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Back to Icewind Dale after five years

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by Tharlok, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    As the title says - it's been a long time since I played this game (or been here for that matter). So I found my old Icewind Dale game (with Heart of Winter) and I thought I should play. The only thing I remember is that you start out with an expedition that goes wrong. So I decided I shouldn't look for hints/treads/walkthroughs that will spoil this for me. I'm not a powergamer so having the best party (it will be six persons) isn't important. But since I haven't played the game for so long (played more of IWD II) i realise that this isn't then same... So I started creating a party and ran into some questions:

    1) Wanted a half-elf F/D when it said charisma is important for druids - is it? I thought wisdom was the stat needed for casting? What is the Point of having high charisma for druids?

    2) I remember ONE item and it was a helmet that was great for halflings. Since I want a F/T (and a mix of races) is it bad if I instead went for a elven F/T. I realise it might sound like powergaming but after all these years I will be happy just surviving…

    3) Are paladins any good comparing to say a dwarven fighter? In some games there is a Mighty sword (which you usually gets to late) and they have some minor abilities… They can usually be the party spokesperson but so can a bard (are bards good except for singing?).

    4) Clerics was the most powerful class in IWD II - do I need a pure cleric or is it enough with a multiclassed one? I guess that a druid can heal as well.

    5) Dual-classing is just for humans if I remember correctly. Whats the ups and downs comparing to races that can multiclass (except for getting levels faster I assume)?

    6) The most important question - is it fun? I don't remember the story but Always loved Baldurs Gate I & 2.
     
  2. Fallen Paladin

    Fallen Paladin The One and the Same Veteran

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    1-Druids have to be charismatic, that's just the way it is. There is no benefit.

    2-Helm of the trusted defender, the best helmet in the game. Costs 12K gold or so and you can get it in chapter 2. Fortunately for you, it's usable not only by halflings, but also gnomes. And gnomes kick ass.

    3-Paladins get +2 to saving throws and can cast up to level 5 spells... eventually. There is a holy avenger sword... close to the end of the original game :p. But there are better weapons in the game anyway. Rangers get an extra melee attack, if you're not using a shield - even with two handed weapons (!). They also cast up to level 5 spells and get +4 to hit vs favored enemies. Fighters are good... unless if they're halflings, then they suck :D. Bards have 1 great song - War chant of sith, which they get at level 11. Otherwise their main asset is leveling up fast (good for certain spells, especially haste) and the ability to use a longbow (short bows suck ass in this game). You can also pickpocket a few people in Kuldahar for a few magic items.

    4-Multiclassing your cleric is good enough, but i would get two of them. Or 1 a fighter/cleric and the other a fighter/druid.

    5-Dualclassing is best for toughening up your spellcasters, without wasting half the experience for the warrior class. Start as a fighter and switch to mage/cleric at level 7/9 or so. A druid is hard to dual class, because of all the stat requirements.

    6-The original game is great, but it's not like baldur's gate. You get a lot less quests and a lot more monsters. The expansion is... underwhelming and unbalanced. :|
     
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  3. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    Thanks for the answer! Its been so long that I forgotten most of the game (except for the helmet and the expedition). Ok so no point in spending any points on the charisma for the druid (thankfully). I read through the classes when I looked for what kind of party I would like to make. Really wanted to try one of each race but it doesn't look like it will fit with the classes I was conteplating. Think I stay away from dual-classing this time and focus on multiclasses and singleclasses. Just can't seem to get a combination of six partymembers that I like...
     
  4. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    Bards are good in this game. They also give you access to several bonus quests and items and with high CHA are the best "face" of the party. While they are the "jack of all trades, master of none", they are at least as powerful as a Fighter/Magic-user/Thief, if not more so. While they are far less thief than the F/M/T, the mage aspect is more powerful due to a higher level and are a very useful secondary arcane caster. With Heart of Winter the songs are nothing to sneeze at either, especially the level 11 spell which will save you a ton of healing.

    IIRC Paladins and Rangers only get level 4 spells.
    Also according to the documentation rangers only get that bonus attack when using a 1-handed weapon without a shield. Is there a bug that gives it for two-handed weapons?
    I would recommend a ranger/cleric instead. Since you can only get two weapon proficiency pips in a multi-classed fighter, I see absolutely no benefit to making a multi-class fighter/cleric over a ranger/cleric other than the choice of a non-elven race, and the ranger gives you all the benefits of a fighter plus stealth (if you choose to wear [studded] leather or elfin chain) and bonus spells in both spells per day and access to both the cleric and druid spell list.
    The only problem with dual or mult-classing a mage is that they will take much longer to get the more powerful spells. Not such an issue in HoF but doing so will result in your bard being a more powerful spellcaster for 1/2 to 3/4 of the game. Not always that serious an issue.
    Also consider dualing at level 13 if you are planning on taking the party into HoF mode. The extra THAC0 and bonus attack is worth it in HoF mode, but you don't get enough levels for it to be worth it (you probably won't even reactivate your fighter levels) in normal mode.
    Definitely go for level 9, you get the most extra HP that way
     
  5. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    Well… it took a long time to start since I had a hard time deciding on what party I wanted. And rolling decent/good stats was a pain. Probably not the most creative party but I settled on dwarven fighter, dwarven F/C, gnome F/I, half-elf F/D, half elf bard and elven F/T. Now I remember the overall story but not which items that are good or which people I should speak to. And that is refreshing. Just cleared out the first place and getting ready to go with Hrothgar on the expedition. Trying to stay mostly spoilerfree bust just wondering a couple of things:

    1) Can't bards identify without spells?

