned around.

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