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Party dilemma

Discussion in 'Baldur's Gate (Classic)' started by Vorona, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    Background:
    I decided to do a 4 NPC 2-my character play through BG1. I don't use any mods right now, and probably won't because I want to go through at least once without any, and I haven't finished the game yet. This go-round, I'm planning a Neutral-Good party (i.e. Neutral characters are okay, but no evil characters). I picked the NPCs first:

    Melee fighter: Jaheira
    Archer: Kivan
    Cleric: Branwen
    Thief/Mage: Imoen, dual classed.

    Then I made my 2 characters:
    Morfydd - Illusionist/Thief who can use bow
    Declan - Fighter/Druid who uses a scimitar

    I don't know what I was thinking. Now, after having already recruited several characters, and wanting to get my party together, I realize the obvious. Declan and Jaheira are redundant, even if she doesn't use a scimitar.

    So, here are some scenarios I'm considering:

    1. Dual class Imoen immediately and pick up Safana to be the second thief (I do like having 2 thieves: one to open locks and the other to do traps, both of which I like having early on).
    Advantages: Like cleric, this gives us one clear thief and one clear mage, rather than putting both in one character. Also, it would mean that both of my mages could use bows. It also provides more magical support early in the game (but I'm not sure if this is useful or not). It means that Imoen won't have to suddenly become Level 1 when everyone else is Level 5-6 and dealing with level 5-6 enemies.
    Disadvantages: Neither Imoen nor Safana has high strength, so it would limit inventory. Safana's is much better than Imoen's though (40 more weight allowance).

    2. Keep Imoen a thief and get a mage.
    Probably not going to go this route, unless I take a meandering approach. The three other early available mages are Xzar (Evil), Edwin (Evil), and Xan (ineffective).

    What I might do is take Minsc, then rescue Dynaheir, then get Minsc killed.
    Advantages: Early fighter support (not sure if this is important). Imoen would stay a thief, so again, there would not be the weird Level 1 in Level 5-6 environment for her.
    Disadvantages: Dynaheir is very limited in her spell choices. She has even lower strength/weight allowance than Safana. If I'm making Imoen a "pure" character, Safana seems a better choice than Dynaheir, even though Imoen is a better thief than Safana. Another disadvantage is that I would only have Morfydd as a mage until I got Dynaheir.

    3. Add another warrior (fighter/ranger/paladin) anyway. I'm not convinced I need another melee fighter, despite my original intentions, but maybe I do. Or maybe I could add another archer. Possibilities here would include Minsc, Khalid, and Ajantis. I'm disinclined to take Ajantis, because I don't really need the charisma. Minsc would be better for melee, I think, than Ajantis, and Khalid would certainly be better with ranged (can max out bows). From what I've read, Khalid, Coran, and Kivan are the three top archers. Coran's out because I want to assemble my core party earlier than that.
    Advantages: More fighter support (either ranged or melee). All of these characters have much better weight allowance than any of the mages or Safana.
    Disadvantages: Imoen would still have to dual class, and therefore, be a level 1 in level 5-6 territory.

    I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go with Dynaheir. There are just too many restrictions, although I really love her voice and personality. Khalid seems like the best choice "on paper", but I think I'd like Safana more. I'm also curious about Ajantis. On paper, as a paladin, he can't add extra points in any weapon (just 2 per weapon), but I'm not sure how useful the extra paladin skills are (I've never played one before), and whether they'd make up for it, especially considering my extra half-cleric in Declan.

    Please let me know if there's anything I'm overlooking.

    Edit:
    I've been reconsidering Xan, but he seems to be about the same as Dynaheir (i.e. some people say Dynaheir is better, others say Xan is. I will say that my Illusionist is quite capable of casting all the spells that either of them can't cast, and this seems more a problem for Dynaheir (armor is cast on the self, not others) than for Xan).
     
