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How bad would a massive multiclass party be?

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by SlickRCBD, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I've heard things over the years deriding triple classed characters because they don't get enough XP to become powerful.
    I've also heard it is doable to start a level 1 party in Heart of Fury mode.

    How bad would the following party be? All half-elves unless noted
    F/M/T (Elf)
    C/F/M
    R/C
    F/D
    Bard
    Paladin (Human)

    Could it be viable for starting in HoF mode? Would it work in normal?

    Alternately, here's the other idea I'm pondering for HoF:
    3 F/M/T
    3 C/F/M
    That one would have everyone advancing more or less equally, and it's been a LONG time since I've played without a bard.
    It might be even more interesting.

    So, how well would those compositions work for starting at level 1 in HoF mode? If not, how bad would they be in normal for eventual export?

    I'm leaning towards the first one because I'm young at heart and part of me is still a teenage boy who enjoys the "unwanted harem comedy" and thinking of making all the elves female and the paladin a male who has vows similar to that of Catholics, in the "no sex before marriage, marriage is between one man and one woman" sense, so the eleven maidens can joke about being "his harem".
    Just something that popping into my head while bored, thinking it would have been fun for an AD&D campaign and adopting it to this.
     
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I forgot to mention that I've modded the game to let double-class characters get double the XP cap, and triple class characters get triple the XP cap.
     
  3. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    I've ran the game on HoF with a solo F/M/C and managed to complete it, so yes both party compositions should do fine.
    taking 6 triple class characters through HoF is fine because of the way the bonus experience works out, (double the usual XP + 2000) though i am unsure if you'll be able to reach your new modded level caps in a single playthrough.

    When playing on normal/core rules i'd go with the first party for sure since you're not spending the xp you do get across too many places.
     
  4. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I tried it, and I don't really see how starting at level 1 in HoF mode is really viable. Even when everyone is Blessed and the bard is singing, I'm only hitting those beetles in the pub on a 19 or 20.
    I forgot, does Sleep work on the goblins outside town in HoF mode? What about Color Spray?
     
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    Use bows on all characters to kite the goblins in the starting map - kite them one by one.
    As soon as your Clerics get access to animate undead, that's pretty much the rest of the game since summons get the same stat boosts that enemy mobs do.
     
  6. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Well, the C/F/M, the R/C, and the F/D are unable to use bows. The C/F/M and R/C are limited to slings while the F/D can use slings, darts, or throwing daggers. I gave the paladin a crossbow so somebody could use those bolts I find, so that leaves only the bard (long bows) and the F/M/T (short bows).
    I'm not sure I can get only one goblin to follow me around without getting lucky with Entangle and Grease, the latter of which I did not pick and cannot purchase until I get to Kuldahar.
    Then there's the issue of only being able to cast said spells once.
     
  7. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    It *can be done though, even on a single character.
    I just ran with a fresh f/m/c to check - going solo helps with early levels, since taking all the easy quests (jhonen's sword/old jeb's wine/etc) is enough to give you quite a few levels allowing you to get summons pretty quickly.
     
  8. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Obviously I'm doing something wrong because I've completed the quest from the sea nymph giving Jhonen the sword, getting the drunk to sober up, and the harmless bugs in the basement of the pub, but I'm getting creamed by the frigging wolf in the warehouse. I can't think of anything else to get XP besides the wolf before facing the goblins.

    Just for the heck of it, I turned off HoF mode and tried again the wolf died almost instantly. One casting of Command and then he gets turned into a pincushion with the party buffed with Bless and the bard singing.
    I turn back on HoF mode and it is my party where everybody but the Paladin gets 1-hit KO, and the KO is more like Killed Outright. The paladin gets 2 hits.
    The double and triple classed characters are still at level 1 with ~3000XP. The paladin is level 2, the bard level 3.
    Any suggestions on spell picks or what I'm doing wrong? I'm going to use DaleKeeper and fill the 1st level spell book of the bard and both mages with all the first level spells since I can't buy scrolls yet as obviously I picked wrong for HoF mode.
    I tried to kite the wolf with the bard while he sings and runs, but it doesn't seem to work too well in the confined warehouse and the wolf switches targets when he gets too close to the party.

