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Good IWD 2 Party

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Night Shadow, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    The whole favored class was more of a social thing. They dropped a lot of the physiological limitations for core classes that they had in 2nd edition. If you've played the Gold Box games that were based on 1st edition, they had it that females had less strength than males.

    Code:
    RANGE OF ABILITY SCORES BY RACE
    
    ABILITY           DWARF      ELF      GNOME    HALF-ELF  HALFING  HUMAN
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Strength (Male)   8-18(99)   3-18(75) 6-18(50) 3-18(90)  6-17     3-18(00)
    Strength (Female) 8-17       3-16     6-15     3-17      6-14     3-18(50)
    Intelligence      3-18       8-18     7-18     4-18      6-18     3-18
    Wisdom            3-18       3-18     3-18     3-18      3-17     3-18
    Dexterity         3-17       7-19     3-18     6-18      8-18     3-18
    Constitution      12-19      6-18     8-18     6-18      10-19    3-18
    Charisma          3-16       8-18     3-18     3-18      3-18     3-18
    Minimum Ability Score-Maximum Ability Score
    (xx)=maximum percentage for an 18 strength
    
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2016
  2. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    There's definitely a social aspect in the drow society, but drow women are supposed to be physically stronger than men, in as far as I know the lore surrounding drow. On the other hand, it would make no sense for dwarves to have differences between favoured class, neither socially nor physically.

    Still, I maintain that it's not a bad game mechanic, just an option to try a different kind of build with the same race. Otherwise, you might feel shoehorned into always making one race into one (combination of) class(es).
     
  3. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    Does anybody know what happened to the whitespace in my post and how to do it correctly? I did a copy/paste from this file
    http://project64.c64.org/games/0-l/cabrb10.zip
    Yet a lot of the extra spaces were removed when I moved it from Notepad to Firefox.
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega 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!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Sometimes you need to juggle the editor modes (top-right corner of the editor) to get the output that you want when it comes to preserving formatting. I fixed your post.
     
    SlickRCBD and JT like this.
  5. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    In notepad, the text is displayed in a monospaced font, i.e. a font where each character takes up the same space, while most fonts we typically use (arial, times new roman, etc) are not monospaced. Which is why these space separated tables typically are very sensitive to getting their layout messed up with different fonts.
     
  6. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I'm no longer current enough to do some number munching for you, alas, but like everywhere the good rule is tank + dps + rogue + healbot + arcane magic user. This comes close to defining 5 out of 6 of your party members. You don't have to sweat it, as long as you:

    • start with at least 16 WIS for a cleric or druid, 16 INT for a wizard, 16 CHA for a sorc — in other words, 16 in primary spellcasting attribute
    • don't overdo trying to make your barbarian smart, your paladin good with a bow, your rogue an inspiring authority figure
    • etc. etc., you get the point

    If you feel like optimizing, you can combine some of the roles. For example in all D&D games:

    • giving your tank decent damage isn't difficult
    • your average big-time physical dps usually will be more durable than a fragile rogue or squishy mage
    • clerics are usually decent combatants
    • rogues aren't bad combatants either, with the right setup
    • equipping your entire party with bows for earlier phases of the battle always seems to work out well, and elves are allowed to use longbows regardless of class

    Additionally, in 3rd edition you should remember that:

    (Multiclassing)
    • multiclassing 50/50 costs exactly as much experience as 100% in a single class, so multiclassed spellcasters are far less powerful than in 2nd ed., where they lagged only a little behind, like 1-2 levels behind a single-class caster (e.g. BG1–2, IWD1)
    • still, very interesting unique characters can be built by taking 1–2 levels from a class (for its front-loaded abilities, access to certain types of equipment, certain skills etc.), but like I've just told you, you're going to feel the gimp if you delay your caster even by 1 level
    • sorcerers are already delayed compared to wizards, so multiclassing them is going to result in a severe restriction on their utility that's going to be very hard to offset
    • humans get +1 skill point per level, which makes them easier to multiclass and still cover the right skills

    (Other issues)
    • rangers are weaker and more rogue-like, druids are less beefy than priests now
    • then there's the standard dilemma of whether you prefer having to pick your spells in advance as a wizard or be ready to go as a sorc but with limited spell selection
    • priest vs druid is a matter of taste but can be a difficult choice (priests are physically tougher, though druids have spells that may offset this difference and be worth the trade)

    Hence, for a party of 6, you could rely on synergies between different characters and e.g. combine druid with sorcerer or get two sorcerers or even sorcerer and wizard for early stoneskins for all your party members.

