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Party advice needed

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by adyghost1, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. adyghost1 Gems: 1/31
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    Hi guys, I settled on a party for my third playthrough and this is what I came up with:

    Human Paladin
    Half-Elf Ranger/Cleric
    Human Fighter(6)/Druid(X)
    Halfling Fighter/Thief
    Human Fighter(6)/Mage(X)
    Human Bard

    I have a few questions. Regarding the dual classes, would you use the fighter's specialization points to achieve grand mastery in a weapon or mastery in two? I wouldn't necessarily use two types of weapons, hence my dilemma.

    For the Fighter/Thief, I'm curious if people forgo the Halfling's +1 to hit with slings and missile weapons... it seems a bit out of place for the character, but then again, I guess I could have the paladin wield a regular bow as well.

    Any other thoughts and comments are welcome as well. Thanks.
     
  2. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    I would skip the paladin and use a fighter (dwarves are fun) since they in my opinion are better. Pale Justice isn't good enough (compared to a fighter with ***** in any weapon) and it is annoying that the paladin detects evil (at least in Dragon's Eye). I personally prefer gnomes over halflings since they have better strength and the helmet works for both races. Not sure if it is better to dual at level 6 or 7 - I think there is an extra 1/2 attack at level 7 but I could be wrong. It is however no point in going for grandmastery in two weapons - just focus on one and then dual. And unless there is a roleplaying reason for playing a human bard... Personally I would take an half-elf for some minor bonuses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  3. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    I agree that a fighter is better because IWD uses the true grandmastery rules instead of the nerfed rules like BG2 uses. A fighter with grandmastery and using Aihonen's sword (which is obtained only shortly after Pale Justice is obtained) does quite a bit more damage and also gets a full extra attack per round. Then of course the longsword of action+4 in Heart of Winter is the best sword period. A grandmaster fighter would get 4.5 attacks per round with that sword while a paladin would only get 3.5 attacks.

    Level 7 gets an extra half-attack per round. Proficiency points for fighters are gained every third level (so levels 3, 6, 9 and so on). So yeah, a level 6 dual isn't ideal since waiting one more level would get an extra half-attack.

    Also keep in mind that to actually get grandmastery requires at least fighter level 9, so the level 6 (or 7) duals will not get grandmastery. You start with a max of 2 proficiency points in a weapon, so you need 3 more points to get grandmastery, and like I said before you get a point every third level so the grandmastery point comes at level 9.

    IWD is also different from BG2 where in BG2 you could dual at say level 6 with 4 points in a weapon and then after you dual over you could put the 5th point in the weapon, IWD does not allow this. After you dual over in IWD you cannot put further points into the same weapon.
     
  4. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    I mostly go for 1 paladin, 2 fighters, 1 fighter\cleric, 1 fighter\thief, and a mage.

    The game is heavy on hack and slash, so this party works really well.
     
  5. adyghost1 Gems: 1/31
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I made a mistake initially. What I meant to say with proficiency was high mastery, not grand. So high mastery in one weapon (4 points) vs. mastery in two (3 points) each.

    That half attack bonus at level 7... I can't see that making a big difference personally, although both druids and mages would make up 7 levels fairly quick.

    Some of the character choices are purely from a role-playing perspective, especially the bard (although I am debating an Elf fighter instead of the paladin...). For this reason, I'm sticking with a halfling instead of a gnome with a +1 intelligence bonus which is useless for a Fighter/Thief.

    I'm also trying to make use of all the special abilities a race has, that's why I asked whether people would actually use missile weapons and slings for a halfling Fighter/Thief (+1 bonus in both).
     
  6. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    Don't get me wrong - a halfling F/T is very good and I've completed the game with one in the past. Yes - gnomes bonus to INT isn't exactly what you want when your character is a F/T. But I'd still take the gnome (powerwise mind you) just for the better saves and higher strength. Bards are awesome! The Song of Cheese is just too good to be true. But even without it, bards still are great support characters. Some spells (which are affected by level) will be better used by the bard than the mage. I used to like the idea of an elven fighter - used as an archer. It still is good but these days it's not my first choice. Problems with elves are that they tend to stay dead when they're... dead. And with a lower CON they don't make ideal frontliners. Still - elves with bows and halflings with slings may not need to see any frontlineaction...

