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Icewind Dale noob - Druid Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by Samuel Carpenter, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Samuel Carpenter Gems: 1/31
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    Hi guys this is my first time doing this so i'll try to do it right...don't know if i'm in the right area to ask this..so here I go......I just started playing Icewind dale for the first time and want to build a strong druid..my question is what race would be good and how should my stats be? Any advice and opinions would be welcomed...
     
  2. 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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    If you're building a pure class druid, race is less meaningful, although you might choose elf because you can have 19 dexterity (and the commensurate reduction on constitution from 18 to 17 doesn't matter because the best a pure class could do would be 16, which gives +2 hp per level -- 17 would normally give +3, but only to fighters, paladins and rangers so there's no point on a pure class druid).

    Stats would be - max wisdom and dexterity, con at 16, put strength as high as it will go, and tank intelligence and charisma as low as the class allows. If you don't want to min-max, I'd sacrifice strength and con to push up the intelligence to a level that would not embarrass a chimp, but that's up to you.

    An alternative would be to make this a dual class character, which means human as the race. Start as a fighter for at least three levels (to get an extra weapon proficiency point and healthy hitpoints). If you opt for that route, you're going to want to roll a decent amount to get good stats as your charisma and wisdom both need to be pretty high to dual class. You can probably do a search in this forum for dual classing tips.

    Another option would be a multi-class, which I think is only a fighter/druid. Not sure if you can MC any other class with druid. I can't remember the race limitations, but would suspect it's something like elf or half-elf only (maybe gnome or halfling, but I'm not sure). Then it might make sense to avoid elf in order to get con to 18 to max HP, but it might involve some serious re-rolling to make a godly character with 18's in wis, str, dex and con, because your only true stat to pull from is int (I think the min charisma is 15, so that's 12 points you can't pull because the game won't let you go below 15).

    Hope that helps.
     
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  3. Samuel Carpenter Gems: 1/31
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    [​IMG] Thank you sir, your advice and tips aswell as your opinion has helped alot..I opted for the human duel class role...and your right I had to do some serious rolling to get some good stats...got my fighter to lvl 6 before I switched to druid..and got that class to lvl 3...the stats on my guy are...STR-18/94..DEX-17..CON-16...INT-5...WIS and CHA both at 17...thanks again for your help....
     
  4. 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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    Always happy to help. I probably would have waited to level 7 to dual, because that offers an extra half attack per round, and I probably would have bitten my tongue and dropped int to 3 to put con up to 18 (after all, he's either a chimp or a gibbon, so I'm not sure it makes a difference), but that's just minor quibbling at this point.
     
  5. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    @ Samuel Carpenter,

    I don't know if you're looking for advice for the rest of your party, but I would highly recommend the following (assuming you have the Heart of Winter expansion):

    Human Paladin
    Half-elf Ranger Cleric
    Human Fighter 3/Druid X
    Dwarf or Elf Fighter (preference; Dwarf if melee focused, Elf if ranged w/ melee backup)
    Elf Mage/Thief or Gnome Illustionist/Thief
    Half-elf Bard

    This party really covers all the bases - all classes, almost all races - and is the best party I've played with in my 10+ years of experience. I always hated Bards and Druids in this game, until HoW improved both greatly. You'll find the 3 levels of Fighter for the druid really help him/her hold their own in battle. The bard is a great secondary caster and the songs are very useful. There is little need for either a pure mage or pure thief in this game, so combining the two works well, as there are few mage-exclusive items in the game worth writing home about. I never felt like I lacked for magic, especially with the bard around. The paladin makes a great party spokesman as they can see right through several attempts at deception, and the best weapon in the game is Paladin-only. Between the Ranger/Cleric and your Druid, you'll have plenty of healing and buffing to go around. This group allows you to use just about every item in the game - and if you're a completist like me, provides the most robust, comprehensive Icewind Dale experience.

    Alternatively - if you really want a pure mage, I would swap the pure fighter for a Halfling Fighter/Thief (some cool Halfling-only items available). That said, having your main caster be a mage/thief will make him/her less useless when not casting spells (which is most of the time). Again, this boils down to preference.
     