    In IWD2 specifically:

    • damage reduction is commonplace on the enemies the game throws at you, making low-damage piercing weapons such as daggers not really effective against a large share of them, which is quite frustrating and has the potential to put you in a difficult situation
    • shields aren't necessarily spectacular but neither are 2H weapons (big dmg itself, however, is good and necessary), so it's kinda your pick
    • you don't need a full-time rogue due to the relatively forgiving difficulty bar on all locks and traps in the game; hence multiclassing your rogue after only 2 levels is a perfectly viable option (just remember to start as rogue to reap all the starting points, and probably want to start with 16 INT)
    • this is also why choosing a race with level adjustment is going to make you very acutely feel the price of doing so; on the other hand those races are sometimes debatably worth taking with the right build, though even then it's a steep price usually and rather geared toward not paying off in full
    • paladins are much stronger and better developed than typical D&D standard
    • for a large party you won't have enough experience for a lot of multiclassing fun, but by making your party smaller you could perhaps manage (still, some quest XP is awarded on a per-character and not a per-team basis)

    An entire guide could be written about multiclassing your rogue, which, like I said, you can easily get away with in this game. You don't have to, as a pure rogue would still be an interesting character to play, but you can, because of the low difficulty of locks and traps in this game. There are two ways:

    (1) You start as a rogue for the massive skill points and perhaps take a level later on but otherwise just switch over to a different class:

    • backup wizard (less powerful than your main arcane caster); the INT required will take care of you getting a lot of skill points per level — I wouldn't advise this one, though, due to the unfun factor of delayed spell progression
    • ranger — a very natural-feeling mix; you go light armour for free dual-wielding/ambidex; ranger has enough skill points to take care of rogue skills (you may want to delay your 2nd level in rogue and save some points in order to buy rogue skills at a 1:1 and not a 2:1 cost)
    • fighter — how many fighter levels you have doesn't really matter so much, it's more about how many feats you can get, so a good class for multiclassing; fighter isn't good for skills, though, and doesn't really benefit from high INT either;

    (2) You simply add a level or two of different classes to your rogue:

    • any front-loaded class with interesting bonuses on level 1 or 2
    • fighter, to augment your fighting potential at some cost to your rogue skills
    • barbarian as a mix of the two above
    • ranger for free dual/ambidex as long as you stay in light armour; this won't even cause much of a problem with your skills

    To some extent this applies to your fighter as well — first of all adding a level or two from a different class isn't going to gimp you in significant ways and sometimes not at all (depending on the class).

    On other hand consider that paladins, rangers and barbarians — and to some extent even clerics — already functionally resemble an elegantly multiclassed fighter, so consider if that wouldn't be a better choice. Traditionally, as per D&D, clerics can turn into very powerful physical combatants after casting all their buffs, if they have the time to do so. In IWD2 you can prepare for most battles, so this is something to consider.

    Bottom line: with a fighter, rogue, cleric and wizard you've got your core old-school D&D experience covered. You can focus on playing out your party members' respective roles to the fullest without crazy multiclass shenanigans. I strongly suggest you try at least once, if not in this particular game, then in any other D&D game. Since you have 6 character slots you can take on an additional warrior such as paladin, ranger or barbarian (or even monk), on a varying scale from conservative to innovative, or an additional caster (2nd cleric, 2nd wizard, sorc or two, druid…).

    Personally, I tend to want at least one cleric/druid per party of six and prefer two arcane casters rather than 1. In fact, two clerics, two wizards/sorcs, one rogue multiclassed into ranger, and one paladin — all of them casters — would be a great party, although very intense on micromanagement (manual use of abilities and spells, a lot of spellcasting and a lot of buffing up before battles).

