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Icewind Dale noob - Druid Recommendations?

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

  1. 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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    Then I suppose I could have qualified it with "...for a Paladin," but if a weapon is the best weapon only if certain conditions are met then in fact there is no overall best weapon in the game, only the best weapon available for each individual class. And of those "best for each" weapons, Pale Justice and LSoA +4 are, respectively, pretty evenly matched under their respective best possible character conditions, as the best available weapon overall.

    EDIT: Just to be all mathy about it.

    Say a grandmaster fighter COULD use Pale Justice. That's 1d8+7 damage, plus 3 extra damage from un-nerfed grandmastery, making it 1d8+10, for average damage of 14.5. Times 3.5 attacks per round - one less than LSoA+4 - we get potential damage of 50.75, 1 point overall damage less than if you had that extra attack with LSoA +4. 1 point. But Pale Justice would still be +3 better to hit. Which again brings me back to what one's priorities are - 3 guaranteed points better probability of hitting things every time you swing, or 1 point better overall damage on average per round. So I wouldn't say "there is no contest," as you did, but in my estimation, Pale Justice is clearly better. By a small margin, but still - better.

    But again – it's a foolish comparison, as a fighter can't use Pale Justice, and a Paladin is slightly less effective with LSoA +4. The difference between the two weapons, not just under perfect conditions but in the grand scheme of things, are so negligible as to make me embarrassed that I spent this much time arguing about it. Truly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  2. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    Again I will repeat that a high level fighter does not miss on anything but a critical miss. Like I said previously, the final HOW boss has -5 AC, and I believe this is the best enemy AC in the game.

    A level 13 fighter has base THAC0 8. -3 from mastery, -3 from 18/00 or 19 strength (which is easily obtainable with gauntlets of ogre power or girdle of stromnos), and -4 from LSoA+4 enchantment brings the overall total THAC0 down to -2.

    -2 - (-5) = 3.

    The fighter only has to roll a 3 to hit the final boss. He only misses on a roll of 1 or 2. He has a 90% chance of hitting. A level 14 fighter would have a 95% chance of hitting, and that is the absolute best you can ever have because a roll of 1 is always a critical miss regardless of THAC0.

    So basically the higher enchantment of Pale Justice simply does not give a high level 14+ fighter a better chance of hitting.

    EDIT TO ADD:

    I just remembered another thing about the LSoA+4. It gives the wielder 15% resistance to slashing damage. That will save your life far more often than the immunities Pale Justice gives you. All the most dangerous enemies inflict slashing damage. (Golems inflict crushing damage and that's about the only exception to the rule.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  3. 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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    DMC, I need to amend the above response I had earlier, apparently I was a bit rash. Obviously IWD in BG2 would not allow Elf Druids, as it is based on the BG2 engine. My Vanilla install is not actually vanilla anymore. It was modded a bit by yours truly. I just never changed my folder name from IWD - Van. So I un-installed/edited a few fixes and you are correct, Druid is an option as a single class for elves. I don't ever remember coming across the option back in the day, probably because I wasn't looking for it. That is a bug IMO. It's not the manual that is off, as it was in line with the rule system they were implementing, it is an error by the Devs which was not fixed before release and apparently never fixed with a patch or add-on. IMO of course. Though I always thought it was a rather stupid 2nd Edition AD&D rule to not let Elven PCs, the nature race, be able to choose druid, a nature class. They would make the perfect Druid with their innate immunities to charm, which many forest creatures, a.k.a. Fey-types, possess.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 3 minutes and 16 seconds later... ----------

    Pale Justice is a Holy Avenger, the ultimate, iconic weapon of the AD&D world. For RP reasons alone, it is the best "find" in the game for any party with a Paladin. Hell, it is the one thing every Pally has wet dreams about. What could be better?! :D
     
  4. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    It is a holy avenger in name only. It does not give you all the abilities that a true holy avenger gives in the paladin class abilities (which in BG2 was directly placed on the item but regardless at least in that game they gave it all).

