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Bards with Wands: an uber solo recipe

Discussion in 'Baldur's Gate (Classic)' started by Har, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. krunchyfrogg Gems: 4/31
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    klorox: I'm going to try the same thing, but I'm going all solo! I beat this game with a party, now it is time to kick some butt all by my lonesome!

    If you are soloing, killing that elf probably isn't worth it, imho. You will want to have a high reputation. Also, would a bard really kill a friendly old elf (unless he were an evil bard)?

    har: Drizzt's sword "frostbrand" doesn't give you fire resistance, even though it should after reading the books and knowing what a frostbrand sword should be like.

    [ July 12, 2005, 08:21: Message edited by: krunchyfrogg ]
     
  2. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    Raptor said:
    I just tested this by adding the armor to my inventory with GateKeeper, and my bard could NOT cast Identify (White Spell) or Protection from Evil (Blue Spell). The item's description doesn't say anything about spellcasting.
     
  3. MrNexx Gems: 7/31
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    IIRC, Bards (and wizard-something elses) can use scrolls in armor, too.
     
  4. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    That's true, MrNexx, and truth be told, a F/M is probably more powerful. I think I'm going to give the Bard a shot anyway, though. It just seems like fun! :) BTW, that pickpocketing makes things a whole lot easier too, especially when talking to some fat guy in Feldepost's Inn. ;)
     
  5. krunchyfrogg Gems: 4/31
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    Question: What is the point of that Wand of Paralization, when you can just use Algernon's Cloak and get the enemy on your side?

    It just seems like a waste of a slot, when you need every one you can get while flying solo.

    Also, if you wouldn't mind, could you please list what a "perfect solo bard" should be wearing at the end of the game? I have my own ideas, but I'd like to compare them to somebosy else who has done this before I have.
     
  6. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    I agree, krunchyfrogg. I also have my own "perfect setup" for a solo Bard, but don't expect a response from Har. His last post was on April 6.

    Maybe I'll post mine later, I'm in a rush right now.
     
  7. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Bracers of Defense, Amulet of Metaspell Influence, Algernon's Cloak -> Cloak of Balduran, Girdle of Bluntness / Golden Girdle, Boots of Avoidance -> Boots of Speed, Rings as acquired, "Twinkle", Long Bow of Marksmanship, and Drizzt's Chain Mail in your pack for extra defense when your spells run out.

    To get Twinkle and the Chain Mail from Drizzt, you'll need Potions/Ring/Spell of Invisibility and a Wand of Monster Summoning to lure Drizzt to where you can turn him into a pincushion. Or just Ctrl+Y him. Whatever. :evil:

    If you don't want to kill Drizzt, just ignore the Chain Mail, and replace "Twinkle" with Drizzt's Frostbrand. :D
     
  8. Har Gems: 1/31
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    After a long while, I am having a look at this Bard again, so I have restarted work on my incomplete guide which was still floating around on my harddrive.

    What I am looking for is a Bard which is not only totally Uber, but also very easy to create by just about anybody, without any cheating or really, really cheesy strategies.

    I am currently reviewing the most appropriate stats, and have come up with the following:

    STR:17 - As far as I know, this is the highest effective value for a Bard (apart from carry-weight).

    DEX:18 - Technically, I am building a fighter, so Dex is top-priority.

    CON:15 - The highest effective value for a Bard is 16, but since I'll be getting a CON+1 at level 1, this is enough.

    INT:13 - The minimum; this Bard rarely uses innate magic anyway, and I don't think INT has any other effect for a Bard.

    WIS:10 - I always apply a personal limit of 10, just to keep things real.

    CHR:15 - Again, the minimum. Algernon, the Tome and Friends give a great boost for re-charging the wands; I suspect with all these buffs, a higher value will not be effective (is this true?)

    This gives a total stat-count of 88, which should be do-able with a bit of re-rolling.

    What do you think of these stats ? Is this a good spread, or am I missing some nice tweaks here ? Also, if somebody does roll more than 88, where should these extra points be put in ?
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, you won't roll over over 88 that often, but if you do, then let's see what our options are:

    Strength: Maybe starting with an 18 in strength is worth it (instead of 17). Granted the to hit/damage adjustment of 18 compared to 17 isn't that much - 17 is +1/+1 whereas 18 is +1/+2. However, with the tome that raises your strength by 1, it would change a strength of 18 to 19. That's a HUGE difference, as a 19 strength gives an adjustment of +3/+7.