    Undecided about bards, but the beauty of a 6-member party is that you have a spare slot, so you might as well make a bard, even though it's a weak class.
     
  7. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Be aware, the vanilla game does not allow you to save up skill points for a later level. Customdll fix remedies this.

    ID2 strongly favours spellcasting. With equipment, spells and tactics, you can use most primary casters in tanking roles.

    Bard isn't a weak class if used properly. It gets Emotion:Hope at level 3 and the Tymora's Melody song at level 5.

    I had 2 Drow clerics, Gnome Illusionist, Human Druid and Sorcerer all geared up for tanking. I found it useful due to the ambushes, map layouts and pathfinding issues making it hard to maintain a one-sided front.

    My bard was the only one who didn't melee, and paradoxically the Bard is the only non-primary caster class in the team.
     
  8. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    This is going a bit OT, but I thought text in the code tags was supposed to be in monospaced font. It was under the old forum.
    It was the primary reason I bothered with a code tag. I also thought it was part of the point of the code tag, to ensure code was displayed correctly given the number of programming languages and conventions that rely on it for readable code.
    Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the site was wrong. I can't recall where I picked up BBCode but I know it started with an FAQ with somebody giving a brief overview when introducing it to some forum after some upgrade. Yeah, vague, but I just can't remember as it was at least 13 years ago, probably more like 14 or more.
     
  9. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I find that most of the time a 50/50 split of base classes is weaker than a pure class in IWD2, PoR2, and NWN. The only one that comes close is fighter/rogue or barbarian/rogue and even that I don't do it quite the way it is intended in IWD2. I prefer to take enough rogue levels to get a decent amount of rogue skills plus meet the requirement for the rogue-only feats, then go pure fighter or barbarian except every 3rd level when I get a feat, and take a rogue level and rogue feat (plus more skills).
    Rogue is actually an excellent mix-in for sneak attack damage on front liners. It synergizes especially well with monks. Taking 1 or 3 levels with a monk seems to make the monk much more powerful. It is less dramatic but the same with rangers.
    I find I have to carry several different weapons due to all the damage resistance, and if you have to power through that -5 damage resistance, using a 2H weapon with a d10 or d12 and the highest plus you can manage is the best way to do it, followed by a staff or spear if your character can't wield it.
    For all that people seem to praise Power Attack, I find it usually results in a lot more misses (technically only 25% more) even with buffs cast, and I don't like to cast buffs for every mook you come across.
    Indeed, this is sound advice for IWD2.
    Bards are great as the party face in IWD2 and fill a great support role. The free healing at level 11 is not to be underestimated. I would NOT advise taking one if you are using less than a 6-man party, but the game intended for you to take a full 6-man party and if you do have a six-man party, I do advise taking a bard.


    Some combos I touched on earlier that I want to suggest for a multi-classed rogue.
    Barbarian/Rogue. Start as a rogue, fulfill the requirements (except level) for any rogue-only feats and then go pure barbarian until you are going to get a feat, then take another rogue level. It has been a while, but I think at some point I take barbarian levels before taking more rogue levels to meet requirements. I have to look over things again.

    Monks taking a few rogue levels as a mix-in. In IWD2 this is surprisingly powerful. The monk tends to fight along side your tank/decoy and the sneak attack damage really seems to make more of a difference than it should. One or three levels is best. If you are only going to play the normal game and have no chance of reaching level 21, take 3 rogue levels. Otherwise stay at 1 until you reach level 21, then take two more rogue levels. Do NOT do a 50/50 split unless you plan to play the game twice, once in normal and once in HoF, as the payoff doesn't happen until you get the higher monk levels, and don't take more than 20 monk levels.
    If you need a rogue for skills, do a fighter, ranger, or barbarian multi. Even a wizard or druid levels are a better choice for a 50/50 split.