    I used to put a paladin in my "best party" group due to that weapon but honestly unless you got your attacks per round at the max of 5 the long sword of action +4 is the better weapon. Hitting is not an issue for the warrior classes and a couple of points of damage will easily be overtaken by an extra attack. The only ability that is really useful is the immunity to symbol spells though I tend to get around that by using things like anti magic shell and the like so it is not an ability that is must have.

    When I created my "best" party (which is fully debatable) it consisted of nearly all multiclassed characters (long term they are probably the best and in the short term are a lot of fun because you don't have to wait for a specific level to get what you really want).

    1 bard (ranged and used for OoC healing and in combat arcane spell use).

    2 fighter/mage/thief (enough of a thief for the game and spells make him good for bosses and warrior abilities keep him good against mooks). Slow progression for the mage is mitigated by the bard and fighter/mage.

    3 fighter/mage mostly for magecraft with the warrior parts to keep the mooks honest.

    4 fighter/druid water elemental form and static shock for the win.

    5 ranger/cleric in combat healing, support, and static shock.

    6 ranger-single classed warrior for toughness and static shock at upper levels keep him game.


    You could replace the ranger or the fighter/mage with a paladin or fighter though in my opinion static shock is worth more than grand mastery or the holy avenger in this game.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with having a paladin as it is a good class to have in the game but even with a paladin I still would go with the long sword of action unless facing greater mummies.
     
  5. Samuel Carpenter Gems: 1/31
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    I was deleting a couple of saved games that i had before i asked my questions and created my fighter/druid and ended up deleting the game with my F/D....sniffle....guess it's back to the drawing board.....this time i'll use the export option so if i make the same mistake i'll still have my character..
     
  6. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    Why would you think Static Shock is worth more than grandmastery?

    Assuming Static Shock caps at level 20 like most other spells, it does a max of 20d8 damage and it only activates once per turn. (Remember that in D&D terminology 1 turn = 10 rounds.) So it basically does 20-160 damage (average 90 damage) once every 10 rounds.

    Grandmastery gives you a full extra attack per round, so if your fighter is inflicting 20-25 damage per attack, he could inflict an extra 200-250 damage in those same 10 rounds.

    Also, a pure class ranger gets so few spell slots he isn't going to get many castings of Static Shock anyway unless you abuse it by resting every 5 minutes.

    Another thing, regarding having two mages plus a bard in the party is a bit too heavy on arcane magic. Almost every arcane spell beyond 2nd level has only one single scroll available to scribe. For example, there is only one scroll of Fireball in the entire game.
     
  7. 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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    Yep, unfortunately the Infinity game engine wasn't designed to duplicate the PnP version of the Holy Avenger. Sucks...

    But, +7 vs. Evil is awesome for a Pally, as they are designed to destroy evil. What else could a Pally ask for? I am talking purely RP here, not meta-gaming tactics. :p I usually speak along those lines when posting here. Not trying to state it is the most dominant melee weapon. I am talking "wow" power, though that usually only exist for those who are very familiar with a game campaign. There are many items in the FR that would be excellent finds in a CRPG game located in the Realms... Elminster's Smoking Pipe, The Blackstaff, The Crown of Thorns, etc....

    Plus as DR has stated, you get the LoA so late, it "could" become mute unless you start the expansion asap. Even then... Usually the best weapon in the game gives the best chance to destroy the toughest bosses. How does the LoA & Holy Avenger match up to Restored Blade of Aihonen when fighting the end-game battle? It has 25% resistance to Fire and Ice I believe and a HP bonus. There are so many different scenarios you come across, many different weapons end up being used.