    Dextierity: already maxed

    Constitution: No benefit beyond 16, so starting with 15 is fine.

    Intelligence: AFAIK, there's only three affects for intelligence in the game: % chance of memorizing a spell, total number of spells per level in your spellbook, and your lore. Since this is primarily a fighting bard that isn't going to need/use a lot of spells, and since bards have high lore values anyway, this doesn't seem all that important. Besides, a potion of genius will temporarily give you all the effets of a higher intelligence when you attempt to scribe the spells that you need (which is recommended because at Int 13 I think your chance of scribing a scroll is something like 55%).

    Widom: affects lore, and nothing else. Doesn't really seem worth it.

    Charisma: Maybe worth it (although I'd have to re-read the description for friends to be sure). I'm pretty sure that Friends raises your Charisma by 6, so having a higher starting charisma would mean you'd have a higher ending charisma. Does Algernon's Cloak give a Charisma bonus too?

    Anyway, based on this if you have more than 88 points to spend, I'd strongly recommend donating one point to strength, and anything else left over to charisma. If you STILL have points left over, it's whatever you feel like buffing up.

    EDIT: Killing Firebeard early on gives something ridulous like 2500 XP or something on that order. It's definitely at least 2000. If you bump him off, you'll be at least level 2 (maybe even level 3) before leaving Candlekeep. Yeah, you take a rep hit, but no big deal. My strategy for this is usually to make him go hostile, then immediately run over to the stairs. As soon as he starts casting a spell, run up the stairs. Go back down, he'll cast another spell - run back up the stairs. Lather, rinse and repeat until he runs out of spells, and then he falls pretty easily. You can kill him again in Beregost (of course after you give him his book for yet MORE XP) and you get that same bonus of 2000+ XP again.
     
  10. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    Yay for resurecting this thread!

    about "Killing Firebeard", illusionist + sling + blindness (all memorised) takes him down easy :)

    So well this would also work on a bard if he was at level 2, sp he gets that one spellslot.

    And it is at least 2500 XP, might have been as much as 2700, dont recal exept that i notised that every class in the game would levelup if they killed him. wich means that Bard would level up TWICE.


    About stats, the Strength at 18 is good... +tome and its downright evil. I also prefer bards with Cha 18 (of corse) gets you that fine dagger right away. and cheap prices (that you gonna need after slaughtering firebeard).rest seems fine, might spend any rest in INT for spell learning.
     
  11. Har Gems: 1/31
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    Aldeth, you mention some interresting things here:

    Strength: Ah, so there is a (small) advantage for a Bard to have STR 18.. that indeed makes it a nice choice for left-over points, since the carry-weight might be helpfull as well.

    Intelligence: I'm playing on Normal rules, so don't have the failed scribing problem. But this combined with an extra spell once in a while, and the extra Lore could be nice. Note that a high Lore does help; my run is designed to get the high-level stuff very early on, so I get a lot of goods that I cannot identify yet (on the other hand: I have buckets of coin, so spending 100 gp in a shop is no big deal either).

    Charisma: 15, Tome(+1), Algeron(+2) and Friends(+6) gives me a total of 24 by the time I need it. I am still trying to figure out if a higher CHR helps when buying wands, as I get the feeling there is an upper-limit to the discounts.

    As for Firebead: yes, I've heard of killing him. It's a bit cheesy though, and for this strategy, experience and level doesn't really matter that much. Reputation does matter, since it influeces the pricing of the wands, and getting your bruised reputation back up to 20 early on won't be easy.

    I've been doing the run various times now, finding out the best order of doing things, and it is turning out to be a case of getting your hands on the magical stuff you should be getting later on, and so artificially increasing your stats, making the early fights easier than they should be.

    The real booster is the Wand/Stun; Silky, Karlat, Meilum, Piercing Ogre, Bassilus, Neira and Greywolf can all be done before doing a recharge. Those give you a wealth of goods, gp and exp with ease..

    [EDIT]
    Hey Raptor, good to see you're also back!

    What's that "fine dagger" you are refering to ?

    [ January 13, 2006, 16:31: Message edited by: Har ]
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I wouldn't worry too much about your reputation. Yes, it's nice to get the mega discount, but seeing as how you are going to have gobs of money, you can just buy back your rep. For about 1000 gp you can take your rep from the range of 7-8 all the way up to 17-18. Granted, you don't do that by donating all 1000 gp all at once, but in 100gp-200gp increments.