    One other thing about monks, once you hit level 20, you don't get anything from further progression that you couldn't get by taking levels in just about any other class except wizard and sorcerer. You might as well take ten levels in druid or cleric and pick up some low-level spells. I already extolled the virtues of taking a few rogue levels, but if you intend to do that, a better way might be to plan to take your rogue levels earlier when you can take rogue-only feats and make every level count, so only take rogue levels beyond the first (where you pick skills to meet requirements) on levels when you get a feat and can get a rogue-only one. I haven't actually done this, but in theory it could be powerful considering what just 3 levels of rogue does to the monk class.
     
  10. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Yeah, 50/50 basically isn't spectacular, it may simply pose a better alternative to a wholly unmixed character, depending on the exact build. My impression is also that even small mix-ins are often costly, especially for classes with steep progression, which includes all serious casters plus paladins and bards and then perhaps some more. I've finished the game with a solo paladin12/wizard13 and enjoyed it greatly, the character probably was more powerful than a straight-up pally with 25 levels, not sure about pure wizard (a well-played one in particular, with a bunch of 9-level spells).
     
  11. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    There's more than one way to make a party, and after you grow out of the tank character + mage character + rogue character phase you can start creating synergistic parties, ones where roles are spread out throughout different characters and where the party's overall effectiveness is greater than the sum of its parts. It's at this point that classes like the bard and the druid become particularly viable options, because these classes offer much and yet do not really have traditional roles.

    Regardless of whatever you decide to do, one thing that always works in IWD2 is to bring a tanky cleric. Out of all the classes in IWD2 the cleric is so well designed that it does well regardless of whatever party you decide to include it in, and with the right combination of skills/feats clerics can do pretty much anything.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  12. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I find that in the case of the paladin, mixing in a few fighter levels at mid to high level to give weapon specialization is worth it, but not until at least level 10 or 11, and usually later.

    50/50 is most useful with a rogue that is functioning as the party face, taking care of locks & traps, and doing a lot of backstabbing. He needs the rogue levels to keep all the skills current, and can take some support levels in fighter, barbarian, or ranger to increase his melee since even in that scenario you do not need a full-time rogue unless you skimp on INT (like only 10 or 12).
    I can't think of any other class that going 50/50 benefits from compared to a mix.
    Warrior/mage is the next closest.
     
  13. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    I do like having certain basic, long lasting buffs (hour/level) continually cast, and pausing whenever I'm deciding my next move. To preserve buff durations. These probably help with hit chances considerably. Especially Bless, Bull's Strength & Cat's Grace.

    Bards require even more meticulous planning than your average primary caster, due to the complexity of spells, (lingering) songs and combat. I developed my own strategy by completely negating combat and building my Bard as rearguard puppeteer. It definitely helped streamline the overloaded feats list: Many competing feats in the combat category became redundant. Basically, I switched roles of primary casters (clerics, druid, illusionist, sorcerer) and frontliners (bard technically). It worked well for me, raised effectiveness and cut down micromanagement. But if you don't have a working strategy for a bard, it might not be the optimal choice of team member.

    Tymora's Melody is definitely the best song for me; +1 Luck to everybody is amazing, because it affects almost everything: saves, hit chances, damage rolls, spell dice rolls, critical hit range. To (ab)use the lvl11 healing song, you need to keep an enemy alive because it only works in combat. Plus, all the waiting for healing costs you in spell buff duration, which is important with my playstyle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  14. Nifft Gems: 1/31
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    I've had a great experience with 4-character parties in IWD2.

    The best one might have been:
    - Drow (female) Cleric
    - Deep Gnome Druid
    - Drow (male) Rogue 1 / Wizard ++
    - Human Bard / Fighter / Bard ++

    The Cleric and Druid were the front-liners, the Wizard and the Bard were archery focused. I mostly focused the front-liners on long-term buffs & summons (Bull's Strength, Animate Dead) so they wouldn't need to cast in combat.

    Using a smaller party meant faster leveling, so I started squatting after a while just because I didn't want to be too over-leveled for later content. This party was able to hit level 9 spells before the end-game (... except the Bard of course).
     
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