    Oh and I would pick **** for a melee weapon and ** for a missile over the ***/***. The reason being that you will see A LOT of close combat regardless of how great your archers are. There are just too many enemies.
     
  7. adyghost1 Gems: 1/31
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    Interesting... but wouldn't rushing your melee characters ahead make enemies converge on them most of the time, leaving the archers free? I digress... I guess I'm also leaning towards **** in one weapon.
     
  8. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    I guess that it depends on what tactics you are using. Right now I'm playing the following party (on insane):

    Dwarven Fighter (lvl 8) -Axes and Sling
    Dwarven Fighter (lvl 8) - Long Swords and Sling
    Human Fighter (lvl 8 - will dual to Mage at lvl 9) - Great Swords and Bow
    Human Fighter (lvl 8 - will dual to Cleric at lvl 9) - Mace and Sling
    Gnome F/T (can't remember lvl right now) - Long Sword and Sling
    Half-elf Bard (can't remember lvl right now) - Long Sword (but it should be a halbeard) and Bow

    Standard tactic: all party members wield their missile weapon. See monster - engage monster. While monsters run towards you - they get a lot of ranged damage. Pick up your sword, axe or whatever when they reach you. For more fun - use web. The only monsters I tend to rush are those with bows (since they actually can hurt you bad if you let them).

    This tactic works for me but I'm not an expert player. But the thing to remember is to find out what works for you and what is most fun. Worst part was getting though Dragons Eye when all those Sword Spiders and Trolls rushed my guys. Then you had to invent another tactic...
     
  9. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    High mastery isn't really worth it. It only gives you an extra +1 damage and -1 speed factor over mastery. Speed factor is practically worthless and +1 damage isn't worth spending a point.

    Going from specialized to mastery is good because it gives you an extra -2 THAC0 and +1 damage, but going from mastery to high mastery is not nearly as good. You should only spend a point to get high mastery if you plan to go all the way to grandmastery since grandmaster gives you a full extra attack per round.

    So basically I said all that to say that mastery in two weapons is better than high mastery in one and specialized in the other.

    Also I wouldn't really be too concerned with giving everyone in the party missile weapons. There is actually very very little magical ammunition in the game, so you almost always be stuck with mundane non-magical ammo. Plus many of the enemies have high missile resistance anyway. (Especially the drowned dead on Burial Isle seem to have about 90% missile resistance.)

    There are a LOT of skeletal undead in the game. A LOT. I would dare say that probably 30% of the enemies in the game are skeletal undead. Skeletal undead have 50% resistance to slashing, piercing, and missile damage. They only take full damage from blunt weapons. Because of this, I would say that your heavy hitting sword fighters are probably better served putting the extra proficiency points in a blunt weapon instead of a missile weapon. One or two dedicated archers is plenty, and have everyone else with a mix of slashing/blunt or piercing/blunt weapons.
     
  10. adyghost1 Gems: 1/31
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    What is the general consensus on an elf Fighter/Thief vs. a halfling one? Do people just prefer the extra saving throws as opposed to the weapon bonus?
     
  11. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    Yes, the saving throw bonus is better. You get a +1 bonus for every 3.5 points of Constitution, so 18 Con would be a +5 bonus.

    Elves only get a +1 THAC0 bonus to long swords and long bows. That THAC0 bonus his useful in the beginning since a low level character has such poor THAC0, but in the long run it becomes less and less useful as your character levels up. The saving throw bonus never stops being useful.
     
  12. adyghost1 Gems: 1/31
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    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but a Fighter/Druid or Mage dual class will only be able to use the weapons available to druids and mages, right? So I won't be able to use a bow with, say, my Fighter/Mage.
     
  13. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    You are partially correct. Multi/dual class clerics and druids are still restricted as to their weapon usage. However multi/dual class mages and thieves are not restricted. So a fighter/mage can use any weapon.

