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Party based on species

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by The mad haggis, May 19, 2006.

  1. The mad haggis Gems: 4/31
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    Here's a question. What mix do you recommend for a starting party, from start to finish, including HOW and ToTL. I would like information on race, class, and a reason for each selection. eg, maybe theres a piece of equipment that only a certain race/class can use that you found to be really useful. The more details the better. Also starting party would be a six person party. Favourite spells, recommended weapon proficiencies also welcome, as long as a reason is given for the choice.
     
  2. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    One suggestion:

    1.Gnome (or halfling) fighter/thief (good aligned)
    2.HE Bard
    3.Human fighter7 or 9/mage
    4.HE fighter/druid
    5.Human ranger2 or 7/cleric
    6.Human paladin or dwarf fighter


    Starting weapons:

    1.bow,longsword (later dagger)
    2.bow,halberd, later crossbow
    3.bow,greatsword
    4.scimitar,sling
    5.sling,mace (level3&6: flail)
    6.longsword,sling (level3&6:axe)

    explanations:

    1) You can buy a helm which is only useable by good gnomes or halflings.
    2) There are bard-only items and longer lasting haste is better.
    3) You won't find scrolls fast enough anyway, the bard can handle magic alone. You can also dual to illusionist for more spells.
    4)Scimitar profiency affects polar bear form and you can wear a shield.
    5)
    6)There is a great paladin only longsword in the game. A fighter with ***** in a weapon is still stronger. You can take a dwarf axe and longsword fighter instead. You'll find 2 better longswords later anyway.

    - Crossbows don't give as many attacks/round as bows and no strength bonus like slings. It will take a long time (until chapter6) or luck to find one better than a simple crossbow.
    - You'll find a returning throwing axe +2 which doesn't give a strength bonus in chapter2.
    - when you find the great returning throwing dagger the game is nearly over.
    - It takes very long to get items which increase strength (ch6).
    - The best weapons are 2 longswords you will find late in HoW or early in TotL.
    - many weapons are random.
    - you don't need the optimal party for being successsful.
     
  3. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Hmm, just an idea, but what about a party of the six races?

    Human: Paladin (for Pale Justice), or Bard if the Half-Elf is something different
    Half-elf: Bard, maybe R/C (Both classes rock)
    Dwarf: Fighter (great axes in the game, and dwarves make great tanks)
    Gnome: Illusionist, F/I, or F/T if the halfling is something different (19 INT is great for a wizard, being able to learn all spells, but you can't neglect the thieving skills)
    Halfling: F/T or Cleric (I don't think the +1 with slings is enough to justify making a halfling cleric, but you may feel differently and/or need a cleric to fill in a gap)
    Elf: Cleric or Mage (to fill in the gaps)
     
  4. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    Half Elf Fighter/Mage/Cleric
    Elf Fighter/Mage/Thief
    Gnome Fighter
    Half-Elf Bard
    Half-Elf Cleric/Ranger
    Half-Elf Fighter/Druid

    Alternately, you could replave the Gnome Fighter with a Human Paladin, but I don't recommend it. With either character, you'll eventually find a better longsword than the Holy Avenger anyway.

    I tend to not find enough high-level scrolls in my game, so I nerf my mages. I really don't value mages very highly, to be honest, which explains why I triple-class two of them, and use the Bard as a spellcaster. Most spells defend or improve my tanks, or summon creatures. Oh yeah, Thieves suck, so triple-classing one of them provides you with all the thief you need. Give the FMT the stoneskin scroll, because he's the most likely arcane spellcaster to enter combat and need it.

    I also think missile weapons rule the day, so I have everybody take ** in a diverse number of missile weapons.
     
  5. uglijimus Gems: 6/31
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    Good idea Felinoid, I like that one!
     
  6. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    At normal difficulty you will earn about 15,000,000 XP during the game.
    (+50% at easy or hard,+100% at very easy or very hard)

    So if you want to be able to cast level 7 cleric, mage or druid spells you need pure or dualclassed ones.
     
  7. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    Gotta play on Insane, I should have mentioned that in my first post.

    I played on Insane on my first run-through of the game.
     
  8. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    I recommend to play normal mode on your first try for the original feeling.

    Insane difficulty players often complain about the game getting too easy because of the double XP they get.
     
  9. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    Weird... I thought the additional monsters, and the damage they do made the game harder.
     
  10. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    You don't face additional monsters on insane difficulty.