    As for INT and lore, it should be noted that wisdom gives a bigger bonus to lore than does intelligence. However, since you're starting wisdom is 10, you're going to have to sink quite a bit of points in it to start seeing the benefits of that. However, you will find up to three tomes of wisdom in the game, so even if you start with a WIS of 10, it will be up to 13 at the end of the game.

    The "fine" dagger is a +1 dagger than you can get in Candlekeep. If your rep is 18, then the Commander in the barracks who asks you to get him some crossbow bolts will give you a +1 dagger as a reward. I suppose it's nice to have, but given that you're going to have a maximum damage adjustment from stength of +2, your damage will still be a bit better with a different weapon. Since bards can only use a buckler which provides no defense from missile weapons (the most likely way to get hit) I would probably go for some two-handed weapon choice (like halberds or two-handed swords), probably two-handed swords until you get to Greywolf. The damage difference looks like this for an 18 strength:

    Dagger +1: 1d4+1 +2 (strength) average damage = 5
    Two Handed Sword 1d10 +2 strength average damage = 7.5
    Greywolf's Sword: 1d8+2 +1 (cold) +2 strength average damage = 9.5.
    Drizzit's +5 defender = 1d8+3 +2 strength average damage = 9.5

    So the damage average with Drizzit's weapon is the same as with Greywolf's weapon, but you get a better chance to hit with Drizzit's weapon, making it the superior choice. Considering all of this, I'd take large swords and bows as my first two proficiencies.

    [ January 13, 2006, 16:44: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  13. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Nope, they're exactly equal. They even use the same table for it. (LOREBON.2DA) But having either below 10 means a big penalty; 7-9 means -10, and below 7 means -20.

    Suggested stats for easy roll:
    STR 18 (BIG difference between 18 and 19)
    DEX 18
    CON 15
    INT 13
    WIS 10
    CHA 15
    TOTAL - 89

    If you need more than 9 spells pre level in your spellbook, there's always Potions of Genius. (Don't forget to try to ID everything then too with the lore bonus you'll get.)
    Ah, but you forget to mention the most important thing of all: +2 AC. :love:
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I figured that was a given - that everyone knew that it had a bonus of +2 to AC. Even without taking the AC bonus into account though, it is still one of very few weapons that give a +3 to hit (the other ones being the martial staff and the +3 2-handed sword in Durlag's Tower). Once you take missile weapons into account, that expands somewhat, as there is a +5 heavy crossbow of accuracy, the long bow (whose name for some reason I cannot recall) is also +3, and there's also a +3 sling in Durlag's Tower.

    On topic though, there are only a few weapons in the game that out-damage Drizzit's scimitars, which makes them extremely overpowered when you consider you can use them with a shield. I believe Spider's Bane is 1d12 + 2, so that would be an average of 11.5, and then the aforementioned 2-handed sword +3.

    One more thing though - do you really consider a total score of 89 for a bard to be an "easy roll"? Especially since the only set minimums are to charisma and intelligence, it seems to me that there's a pretty darn good chance that you're going to roll low on either strength, dexterity or constitution, and you probably don't have enough points to blow in your other stats to raise it up. Maybe it's just because I'm impatient - I find it nearly impossible to roll for more than 5 minutes. In my latest game, I damn near fainted with my roll, which was eaily my best ever - 95 total. Of course, the only reason I probably got that high is because I played a multi-classed R/C - a combo that notoriously gets really high rolls due to high minimum requirements in strength, constitution, and wisdom. Dexterity is really the only thing you have to worry about. I even got fairly luckly on my exceptional strength roll when it turned out to be a 55 - not great - I generally prefer it to be at least 76 and preferably 91, but hey, it's better than 50 or less, and I wasn't going to turn down the overall roll. It was glorious though - after the tomes, I had 19s in stength, dexterity and consitution, along with a 21 wisdom. I even was at a very respectable 11 in intelligence and 14 in charisma. OK, I'm through gloating...