    I've beaten HoF mode before, but only by using a party that had already beaten the game and had access to late game spells, had a much lower THAC0, and far more hit points.
    Starting at level 1 in HoF mode is not really working out for me. I guess they call it "nightmare mode" internally for a reason.
    I could use suggestions on tactics to survive until I reach Kuldahar, by which point I'll probably be able to use the summons suggestion.

    Or maybe I should just play through with this party in normal mode since I suspect it is the multiclasing that is literally killing me.
     
  9. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    Ok, I decided I needed to work on spell picks, so I cheated all the level 1 wizard spells into the bard and 2 mages' spellbooks.
    It seems color spray does work on the wolf, which helped. Now the F/M/T is level 1/1/2 and the R/C is also 1/2.
    Time to take a nap in the inn and face the mighty goblins.
     
  10. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent Resourceful

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    For what it's worth, Slick, I'm currently playing Heart of Fury, having started it at level 1, with a full party combining multi and dual classes. I'm now nearing the end of Dragon's Eye; I'm confident from this that it can definitely be done the whole way!

    Here's my party:
    Fighter (Human)
    Fighter (Human)
    F/D (Half-Elf)
    F/C (Gnome)
    F/M/T (Elf)
    Bard (Half-Elf)

    Both fighters are currently at level 11; they will dual to Mage and Cleric at 13. The dual down-time will definitely up the difficulty, but so far the toughest parts have been the orc cave outside Easthaven (the 4 ogres [which were able to 3-hit-chunk my two fighters even despite their XP boost] and masses of orc elites almost had me giving up at that point) and the 4th level of DE (the high summoner seems to re-summon on every re-load! And the summons home directly into the party, plus all the doors automatically open on re-load). I predict Yxunomei to be the hardest battle of the game (at least, pre-exansions), although it remains to be seen.

    Other notes: there's about 13 million XP available per character in the game plus both expansions, so the Bard will top out at 30 about half-way through that, followed by the dual classes, whilst the double multi-classes will be reaching 30/30 near the end and the triple won't cap out. I chose gnome for the combination of shorty saves against magic and ability to use the special helmet, plus that extra point of AC makes a surprising difference! The Druid's summons utterly rock, especially when you reach Fire Elemental---a hasted FE is a sight to behold! Finally Mage spells: there definitely are enough for 3 arcane casters, but specialising each caster in one or two key spells per level is crucial.

    I'm really looking forward to getting my spell-sword up and running! (Hopefully before the end of the first game! :) )

    How did/is your multi-class game work/ing out, Slick?
     
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I gave up. It wasn't fun. It was frustrating.
    I thought that HOF would give rapid advancement on the mutliclass party bringing out the potential they had, but instead what I had was my party being at the mercy of the RNG with what seemed like only a 10% chance of victory without casualties, missing the goblins and orcs just about all the time, the spells not helping much, and winning only with multiple reloads.
    It wasn't a fun challenge, it was a luck-based mission. I hate luck-based missions where you succeed or die based more on luck than skill (such as the game included with Windows 2.0 through (including 95) Windows 10 called Minesweeper). Some luck is good as the randomness keeps it interesting, but the entire battle being decided by luck is not my cup of tea.

    Interestingly enough, I tried loading the same characters (back at level 1) with the game on normal mode and the same tactics I was trying were overkill as I breezed through the wolf and the goblins.

    I might decide to finish with the party in normal mode and then play again in HoF mode with them at end-game level with end-game equipment. That might be fun.