    Double damage doesn't make the monsters much more challenging if they are defeated before they get close enough because your party gets the bonusses from higher levels.
     
  11. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    You do face more monsters. On normal difficulty, there's only one ogre in the prologue cave. On insane, there's at least 3.
     
  12. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    The extra spawns should only appear if you are playing HoF mode or you have beaten HoW before for additional replay value.

    Maybe some patches or mods change this.

    The extra spawns give also extra XP and equipment making the game even easier on the long run.
     
  13. Elan Morin Tedronai Gems: 10/31
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    Dwarf Fighter
    Elf Ranger
    Half-elf Cleric
    Halfling Fighter/Thief
    Elf Mage/Thief
    Half-elf Bard

    1) hammers, axes and missile weapons;
    2) longswords and bows;
    3) flails and missile weapons;
    4) long and short swords, daggers, bows and missile weapons;
    5) bows and short swords;
    6) bows and short swords;

    -every bandmember should have some proficiency in a missile weapon. That will give significant advantage over the enemies.
    -pure thiefs are lacking. multiclassing a thief into a fighter or a mage is a better decision.
    -I don't think that Paladins are worthy at all for this game.
    -bards rock. They are more supportive characters than used for attacking or straight ahead spell damage.
    -Fighter and Ranger are the best Fighting classes.
    -I would also recommend using a Human Dual Fighter/Druid at level 9 dualled to Druid. It's great.
     
  14. Deck-of-cards Gems: 1/31
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    It's not patches or mods, but Heart of Winter expansion. However, there aren't that many monster additions, mainly the ogres in the cave at start, and then some more enemies like poison zombies, Prestio's apprentice and yuanti mages at dragon's eye. The ogres and extra archers in the orc cave at start are challenging to deal with, as are the extra yuanti-mages that spawn behind you at the yxonomei(or something like that) encounter, but that's about it. However, the double XP won't help that much, since having about 1 extra level (for most classes, there are exceptions though) with enemies dealing double damage is still harder than not having that extra level and having enemies deal normal damage, as that one extra level doesn't give too much bonuses, save for spells, and for wizards this doesn't help, as they can't get access to good spells untill later at the game anyways. In HoW and Totlm the level difference grows to 2 and beyond, but I expect it could be challenging. The only classes I can think of who really benefit from insane difficulty are priests and druids who get spells as they progress, as opposed to arcane casters who get when they are allowed to buy scrolls/or find scrolls.
     
  15. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    @Deck-of-cards

    Unless you prefer to spend days fighting respawning monsters until you reach the cap, a game at insane mode is easier than a normal mode game.

    The only handicap at insane mode is that monsters deal double damage, this isn't much worse than halving your characters hitpoints.

    Limiting your characters to having 14 con and rolling the HP at level up randomly would be a harder handicap.

    The faster levelling has small, but many benefits which help more if added together.

    - more HP
    - better thac0
    - more attacks/more damage per attack
    - better saving throws
    - more and better spells
    - higher level spell effects
    - better special abilities

    Not each of this advantadges apply to each character all the time, but several of them are always in effect.

    In IWD most enemies don't have ranged attacks but you have, so they only have a few HP left when they reach you.
    With better thac0 because of faster levelling you can hurt them even more, so they might not even be able to attack you.
    It doesn't help if monsters can hit twice as hard if they don't survive long enough to do so.

    The damage output from monsters like mummys or spiders isn't high, you'd rather get double damage than failing a saving throw and get poisoned/diseased. And if you are just one level away from the curing spell ...

    Against spellcasters you'll also prefer saving throws over HPs.

    Reaching some spell levels makes the party far more powerful, level 5 clerics get animate dead which keeps your enemies away, level 7 clerics can cast "PfE 10'" which gives +2 AC and saves to your whole party, level 9 allows raising dead, ...
    It's similar with the other spellcasters.

    On Burial Isle there are the hardest HoW fights, but if your cleric has 2,250,000 XP (level 18) instead of the 1,125,000 XP (level 13) he's supposed to have, he can just walk around in sanctuary and turn the enemies.

    The same applies to the tough spectral guards in TotL, you can just turn them instead of battling.

    You can also have your fighter/druid shapeshift to water elemental and make him immune to physical damage if you have the double amount of XP.

    Gloomfrost cave is a piece of cake if you can summon shamblers.


    Let's compare a 6 character game played fully on insane mode with a game played fully in normal mode.