  2. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Without enough melee support Xan simply won't last long enough to be useful. I wouldn't suggesting bringing him along unless you have at least 2 solid frontliners (Branwen doesn't count imo).

    Personalities aside, Dynaheir's main advantage over Xan is that she starts with Fireball if you get her at level 5. That's a very big thing for people who tend to avoid Cloakwood until they've explored a large chunk of the surrounding area. Xan, on the other hand, starts with +3 weapon (a very big thing in BG1) and he can simply cast nukes off wands or the necklace of missiles. The only penalty that counts is that he can't cast high level Magic Missiles.

    I don't think you need Ajantis but he's powerful enough to be a good complement to any party, especially one with 2 divine casters. I personally don't think you need Xan or Dynaheir if you're taking Imoen and dual-classing her. Safana is a decent choice, lacking in fire power though. IMO the best solution is to take Safana then swap her for Coran once you get him (somehow this could even fit their story for BG2).
     
    Vorona likes this.
  3. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    A good fighter is always useful in BG1. A fighter can act as a tank because they can wear heavy armor (a cleric could do this too, though), of which you'll need at least one. Armor class still matters in BG1 and if you deck on person in your party out with the lowest AC equipment, most normal enemies will have a very hard time hitting them. I did this for a solo R/C and he was able to handle most encounters without problems due to his low AC.

    Furthermore, with two bips in a ranged weapon, they can do more attacks per round than your mage/cleric/druid/thief ever will. Give Minsc a longbow (and the proficiency, I don't remember if he starts with it), and the game will become just that much easier.

    Even in my themed party with only (multi-class) mages, I had to forego mage spells for my C/M for most of the time and put her in heavy armor so I didn't have to run my entire party away from every melee enemy in the game all the time. Kiting is useful, but can get tedious after a while.

    I usually tend to not use magic a lot in most of my parties, but from what I've seen, magic is not that powerful in BG1. Sure, lobbing 4 fireballs in an area at the start of a fight will soften them up quite considerably, but will also alert everyone to where you are. Which means you can't use the tactic of drawing them out one by one anymore after doing something like that.

    Having at least some divine casters can be a real boon, though. Their hold person is cheaper than the arcane version (if I recall correctly) and that's a very useful spell to have to take out a more powerful or hard to hit enemy.
     
    Vorona likes this.
  4. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
    Latest gem: Water Opal


    Resourceful Veteran

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    I agree that mages aren't as important in BG1, especially in the beginning when below level 5. Given your set-up, you need a guy in heavy armor more than you need a mage. You should have kept Kahlid, or take somebody like Minsc, Adjantis, Kagain, Shar-Teel, etc.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 2 minutes and 27 seconds later... ----------

    Sorry, a few more thoughts.
    BG1 and BG2 illustrate the "Liner fighters, quadratic wizards" concept nicely. Fighters are among the most powerful classes in BG1, especially in the first half of the game when Sleep (and Color Spray) is still effective. Heck, Sleep is designed to bring balance back to low-level mages, as otherwise fighters would wipe the floor with them.

    Your Illusionist should be enough for now, but you need more tanks.
     
    Vorona likes this.
  5. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    Thank you. All of that was very helpful. It looks like my initial idea about having 2 melee fighters was probably best, so I'm going to pick up Khalid, Ajantis, or Minsc.

    I haven't figured out which one yet, but it will probably be either Khalid or Ajantis.

    As for some other stuff, I do have Declan, who will probably stay my main tank, with Khalid or Ajantis as a back-up tank, and there is no way in the world I ever would have taken Xan or Dynaheir AND dual classed Imoen. The scenario I was considering was to take one of them and leave Imoen a thief. And even then, I was thinking that Safana or another warrior would probably be a better option than that.

    The Safana --> Coran thing sounds interesting, too, but I'm pretty sure I want to have my core party in place before I get to him. I might take him temporarily, but for this game, I'd really like to assemble my party as soon as possible.

    Thanks again, to everyone!
     
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