    Sigh... Great going guys... all of this talk is giving me the itch to create a new party. I foretell more of "why are you ignoring me!" comments in my future from the wife. I blame all of you and I will do my best to hunt all of you down and give her your addresses. She just became a Director at work and is even more "assertive" than usual. Good luck dealing with that boys. :D
     
  8. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    You don't really get the LSoA that much later even if you do all of the original campaign and then import into the expansion. Pale Justice is obtained in the last chapter of the original campaign. There is maybe 10% of the game left once you obtain it. As I mentioned before, there are actually two LSoA weapons in the expansion. One is in the Trials of the Luremaster quest, and it is obtainable very early if you do that quest first thing once you start Heart of Winter. So really the LSoA isn't technically obtained significantly later than Pale Justice. I think DR just forgot about the Luremaster LSoA and only remembered the LSoA at the very end of Heart of Winter. I will agree that one is obtained too late to be of much use.

    The Restored Blade of Aihonen does indeed give the wielder 25% resistance to fire and ice, but the hit point gain is only a mere 5 hit points. The Singing Blade of Aihonen is slightly better with 30% resistance and 10 hit points, but still not that great. Fire/ice resistance is great when you are fighting all those fire/ice salamanders in earlier chapters, but its of little use after that. The 15% slashing resistance from LSoA is far more valuable since most of the deadliest enemies inflict slashing damage, including the final bosses of both the original campaign and the Heart of Winter campaign.
     
  9. 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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    Funny - talking about it got me running another party, similar to the one DR proposed. Pallie, R/C, F/T, F/M, F dualled to druid after 3, Bard. Almost done with chapter 5. They are really, really powerful.

    I don't like making a M/T in this game because I want all of my characters fully engaged in combat (spellcasting is reserved for really special occasions). The bard is the weak link in combat right now (his archery is fine), but the singing and occasional spells are just too sweet (the three fighter levels for the druid make him reasonable in combat). Plus, he allows my R/C and druid to take all offensive spells and buffs. War Chant of the Sith is complete cheese that I use to my heart's content. No healing spells for me except for Heal itself in case of emergency in major combat.
     
  10. 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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    Nice!

    I've found that my Bard can learn whatever spells my mage's specialist school is lacking. In the case of my Gnomish Illustionist/Thief, that's Necromancy and Abjuration - which I can live without for the most part. The only Necromancy spell that really hurts missing out on is Skull Trap. But again - Bardie can toss that one off. If you play by the rules, you'll only have access to a single Fireball scroll in the game anyway, so it's nice for the Bard to be able to balance that out.

    EDIT - Just curious dmc, what proficiencies are you tricking everyone out with?
     
  11. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    Generally I think you get the best gaming experience if you do not multiclass your primary casters, there are 6 characters who can fight when needed but only one primary mage or primary druid and if they reach higher levels the party gains more options, it would be a pity finishing the game without knowing most spells.

    A fighter(or cleric)>mage(or specialist mage) dualclass works well, especially with a bard in a party who can cast the low level spells.
    The same applies to fighter>druid dualclass if there's someone else to handle the healing in the beginning. Level7 is better than level 6 for dualing btw since the extra half attack per round you get for 7 fighter levels also applies to all shapeshifts.

    A party only consisting of single class characters so you can experience their strengths and weaknesses can be fun but might be too difficult for beginners who should at least multiclass their thief with fighter.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 7 minutes and 40 seconds later... ----------

    The spell is called "static charge". In a normal party game a single class ranger gets only one casting per day when the game is almost over, a ranger/cleric will never reach the 4,200,000 XP needed for casting level 4 druid spells.
    The ranger's main advantage is the extra melee attack per round while not wearing a shield (works with 2-handed weapons).
     
  12. 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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    The Restored Blade does help when fighting the 2nd to the last fight, as you are engaging a wizard. Doesn't the Final Boss at the end cast some type of Fire magic? Of course it helps.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 5 minutes and 54 seconds later... ----------

    Yep. I prefer one single-classed Mage-type as well, either a vanilla mage or Specialist. Plus a Bard. In IWD, they truly become the Jack-of-all-trades.
     