    Maybe if somebody wants to make suggestions, although I can't think of much else I could do.
    1. Curse the enemy
    2. Bless the party
    3. Make the bard sing
    4. Use color spray and command to disable a key enemy
    5. Have the paladin tank while the rest use missiles since nobody else can take a hit while a class is still at level 1 and the bard can't until level 3. Although this means the F/D uses darts, the F/M/C and R/C use slings wile the F/M/T uses a short bow (somebody has to take the proficiency and the bard took the crossbow. In hindsight I should have made the paladin take the crossbow while the bard uses the long bow)
    6. Use entangle and grease to try to break up the mobs (but by the time you kill the first goblin the rest will have broken through)
    Any other suggestions on spells to pick to face the almighty goblins? Sleep didn't seem to help much on HoF mode, although it works wonders on normal mode. Chromatic Orb is not that useful until much later as you don't get the stone or death effects until after level 11. Armor and shield spells did not seem to make much difference. In fact, I seriously considered putting some normal armor on the F/M/C and using him as a F/C. Then I accidentally bought chain mail instead of scale from Pomab. Would have preferred full plate or at least plate mail but it isn't available.
    In normal mode I often can get away with not buying anything except the containers plus slings and bullets for the characters unable to equip short bows from Pomab and using the weapons I loot from town to slay the goblins for some free leather armor and bows (and axes for the axe user in the party. I always find lots of magic axes so always meta-game by taking one character specialized in them. Seems with maces and flails/morningstars which ever one my cleric is NOT specialized in will be the one I get the really good examples of magical weapons in making me prioritize it for my next proficiency slot).
     
  12. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent Resourceful

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    I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy it! :(

    My approach to the goblins went something like as follows (note the early stages of the game involved me completely spamming rest).

    1. Decide on a main fighter to be the tank (yours would be the paladin), and buff them to the max with cleric spells (Pro. fr. Ev., Aid, Bless; I can't remember for sure, but I also think the paladin and cleric PfE stack). Of course he's equipped with the best armour available (splint, large shield, helmet)
    2. Lure one goblin at a time by walking to the left-hand cliffs with the tank.
    3. As the goblin approaches from the right everybody pelts him with missiles, then changes position up onto the bridge, then when he closes the tank switches to melee.
    4. The tank then cheeses, running circles around the goblin. (It's important to have melee weapon to avoid the AC penalty for those chance hits.)
    5. Eventually the mighty goblin falls to the cowardly onslaught. :)
    6. If the buffs are still active/available, repeat. Otherwise rest.
    7. If the goblin is an archer the entire party begins north of the bridge and the tank closes as rapidly as possible to prevent those arrows of insta-death.
    8. If the tank gets low on health send in the back-up tank, buffed if possible. (This was my other fighter, for you I guess it'd be the R/C.) In the back lines heal the main tank in between missiles, and as soon as possible return them to the front line.
    9. If two goblins follow, pray to Tempus.

    Your F/M/C should not be in combat until they have access to decent mage buffs. Until then they can sit on the back line, and their low level spells should be all healing.

    Your bard should never be attacking. Their role is constant singing (in my game he has only one kill, which was a lone webbed skeleton!), except when they interrupt it for a juicy spell.

    The best first level mage spell is Grease, which is just about the only area effect one they have which will stick (he he, geddit?). My normal go-to, Sleep, is useless against these formidable, high-HD foes.

    When it comes to the orcs, entangle is your friend. The wolves outside the cave are ridiculously hard too, and they only succumbed to my final tactic I will describe:

    The druid has a spell (second level?) called Charm Animal or Person (also your ranger will have CA from first level), which works absolute wonders. Suddenly one of these terrifying beasts is on your side! They can tank 10 times better than your best warrior, and the only drawback is their kills don't give you XP. But used wisely it can buy your party some space. It works on orc elites, ogres, goblins, you name it!

    If you do give it another shot, persevere, play with the above tactics and general party positioning (using bottle-necks etc.), and you'll eventually make it to the Vale, at which stage you'll begin to need less and less resting. (I left the goblin-infested pass until near the end of VoS.) Near the end of Kresselack's tomb your Bard will reach level 11, giving your healers a break: War Chant of Sith! :D

    Good luck, and safe journey!
     
