Sorcerer's Guide to Kits
A character class is similar to a profession or career. It is what your character has worked and trained at while growing up. The character classes are divided into four groups according to general occupations: warrior, wizard, priest, and rogue. Within each group are several similar character classes. Multiclassed characters are available to non-humans only. In Baldur's Gate human characters can choose to become dual class later in the game.
Warriors can be Fighters, Rangers or Paladins
Wizards can be either Generalist Mages or Specialist Mages
Priests can be either Clerics or Druids
Rogues can be either Thieves or Bards
Multiclassed (nonhuman) Characters can choose between: Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Cleric, Fighter/Druid, Fighter/Mage, Fighter/Mage/Cleric, Fighter/Mage/Thief, Mage/Cleric, Mage/Thief, Cleric/Ranger and Thief/Cleric
Monk and Sorcerer
are in as new, optional classes. They are not core classes and so, do
not have kits or subclasses listed beneath them. They are simply additional
playable options (yes, they still get a stronghold). In short, an accurate
comparison would be to kits rather than to full-fledged classes. They
all have interesting abilities and powers and are fun to play, adding
to the ever growing number of options that BioWare strives to present
us with. These classes are 2nd edition rule implementation of the upcoming
3rd edition D&D classes.
After you decide which character class will you play it's a good idea to take a closer look at the class-specific kits BioWare will implement in the game. Kits will enable you to specialize your character even further (think of a kit as a subclass). This, however, does not give your character only advantages, there are disadvantages as well. You should read what the kit offers you very carefully before choosing one. Otherwise you might learn that the kit you chose is too restrictive to be to your liking, or simply not your style.
You cannot choose kits if you are multiclassed, while dual-classed characters can select a kit for their initial class.
How to read this guide
Take into consideration that the descriptions for most of the kits listed below were taken from pen and paper AD&D handbooks. Some things you read about here might not make it into the game, since BioWare has to make considerable modifications to some kits in order for them to be even usable in the game.
The Cavalier kit is a good example. I'm still wondering how they are going to implement that one since you will not be able to ride horses (or any other mounts). My guide is to be taken in a general way, a sneak preview at what awaits you in Baldur's Gate II you could say. I'm sure the exact implementation of the kits will be thoroughly explained in the manual and when I get my hands on it I'll make sure to correct* my guide accordingly.
* You can see the kits as they are in the game here.
I did not include anything I deemed to be irrelevant (a lot of info actually is when you are dealing with a computer game like this). In other words: no secondary skills, nonweapon proficiencies, things that TSR puts in to fill the empty space on the page (unless it worth reading of course) and some tables were also excluded.
Special thanks go to Jure for supplying me with some of the handbooks I didn't have and for the typing assistance. This guide took many hours to complete and I strongly hope I won't see it posted on some other site and stripped of credits. Anyway I'm sure that you have read the copyright notice at the bottom of the page and that I don't have to go through it all again. Proceed to the kits list ;)