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Swashbuckler vs Fighter/Thief

Discussion in 'Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition' started by Sorvo, Mar 26, 2023.

  1. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    What are your pros and cons of the 2. I can't make up my mind which I want choose!
     
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    A Swashbuckler cannot backstab, but is pretty comparable otherwise. The THAC0 bonuses put them almost on par with a fighter, but you get the benefit of being a higher level and having more thief points for the same amount of XP.
    Unfortunately, backstabbing is one of the biggest benefits of a fighter/thief. Often a single-classed thief will not kill their target with a single backstab. Then they find themselves locked in combat unable to hide again with a high THAC0 that can't hit anything so they lose.
    A fighter/thief on the other hand CAN then finish the weakened target off.

    A swashbuckler on the other hand fights a little bit better than a fighter/thief with the same amount of XP because he will be at a higher level, but not as well as a fighter. He can use his thieving abilities outside of combat, but cannot backstab. The set traps still works, but without using exploits I find the traps aren't as useful as people seem to make them out to be.
     
  3. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    I remember googling "swashbuckler vs fighter/thief" (something like that) and finding a LOT of discussion on the topic...that's where I would start.
    Just a couple things I would add...a F/T can wear a helmet and can access both fighter AND thief high-level abilities in BG2. The only reason that I personally would choose SB would be for RP reasons.
    Just my 2c.
     
  4. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I was looking to start from beginning. The 2 just are so close its hard to make the call.
     
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    They are indeed so close, it boils down to how you intend to use the character in battle and what the rest of the party looks like. If you intend to backstab a lot, go F/T. If this is going to be your only thief and without a bard to handle pick pocketing, you probably won't be putting any points into stealth until Throne of Bhaal and so a swashbuckler might be better.
     
  6. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I forgot about actual Thief skills for the Swashbuckler. Once I tried to actually use one and found out no helmet and splint mail I made my choice. Here I come rolling for a F/T. :coffee2:
     
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  7. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    You've already made up your mind (correct choice imo) so I'll add something different: if you don't already know, any thief's Detect Illusions is invaluable in the BG series, especially if playing with something like the SCS mod. Definitely get that up to 100 after you've put points in the usual stuff. It's better than True Sight because:
    1) It doesn't take up a round of doing nothing else while 'casting' it.
    2) In the BG series, you can actually initiate an attack with a thief and then immediately activate Find Traps (detect illusions). So the thief will be detecting illusions while fighting. Your mage on the other hand, may not be close enough to the battle, especially if you're a wimp like me (unless it's a fighter/mage) to get rid of those pesky invisibilities and, more importantly, mirror images.
    3) You never run out of DI whereas you might run out of TS -- either the effect expires and you have to recast it or you don't have enough spell slots.
    4) DI is not a spell. Invisible creatures that can only be affected by high-level spells (like liches) can be revealed using DI.

    Not saying use it instead of True Sight. Use them in conjunction when you can. But get into the habit of always activating Find Traps after every thief attack no matter what the fight.
    ---------------
    High-level traps are actually quite good but there's a singular problem with them. The text description says they're supposed to work off a Thief's level (like most abilities). However, in the BG series, traps (at least used to) work off the character level (I'm assuming it's a bug --- don't know if it was ever fixed). This brings up some very weird scenarios. E.g., a dual-class T1/F20 will set traps (assuming a first-level thief can successfully set them) at the same level as a multiclass T11/F10. As long as you're aware of what level traps you are setting, you can put them to good use. Late-game Imoen can set some very high-level traps because of this (bug?).
     
  8. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    I don't remember, does BG2 get rid of the level limits for the Demi's? I'm guessing they had to do something because around game start the elves and half-elves would have pretty much maxed every class they could have except thief. If I remember right the BG/IWD games run on 1st ed AD&D? I mostly skipped 2nd Ed, only got a few weeks play in ever. I came back with 3.0. I found all the over-complicated "realistic" fantasy RPGs were boring. Half the time I was bored witless before I even finished making my character.So I decided to go back to simpler, more fun games.

    As for the topic at large; I agree with the fighter/thief idea, you might end up 1 level below everyone else if you are using a Demi-Human multi-class but that's mostly overshadowed by having the abilities of two classes to work with. And if the game runs with a level cap you may be able to make that level up when everyone else tops out. The swashbuckler looks like a neat concept; but it doesn't feel like it lives up to it's potential.
     