  6. Nizidramanii'yt Gems: 10/31
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    I don't like Elves as they need to be resurrected, which always costs me a lot as they tend to be the weaker characters in the party.

    HoW indeed improved the druids. I assume you have that as the game isn't sold without it now.
     
  7. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    The Long Sword of Action +4 is not paladin only.
     
  8. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Well, that depends on whether you think 1 extra attack per round is better than +7 to hit and damage vs. evil opponents (which is pretty much all of them) plus several free spell immunities and a speed factor of 1 (vs. 4 for LS of Action +4). Few do, hence Pale Justice is widely considered the best weapon in the game.
     
  9. Samuel Carpenter Gems: 1/31
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    Thanks guys....concerning a full party of characters I haven't really considers it after playing diablo and other games like it for so long. I have gotten used to going solo...icewind dale i'll say is the first game I played that gives an option for a whole party (perhaps i'll consider making a whole party later on).

    As for my druid/fighter i'll take him as far as I can solo..it is a hard and arduous path but I am used to that.... thanks again for all your advice and tips..your guys knowledge and expertise of icewind dale in indeed invaluble to me...

    Thanks again....
     
  10. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Druids can ONLY choose Human or Half-Elf at character creation. If you go single class, choose Half-elf as Human adds nothing to the table, unless you want to Dual-Class, then choose Human, htough I would level in Fighter before dualing to Druid. Half-elf has a few racial abilites, thoguh minor, so they are a better single class option.

    Druids require a min Cha of 15, so Cha is not a tank stat.

    WPs - I like sling*, quaterstaff* at character creation for single class druids. **if dualled or multi-classed.
     
  11. 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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    Sorry Blades, but I just fired it up and was able to make an elf druid pure class.
     
  12. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    Speed factor is completely meaningless. A round is 6 seconds long, so if you have 2 attacks per round you are getting an attack every 3 seconds regardless of your "speed factor."

    The immunities of Pale Justice are nice, but not game-changing. Fear/Horror is easily negated by the spell Resist Fear, and Symbol of Hopelessness is rarely used by any enemy other than greater mummies.

    1 extra attack is most definitely better than +7 enchantment. The math:

    Long sword of action+4 is 1d8+4 damage (average 8.5 damage). A level 13 paladin with specialization would have 3.5 attacks per round. 8.5 X 3.5 = 29.75 damage per round

    Pale Justice is 1d8+7 (average 11.5 damage). A level 13 paladin with specialization would have 2.5 attacks per round. 11.5 X 2.5 = 28.75 damage per round.

    The paladin will do slightly more damage with the long sword of action+4. The REAL difference however comes with a level 13 fighter with grandmastery. Remember that in IWD the grandmastery rules are not nerfed like they are in BG2. In IWD a level 13 fighter with grandmastery would have an impressive 4.5 attacks per round with the long sword of action+4. Also grandmastery is an extra +3 damage over specialization, which gives him the exact same +7 of Pale Justice. So the fighter would have 11.5 X 4.5 = 51.75 damage per round.

    There is no contest. Long sword of action+4 is the better weapon.
     
  13. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I guess I would say - without disagreeing necessarily - that the extra attack is never guaranteed to hit, whereas the extra +3 to hit on top of the +4 very significantly increases your chance to hit, especially vs. late-game enemies. Being much more likely to hit is, for my money, more important than an extra attack that may not. But that's me.

    In the hands of a mastery-maxed fighter, you're right - it's clearly better than Pale Justice since a fighter can't use it at all, and a little better than it even if they could. But you also find it so late in the expanded game I don't see that it makes a whole lot of difference. Pale Justice is at least found early enough to last you the final third of the game. But still, noted.

    As an iside - LSoA +4 would seem the most deadly in the hands of a Ranger using it one handed, effectively giving him 2 extra attacks.
     
  14. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Did you fire up IWD1? or IWD2? IWD1 is a AD&D 2nd edtion format, which only allows Humans and Half-Elves to choose Druid as a class. That is why only Half-Elves can choose the multi-class option Fighter/Druid.

    Page 66 of the IWD manual - See Priests/Druids... "Restrictions: Human or Half-Elf only; leather armor and bucklers only;can only wield clubs, darts, spears, daggers, slings, and staffs."