  13. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent Resourceful

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    Forgot to mention: stacked Entangle, Grease and Webs are insane. The per-round tick stacks and with enough layers you can almost guarantee immobilising all of your foes. This of course necessitates tactical party positioning, and proper use of bottle-necks!
     
  14. 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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    I tried straight to HOF once and couldn't handle the boredom and restarts from the micromanaging tactics you are describing. Gave it up as not being fun.

    @SlickRCBD , I'm with you.
     
  15. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent Resourceful

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    @dmc, that's totally fair. I was just describing my (so far) successful approach. My assessment of my method was that I wasn't in any way relying on luck, although there was definitely an element of abusing some game mechanics, in particular enemies' targeting and any lack of calls for help. However most of the enemies in HoF have impressively good scripting (for the game's time), and calls for help are almost ubiquitous. In fact, tactics such as the above (kiting, bottle-necking, crowd control spells, buffs, summons and party positioning) have made the battles in my current run-through some of the most memorable in any Infinity Engine game. This reward, plus the rapid power-progression of my party, has definitely compelled me to say that HoF should only be played from level 1, and for players with my mind-set it can be an immensely satisfying process.

    But I understand not everybody enjoys that kinda thing! :) In fact in the back of my mind I'm already planning a Core difficulty run, using only single-class, non min-maxed characters. But that's for another day and another thread...
     
  16. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    I can never get the "lure only one enemy at a time" to work. I always get mobbed no matter how careful I try to be to only get one goblin at a time.
    Once all the goblins charge, entangle and grease are not enough to break up the mob long enough. In normal mode the entangle+grease combo is awesome as the goblins will die quickly, but in HOF I just can't get enough hits quickly enough to pick them off before they break through.
    Charm person also had a very poor success rate even after casting curse on the enemy. If it worked it was awesome, but most of the time it was a wasted spell.
     
  17. Yulaw9460 Gems: 8/31
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    Ahhhh, tempt me not! I have to complete my BG run before making another IWD run. I already have a party stashed and ready to go with purely single-class members. Allright, I suppose that a Gnome Illusionist technically is a kit, but this is the setup I came up with:
    Human Paladin
    Dwarf Cleric
    Gnome Illusionist
    Half-elf Bard
    Elf Druid
    Halfling Thief
     
  18. MrMermaid

    MrMermaid Reality is merely an illusion, albeit persistent Resourceful

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    Nice variety, but seems painfully thin on fighters! I foresee a lot of resting between encounters. Plus you've got three extremely squishy guys (four if you count the Druid) who'll be in constant danger, especially when the party enters a new area surrounded by enemies. Also your Illusionist will miss out on the high-level treat of Abi Dalzim. Still, it could be an interesting challenge.

    Are you playing the EE?

    Here's mine:
    Human Paladin
    Elf Ranger
    Gnome Fighter
    Half-Elf Druid
    Halfling Fighter/Thief
    Half-Elf Mage

    I can't bring myself to single-class my Thief, it's so painfully weak and there's a wasteful surplus of skill points. The Druid's rapid advancement will offset the lack of Cleric for healing, and the Paladin will be my undead-turner and eventual party-buffer. The Ranger is my wild-card: I've never used one in IWD and I want to see what role-playing options he opens up as well as amuse myself with his tracking. Also new is my lack of Bard: I always play with one, and I want to challenge myself not to.
     
  19. Yulaw9460 Gems: 8/31
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    Oh, yeah. I didn't mean "kit". Illusionist specialization. What I meant was that the Gnome was not exactly a pure class Mage, as opposed to the other party members.

    The underlying theme was one of each race and basic class. Ranger and Fighter are also basic classes, which could have been picked instead of the Paladin, but I only have 6 party slots, soo... Paladin by default, I guess.
     
  20. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
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    That party is almost exactly what I used the first time I beat the game in both normal and HoF mode.
    Change the halfling to a F/T and it would be spot-on.
    Although I thought the dwarven cleric was missing a lot more than he should have for some reason. He had the same THAC0 as the druid, but the druid seemed to hit a lot more.
    I never could figure it out.
     
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