    [ January 13, 2006, 19:38: Message edited by: Aldeth the Foppish Idiot ]
     
  15. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I don't recall anything like that, but maybe you're thinking of the +2 Long Bow of Marksmanship, which has +3/+2 due to normal long bows having +1/+0.
    Yeah, but I guess that's just me; I never accept anything under 90 unless I'm playing a single-classed fighter or thief (no INT or WIS requirements). Oh, and I got the exact same roll for an R/C in IWD, except that the exceptional strength was 00. Needless to say, I kept it and she's kicking a$$.
     
  16. Har Gems: 1/31
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    As the main weapon, I'm sticking with Drizzt's Frostbrand: 1D8+3 with +3 to hit is very, very nice, and that 40% Fire res is helpfull too.

    But the best thing is that you can get it without any cheesy Drizzt-killing strategies; at level 5, you can pickpocket it from him quite easily.

    Bows.. somehow I forgot about them! Right now, I am contemplating going for Short bows, as you can buy a Short Bow+1 at Beregost, and the interresting long bows are too far off in the game (right now, the Bard is getting Uber even without doing the Nashkell mines).

    Does anybody know of a nice neckless that is accessable early on? I've no clue what to do with that slot..
     
  17. The Magpie

    The Magpie Balance, in all things Veteran

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    There aren't many decent amulets in this game, I find, so the only real option is the Amulet +1 from Feldepost's. It's either that or the Necklace of Missiles, anyway.
     
  18. Har Gems: 1/31
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    Yes, necklaces seem to be heavily under-represented. The two you mention indeed seem to be the only viable ones. The Prot+1 is rather useless due to the easy access to a Ring/Prot+1.

    The Necklace of Missile might be interresting, but it is comparable to a Wand/Fire, making it redundant for this Bard. Note that you can also recharge the Necklace of Missiles by selling-buying it; it gives a max-charge of 25, and costs about 4000gp.

    Then again: if I use the Necklace instead of the Wand/Fire, I free up a wand-slot, giving the possibility of adding a new "spell". The Necklace is also easier to get, since you buy it.. hmm..

    On the subject of bows: how does the Light Crossbow of Speed compare to the Short Bow+1 ? any opinions on that one ?
     
  19. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    short bow +1 = light crossbow of speed

    since bows automatically gives 2 shots.

    The Neclase of Missles can also be found in Ankheg caves, if my memory isn't completelly messing up....

    And could be a nice "waste away" until you found something else to fill that slot with. In the end i guess amulet of meta influence will end up as the most decent guess for another mirror image ?

    Icingdeath (Frostbrand) and Twinkle (Defender) a re both amazingly good, and i find uses for both. But in the most common sittuations i would have gonne with Twinkle, and resorted to Icingdeath when fighting the phoenix guards, or dropping fireballs over yourself to clear out stuff (with ring +40% fire resistance of corse).
     
  20. Har Gems: 1/31
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    Then I guess the Short Bow+1 is more interresting; it is a lot cheaper, and can make use of all the special arrows floating around.

    The Ankheg-cave contains the Wand of Fire; that is exactly the one I am using. Because of the Necklace of Missiles popping up, I did more research on this, and had a look at the second attribute: this wand also contains 50 charges of Agannazar's Scorcher.

    I've used this spell in BG2, but considered it rather weak, so was ignoring it for this Bard. But having just tried it out a couple of times in BG1, I find it is actually quite effective.

    Question: The description states that the wand's Agannazar's Scorcher gives 6D6+6. Does it actually give 6D6+6 for EACH turn, or is it spread out ? If it is really for each turn, then this one could be devastating in BG1..

    On the other hand, I can go for the Necklace of Missiles, and use the Wand of Frost instead of the Wand of Fire. That Wand gives an IceBlast, with is like a boosted Magic Missile. The specs of this look ok (8D6 damage to a single character), but I am not that impressed by it in the field. The good thing is that the wand is just lying around near the Nashkell mines.

    The Necklace of Missiles is also a bit cheaper than the Wand/Fire (134 per shot vs 147 per shot), and can indeed be a nice "slot-filler".

    The only remaining alternative I have found (at low level) is the Shield Amulet, but that is next to useless: it gives a base AC of 4, which has no effect at all. The +2 on missile-defense it also gives is not really worth the hassle.

    Today, I also found a fool-proof way of getting past those pesky three Ghasts which are defending the Wand/Summons; if you use a Scroll of Protection from Undead (buy at High Hedge) before entering the grave, they don't even see you, and you can leisurely steal all the goodies.. this is getting way, way too easy..
     
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