    2) As a thief - how important are find traps and open locks? I know you can force locks (sometimes) and use the spell knock but what is a good stat to strive for so that won't be an issue?
     
  6. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Everyone can identify without spells, it all depends on the Lore value of the character and on the item to identify. Once you start levelling up a few times, a Bard (they get lots of Lore per level-up) will get be able to ID pretty much everything but the hardest stuff just by right-clicking the item in their inventory.
     
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  7. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    Yes I noticed that now. Great skill and having pickpocket is nice so thieves don't need to waste any points there. Bards in generel are great characters with spells, songs and so on.
     
  8. Tao_ Gems: 1/31
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    How essential is pickpocket though? In my experience you're not missing anything great with a low pickpocket score.
     
  9. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    It isn't but there are a few times when it's great. SPOILER!!!!

    If you arrive in Kuldahar and pick the archdruids robes you get the ring of free action . Which is great for your cleric or druid...
     
  10. jiansonz Gems: 2/31
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    Orrick the Grey and Oswald Fiddlebender also have some nice stuff

    Don't try it in a no-reload game, though!
     
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    I would swap the dwarven F/C for an elven or half-elven ranger/cleric. The only down side to this is that you don't get a second dwarf, but you get all the benefits of a fighter plus some extra low-level spells, an extra attack when using a one handed weapon without a shield, and stealth if you only equip leather armor or elfin chain mail for no drawbacks since you are multiclassed.

    There are ways to find traps and open locks using a cleric and a magic-user or bard (knock), but only a thief can disarm traps, and there are some pretty nasty ones. Only in IWD2 can you easily do without a thief, in all the games based on second edition, a thief is a necessary support character rather than a front-line fighter.
    That said, a multi-class fighter/thief is pretty good. The backstab can make up for the lower fighter level, although it isn't as good a tank as a pure fighter, paladin, or ranger.

    The main problem with your party is that the only pure class character is the dwarven fighter, which is the class that least needs to be pure. You want your spellcasters to advance faster than your meat shields, not the other way around.
    On the other hand, you seem to have everybody but the bard a fighter of some kind, so maybe you are trying for a theme. If that is not the intention, I'd recommend making the cleric a ranger/cleric and taking a paladin instead of a pure dwarven fighter. Especially if you've installed the mod that un-nerfs mutliclassed fighters.
     
  12. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    Well my party will be just that… I don't want to restart now. It works out ok...

    I would however like to to take the time to appreciate evryone here who give advice, treat us noobs with respect and Always being friendly. Last time I was here was four years ago - Life happend. I lost my email and could not log in. Sent one mail to Tal and he changed it - so I could be back! Thank you! If this was anywhere else I would have received the mail which said "You need to enter your e-mail adress"....

    Thank you so much for having me back and answering my stupid questions. You guys are the best!
     
    Taluntain and jiansonz like this.
  13. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Your questions aren't stupid and your party will do absolutely fine. The game is a dungeon crawl at heart and having lots of fighter classes is just peachy.

    As for your thief character, punch up the open locks and remove traps skills until they are 100% before you do anything else. I would level them equally.
     
  14. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    Since it is a F/T, a little bit of stealth can help since you don't get any stealth-boosting items early like you can in BG.
    Still, don't go for stealth until you have at least 80% in both open locks and remove traps, preferably 80%. Maybe you can dedicate a single level-up to put all it's points into stealth once you seem to be able to disarm and open everything encountered. IIRC there isn't much benefit to going over 99% for locks and traps (pick pocket and stealth is another matter), and even 95% works 99% of the time.

    Alternately, go for 75% in both open locks and find traps as I described without putting more than one level up into stealth, then put 5% in each of FT & OL at each subsequent level up until you get to 95% and put the rest in stealth until you get all three to 95%. Then you can think about pick pockets.

    Pick pocketing should be done by the Bard since he gets it for free.

    This may sound like it puts a crimp on your backstabbing, but the 2nd level mage spell invisibility can compensate, as can potions, and you can often succeed in stealth for a single round with only putting 20 points into it in addition to your starting level. Once you get over 80% in OL & FT, you can start slowing down the advancement, but you really want to get it to 95%.
     
  15. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Yup, what he wrote. However, I found that I rarely bothered with backstabbing on a F/T in early going because the full party was plenty powerful, bows ruled, and there just weren't a ton of spellcasters I had to worry about and neutralize first with surprise (unlike BG2). The F/T, to me, is primarily a fighter/handyman whose job is to get rid of pesky traps and locks and mow down the enemy with his bow. At the higher levels he could devote some time to stealth to make use of selective backstabbing.
     
  16. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    Also to note that in THIS game you don't need a full time thief, and a multiclass is almost always superior to a pure thief, although anything without a fighter in the mix will have poor THAC0 without buffs.
    A F/M/T can be a powerful backstabbing tank if you play him that way with a few support spells, or can be an inferior bard if you play him like a normal mage or bard.
     
  17. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    A F/M/T is an underpowered charity case in a party of six in this game. In a smaller party with more XP per person, fine.
     
  18. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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