  13. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    That wizard doesn't use any fire spells. I don't really recall that wizard doing anything at all except running around making you chase after him. Its his four guardians that are the hard part of that battle.

    The final boss may use some fire magic if you don't kill him quickly enough. However, the Restored Blade isn't the best option for that since it only gives 25% fire resistance. The better option is the Icingdeath scimitar because it gives 50% resistance. That scimitar stacks with a potion of fire resistance to give you 100% resistance.
     
  14. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    well it has been a while but I thought that grandmastery gave a total of 1 extra attack over the norm (rather than only 1/2 attack in BG2 and the 1.5 attacks using the "fixed" mod) which would only be one extra attack every other round. Further that is only a benefit if your warrior isn't that high anyway which with the long sword of action and the like you may not need that extra half attack.

    However by having a ranger you lose 1/2 an attack but the spells make for nice tactical options. Static shock can be used up to five times by a high level ranger. Each static shock goes off 30 times. As you said it goes off every turn so that means you can cast all of your static shocks at the start of the day and do your thing as they will last all day. You can kite enemies and there are many enemies that get hurt by lightning but resist melee attacks. You could also choose to use useful spells like spike stones spike growth to deal damage over time/slow down attackers in HoF mode.

    Besides rangers will have more attacks assuming no shield and what shield is really worth it in the long run? In HoF AC seems to become mostly useless as far as I recall and the only shield that is worth it (the one with high physical resistance) I gave to my druid to use with water elemental form (makes him immune to all physical attacks).
     
  15. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    I just recently replayed IWD a couple months ago, so its very fresh in my mind. Grandmastery gives you an extra attack every round, not every other round. 1 base APR + 1/2 APR from fighter level 7 + 1/2 APR from fighter level 13 + 1/2 APR from specialization + 1 APR from grandmastery = 3.5 APR. LSoA+4 is an extra APR as well bringing the total to 4.5 APR.

    A ranger would have the exact same APR because even though he can't get grandmastery, he can get the extra APR from the simulated dual-wielding. However, sacrificing your shield slot is simply not worth it. Shields definitely give good AC and can make a you a very good tank that is hard to hit, at least in normal mode. I have never played Heart of Fury, but in the normal game at least you can definitely become almost unhittable with good armor plus shield. Also there is one shield that gives 15% slashing resistance. It stacks with the 15% slashing resistance from the LSoA+4 and the 50% slashing resistance from the bone marrow belt. That's 80% resistance to most of the enemy attacks in the game. Sure its not 100% like a druid can get, but 80% is still very good.

    Also a ranger is only going to end up at level 16 in normal game mode. At the end of the normal mode, assuming both expansions are completed, each person in a six person party will have about 2.5 million experience. That's level 16 for a ranger. Which means 1 level 4 spell slot. You will only get to level 30 if you play Heart of Fury. I don't know why you would assume anyone was talking about Heart of Fury though since it was never mentioned previously.
     
  16. Yoshimo's Heart Gems: 13/31
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    When I said extra half of an attack I was comparing to the ranger not to everybody else.

    The fact you are not thinking in terms of HoF mode makes more sense to me. For me since I play using that some abilities and spells mean more or less. in HoF AC from a shield is minor at best and the other bonuses mean more because enemies will hit you anyway. Spells like spike stones become important and multiclassing is more important than dual classing.

    I always assume for long term and HoF is for the long term and further is the only mode where you really need to worry about your tactics/party much. In a regular game just pick what is fun for you because you will get through eventually. If you ever want to do Hof you will need to plan it now because otherwise you will be leveling characters that may not be what you need or want for HoF. This is especially true since when I chimed in I was talking about my "best" party and when I built that it was for that mode (eventually).
     
  17. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Am I the only one that thought the Static Two Handed Sword +4 was the best? The stunning effect seemed to work on nearly everything. Granted I didn't have a paladin so pale justice was lost on me
     
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