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    The caps are higher in 2E than 1E, and would have had little to no effect in BG1, but in SoA you'd have been hitting the caps by the end and would have hit them hard with newly generated characters in ToB.
    If they had had the caps implemented it would have been kind of similar to the Gold Box games: Nonhuman characters would have been great in BG1, barely acceptable in SoA and useless in ToB.
    Halflings would have been especially bad since they are limited to levels 8 for cleric and 9 for fighter.
    Other races generally top out at level 15 for a favored class and 9-12 for other classes.
    So multiclass characters would be hitting the level limits by the end of SoA, except triple class characters which would not usually hit them until ToB. A Half-elf C/F/M would max out at 14/14/12 while a HA F/M/T would max out at 14/12/12 and an Elf 12/15/12.
    A half-elf Ranger/cleric is one of the highest at 16(R)/14(C), the only 16 on the list.
    I'm sourcing this right out of the 2E DMG.
     
  10. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    A pet peeve of mine is that in IWDEE you can't get access to HLA even though they are present in the game (since it's built off the BG engine). You can cheat them onto your characters but it would be so nice to get them naturally. Don't know if any mods enable them? I think I've seen a mod somewhere that increases the game's level cap, not sure right now if it was for IWDEE or IWD2 and no idea if it only allowed more levels or actually allowed picking of HLA too.
     
  11. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    Yeah I do remember that they bumped up the level caps for the Demi's in 2E, and that BG1 mostly ends before you reach any likely level cap; I was asking about BG2 though. I started it once but didn't get far before losing interest, BG1 I at least nearly finished; the town quests started to really drag. But yeah, the level caps were part of why I stopped playing tabletop AD&D - though most of the groups I played with ignored the caps. I remember playing one of the ancient old computer games; for the sake of variety I picked several demi's to fill my party and was perturbed when they capped about 2/3 of the way through the game. It never made sense to me to bother including the Demi's if they were going to be gimped so hard. There had to be a better way to balance them. I always tell people who ask me why I always play non-humans that I get to pretend I'm human every day; when I'm gaming I want to pretend to be something else. ;)
     
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    Well, with the Gold Box games, when they released Pool of Radiance , the level cap was 9 for thieves, 8 for fighters, and 6 for clerics and mages. The racial level limits were not a big deal except for halfilngs and gnomes. When Curse of the Azure Bonds came out, that was when the level caps started to come into play. However they wanted to include a way to transfer characters from PoR, so they kept the other races in.
    The demi-humans were still playable although a bit gimped by the end of the game. An elven F/M/T was quite viable in CotAB, as was a dwarven F/T. The half-elf C/F/M was barely viable as you'd hit the caps 1/2 way to 2/3 (3/4 if you didn't do the side quests) of the way through the game.
    It wasn't until Secret of the Silver Blades that the demi-humans became useless, and even in that game the dwarven F/T was arguably a viable character, although in theory a dual-classed human would have been better, the HP gain after the fighter levels were maxed out was not that significant before hitting the level cap for that game.
    The same holds true for Gateway to the Savage Frontier and Champions of Krynn, in that the demi-humans were quite potent and useful in the first game in each series, and the other games might have been on the drawing board as possible sequels if the games succeed, they did not exist in any solid form yet. In fact, in the first game of each series triple-classed characters tended to be the most powerful characters by the end of the game due to the caps being by level instead of by EXP the way it was in the Infinity Engine games and there being enough EXP to go around that you would hit the caps without excessive grinding just by exploring all the maps.
     
  13. WickedPrince Gems: 9/31
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    Also sounds like 2E changed the XP tables, in 1E thieves had the fasted leveling, then clerics, then fighters, and mages dead last. Though I think the paladin and ranger were pretty close to the mage. . . And I've completely co-opted the thread. :D
     
  14. Sorvo

    Sorvo Where's the nearest pub? Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Looks about the same to me. Cant believe this thread got so much action. :coffee2:
     
  15. Gallowglass Gems: 2/31
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    @WickedPrince - for the avoidance of doubt, the Infinity Engine games are all based on 2nd edition rules, except that IWD2 used 3rd edition. The EE games implement the AD&D rules a little more completely that the original versions, but are still a modified/adapted ruleset. There are NO racial level-caps (unlike the 1st edition Gold Box games).

    @Sorvo - the F/T is a more powerful character than the Swashbuckler in most situations, but the Swashie is still a perfectly viable option.
     
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    You can reference the tables used in the Gold Box games at the end of this document here:
    http://project64.c64.org/Games/PODAJ10.TXT
    If direct linking doesn't work, just look up the Adventurer's Journal for Pools of Darkness (or any of the Gold Box games, but PoD has the highest levels)
    http://project64.c64.org/Games/
    The BG2 XP tables can be found in the manual:
    SoA
    https://sorcerers.net/Games/dl/eyJp...2ZWIxOGEzMzc3ZTAxNTg2ZTZhYzRmMzMyNjQzMzhmIn0=
    ToB
    https://sorcerers.net/Games/dl/eyJp...zMzk2ZDExNTJhY2EwYjJlZGVjZDkzYjRjN2MyMDQifQ==
     
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