    How did you make a Elf Druid? My guess would be a mod that eliminates some of the class racial restrictions.
     
  15. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    A high level fighter has a good enough THAC0 that he isn't going to miss on anything but a critical miss of 1. Enemy AC in the game simply isn't that good. The final HoW boss for example only has an AC of -5. Also, mastery gives a -3 THAC0 bonus while specialization is only a -1 THAC0 bonus. So the -3 bonus from Pale Justice truly only equates to a -1 net bonus over the fighter.

    About the long sword of action being obtainable too late in the game, well that entirely depends on when you do the expansion content. You only have to be level 9 to get to Lonelywood. You can do that in the middle of the main game if you wish, so the long sword of action is technically obtainable before Pale Justice is. (There are also two long swords of action. One is the one you mention obtainable at the end of the expansion, but there is also another obtainable in the Trials of the Luremaster sidequest which you can get right away as soon as you first enter Lonelywood.)

    No, the long sword of action is not best in the hands of a ranger. Its best in the hands of a fighter with grandmastery. Remember that grandmastery gives you a full extra attack anyway, so that's why the fighter gets 4.5 attacks with it instead of the normal 2.5 like he would with any other sword. Plus, the fighter can still equip a shield while the ranger loses the extra attack if he equips a shield. Finally, grandmastery is +5 damage while specialization is only +2 damage, so that even further supports the fighter over the ranger.

    Saying all of that about the long sword of action being best with a fighter also applies to the paladin. Its a better weapon than Pale Justice, but its still best in the hands of a grandmaster fighter. So really the best party would be a party with both a paladin and a grandmaster fighter to make use of both weapons. (And then with both of them side by side you will be able to clearly see the superiority of the long sword of action as the fighter demolishes the enemy much more quickly than the paladin.)
     
  16. 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 fired up IWD I, not 2. It let me make a druid from a human, elf or half-elf and that's it, so I would suspect that it's not a mod, at that would open it up to all races most likely. Don't ever believe the manual, it's chock full of mistakes.
     
  17. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I just fired up both my Vanilla and IWD in BG2 games. Neither allows me to make an elf druid... it has to be a mod...
     
  18. 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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    Does your IWD include HOW and whatever else was put out by BIS?

    Edit - trying to remember, but other than whatever patch there was, the only mods I think I used were widescreen, G3 Fixpack and G3 Tweakpack. I don't recall any of those offering the addition of elf druids.
     
  19. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Looks like we're having the Pedantic Olympics here on the good old BOM. Brings back memories.

    @ Gafgorkian,

    Well, then I would make these final* points that I think anyone could agree on.

    1) ANY weapon in the game is going to be more effective in the hands of a Fighter with Grandmastery in that weapon type, from the Long Sword of Action +4, to Pale Justice, to a dart, to a wooden spoon, to the shoehorn Conlan uses to put his boots on in the morning. So comparing a Paladin and a Fighter on that score isn't a fair comparison. The Fighter's entire reason for being is to be better at straight-up fighting than any other class, and nothing else.

    2) The only fair comparison in this case would be two identical 13th level Paladins, both with ** in long swords, one with Pale Justice, and one with LSoA +4. Then it boils entirely down to +3 to hit and damage (plus arguably trivial bonuses) vs. 1 extra attack. That's it. My preference is for the +3 – as I'm more about guaranteed damage than potential damage - and yours clearly is for the extra attack. Since I'll never play your game of Icewind Dale and you'll never play mine, neither of us is wrong.

    3) For a Fighter with Grandmastery in long swords, the Long Sword of Action +4 is, quite certainly, the best weapon in the game. Likewise, for a Paladin with Specialization in long swords, Pale Justice is, objectively, the best weapon in the game.

    * Because really...who gives a sh!t.
     
  20. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    The original point however goes back to your statement of the best weapon in the game being the paladin-only Pale Justice, and my original response was that its not the best weapon in the game.

    Best weapon in the game would imply that you look at and examine all possible outcomes. And by far the best possible outcome is the LSoA+4 in the hands of a grandmaster fighter, which makes it objectively the best weapon in the game.
     
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