    The prologue is easier at insane difficulty

    You can level up your characters to level 2 then before even entering the orc cave, at normal difficulty some characters will still be level 1 when arriving in Kuldahar.


    Chapter 1 is also easier at insane difficulty.

    It is mainly about shooting enemies before they get close. When having to fight undead the extra cleric level helps at turning.
    Against mummies double damage doesn't hurt much, it's rather diseased or not diseased and if you have enough spells for killing them before they get close.

    Dragon's Eye has many "hold person" casting priests and diseasing spiders, where saving throws and the ability to kill them fast are important.

    In chapter 3 all enemies are undead which aren't immune to turning.

    In chapter 4 there are many monsters you can shoot from afar and many undead.

    Chapter 5 is too easy to bother much.

    In chapter 6 the difference between insane and normal is already more than 2 levels. You get high level scrolls for your mage.

    HoW will be far easier on insane.
    TotL will also be easier.

    In TotL the level difference will grow further, like cleric level 30 instead of level 19.
     
  16. Deck-of-cards Gems: 1/31
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    Clerics and Druids truly benefit from the insane difficulty, at least in the basic IWD campaign, as they get their spells as they progress, making them uber.
    Fighters get maybe +1 THAC0, a little bit more HP, and profiency points, but that's it. The monsters will still be able to hit you, and when they do, it'll hurt. But yes, like you said, a character with bow will be quite uber, but the truth is that a fighter with bow in normal mode won't have any difficulties dealing with most enemies anyways, since they mostly won't reach you. The real difference is in melee combat.
    Arcane spellcasters are at the biggest disadvantage, as you have no access to high level spells untill you really are allowed to. Once you get your hands to high level spells however (especially in HoW part), your spell casters can be quite fearsome.
    Rogues will be at really high levels, making traps and locks easy to pick, but that is no problem anyways, and the THAC0 improving rate isn't that big.
    Fighters and rogues and arcane spellcasters won't benefit much from the insane difficulty, and at least in HoW (according to the amount I have played it) the enemies have enough HP to get close and hit you, which will hurt. Priests and druids on the other hand will be uber powerful though.

    In prologue, the orc cave is harder with insane. It doesn't help much that you have level2 characters when you are facing total 4 ogres and loads of more orcs and orc archers. They will quite effectively butcher you. Vale of shadows is easy with cleric though, so there insane makes stuff easier. Dragon's eye will be harder, at least the yxonomei encounter is quite hard with the four extra casters spawning behind you.
    And after reconsidering my words, I'll have to agree with you that in the end at least it is easy. But the start isn't that easy.
    All in all it depends on the party you are using. Lot's of ranged attackers with priests and druids in the party is quite powerful and easy to play, but that is the case in normal difficulty too.
     
  17. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    There are situations where the game is harder on insane, but if you add everything together the game is easier.

    Important is how many and how hard problems you face.
    If 100 fights are easy or very easy doesn't matter as much as a little difficulty change in a hard fight.

    Yxonomej might get slightly harder in insane, but Yxonomej on Insane won't be nearly as hard as Burial Isle or some Luremaster battles in normal mode, which will be far easier with twice as many XP.

    I'm currently replaying IWD on insane, with a 5 person party and AB installed. I didn't have to reload in the ogre cave. The 4 ogres look frightening when you first see them, but you can defeat the orcs before they get close and the ogres are so slow that you can shoot them easily with hit and run.

    For the extra 3 ogres you get 1620 XP and 3 winter wolf pelts, each worth more than 200 gold.
    The XP helps a bit and the money helps a lot in the early game.
    It's similar with the other added monsters, you get a little bit more difficulty for a short time but the whole rest of your game gets easier because of the extra XP and money gained.

    My party will be entering the creepy monk level soon, and with the added offensive power they'll be able to fight their way to the high summoner fast.

    Yxonomej and her friends were disappointingly easy in HoF mode for my solo halfling, so I don't think they will be a challenge for my party.

    If you have a pure spellcaster in normal mode, you can get the same spellcasting power with a spellcaster/fighter multiclass in insane mode, but you also get far more hitpoints (fighter11/mage12: 96 compared to mage12: 60 for example), up to 2.5 instead of 1 attack/round, better thac0, damage and other bonusses.

    But faster levelling helps the spellcaster even more than multiclassing with fighter.

    Even if the mage doesn't find the scrolls fast enough, a level 9 fireball does more damage than a level 8 fireball, and if you can memorize an additional one it's even better.
     
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