    Edit to add: Also regarding a fighter/thief, while he can use any weapon, he can only backstab with weapons that are normally only allowed to be used by a thief. So, for example, a fighter/thief can use a two-handed sword, but he cannot backstab with a two-handed sword.
     
  14. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    Dual-classing your fighter into a mage is almost like cheating (since he can wield any weapon). Fighter 9/Mage 10 with ***** in Great Swords just available is no laughing matter. Anyway, the cleric won't feel bad since there are a lot of great maces & hammers in the game. I've never really liked druids but they ARE a worthy compliment to any group. I just won't bother with dualclassing - just stick to the F/D multi when I take them along. The Lucky Scimitar is a good weapon which can be bought early on but I'm not sure what later options would be.
     
  15. Gafgorkion Gems: 4/31
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    There are really only a few scimitars in the game, but they are all good weapons.

    In addition to the Lucky Scimitar, there is also the Scimitar+3: Frostbrand in the frost giant cave. This scimitar is actually one of Drizzt's scimitars, although I don't think the game mentions that. Anyway Frostbrand gives 50% fire resistance, which is rather useful in Lower Dorn's Deep since there are a lot of fire salamanders there. Another scimitar is also found in Lower Dorn's. Its the Scimitar+2: Valiant. Valiant gives an extra attack per round. Its only +2 enchanted, but there are really only a few enemies that can't be hit by +2. Iron golems and the final boss and maybe a couple others are about the only enemies that require more than +2 to hit.
     
  16. adyghost1 Gems: 1/31
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    The Fighter/Mage just opened up some interesting possibilities, although I'm having a really hard time picturing a Mage wielding a bow :)

    What are people's thoughts one that half attack gained at level 7? And can someone confirm the halfling has +1 bonus to hit with missile weapons? I know that's the case in Icewind Dale II...

    Thanks for all the info guys, almost there :)
     
  17. Tharlok Gems: 5/31
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    The extra attack is very valuble indeed. And for mages (at least F/M who are expected to see melee combat) hitpoints is an issue. The additional hit points at every level (up to ninth) is a huge benefit for dualled mages. Fighters can get up to 14 hit points per level (up to ninth level) while mages at most gets 6 hit point per level. A fighter dualed at level nine with ***** in a weapon, combined with mirror image and stoneskin, is very deadly. But depending on which setting you are playing at, it might be a long time without spells. When I played on insane I went to level 9 as a fighter before dualing to a mage. I reached level 10 (and regain my fighter abilities) just when I returned to Kuldahar (after beating Yxonomei). At normal setting this will take a lot longer. Not sure about the halflings though, but I think that they get the +1. It is however only worthwhile in the beginning, when your party is at low levels.
     
  18. 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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    Scimitar +3: Frostbrand is a magic item, not a unique/artifact magic item. Drizzt carries one, but it doesn't make any version of the weapon his. That item has been around in D&D before Drizzt was penned up by Salvatore.
     
  19. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran 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!)

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    Since this is your third playthrough you might try the IWD NPC mod which basically has all the characters you have (except fighter mage). It add BG-type banter.

    You need 9th level to attain grand mastery in a weapon (which is worthwhile), but you can have mastery in one weapon at 3rd levels and a second at 6th. I find the boost to +3 to hit and +3 damage is definitely worth it for going from specialized to mastery. But the boost from Mastery to High Mastery (++++) is not great. I'd go for mastery in two weapons if you're only going to 6th or 7th level. Dualled characters gain the ability to use the fighter weapons (all fighter abilities) after they exceed the fighter level in the new class -- as mentioned before just keep in mind a mage can use any weapon after regaining the original class (so getting long swords and bows is good) but a druid can only use druid weapons (so get mastery in druid weapons such as long sword for scimitar and club).

    Another good party to try on replay through is a small party of two or three. I have a dwarven fighter, half-elf ranger/cleric and elf mage/thief.
     
  20. adyghost1 Gems: 1/31
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    *Sigh*... how I wish my Fighter/Druid could use Aihonen's blade...
     
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