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The ever-popular "Party Advice" request

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by bulldog2001, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. bulldog2001 Gems: 1/31
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    [​IMG] First, I imagine many of you are tired of "party advice" questions. If you're one of them, I apologize & you can quit reading now. Second, I also apologize for the length of this write-up but I wanted to provide reasons for the party so you have some frame work for providing advice.

    This is my first time through IWDII and here's my proposed party:

    Aasimar Pal(x)/Fight(4)
    Deep Gnome Monk
    Gold Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus
    Drow Rogue(1)/Conjurer
    Human Druid/Ranger(1)
    Human Sorcerer

    My goal is to put together a party that will provide a wide range of gaming experience (different style characters w/ different tactics) but I don't want one that is doomed to failure. I've searched through this & other forums, read the JUPP & UPP (which are great documents but focused on HOF players and not casual player who wants a wide-range of characters) and this is the party I put together. I plan on playing in normal mode & probably won't go onto HOF. I've played BGI & II and IWDI but I would consider myself an average player at best. My normal style probably leans more toward melee combat than magic (micromanaging my wizards spells is not my favorite part of the game) so I'm worried I might be too magic-based but I wanted a wide range of characters.

    Some the reasons behind my choices: I'm on the fence between a Pal/Fight(4) or a Barb/Fight(4) but picked the Pal/Fight unless someone has a strong case for the Barb/Fight being a better fit in the party (side question: when raging, do you lose control of the barbarian? that is, might he attack friends?). I chose the monk solely because I never used one before & wanted to try one out. The cleric is in because every party needs a healer, right?. Rogue/Conj to find traps/open locks & summon help (I found myself using summon spells alot in IWDI). Druid/Ranger is from nostalgia: My main character was a Ranger in BGI & II (the archer subclass was great: I really missed that in IWD). In IWDI, I found my ranger was a good scout/sniper in the early levels, but was almost a liability toward the end. My Druid was kind of weak in IWDI even though I liked the idea of shapechanging. I probably wouldn't consider having one in IWDII but I am going to use Weimer's ease mod. I chose the Sorcerer to add another magic-user and to play a character that I hadn't used before.

    Here's my questions:

    1. Will this party play through the normal mode? I would hate to play through several hours & then hit an "unwinnable" battle because of my party selection (I know, it's not the party's fault but the player: hey, I admitted I'm only average).

    2. Any suggestions that will enhance the party while maintaining the goal of a wide range of characters?

    3. In BGI & II, my main character was an awesome sniper/scout (a ranger who hid in shadows, found the enemy, shot at them & drew them back to the main party which was laying in wait and then sniped at the wizards & such behind the wall of tanks). My attempt to do the same thing in IWDI was not as successful. Can one develop such a character in IWDII? If so, how and where would such a character fit in my party?

    4. I had a Bard in my IWDI party, at first mainly to identify objects & to add someone new (I didn't have a Bard in BG and I hated wasting spells or waiting to get back to town to identify objects). However, I found the bard songs to be fairly useful (once I got Sith, my need to caste healing spells greatly diminished). I guess I'm willing to give up the Bard songs in IWDII (unless someone can suggest how to add the ability into my party) but how do I develop an "object identifier" in this group without decreasing the party's effectiveness?


    Thanks for your comments...
     
  2. ericseablade Gems: 1/31
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    This party should be plenty strong to make it through normal mode. Your Drow Rogue/Conjurer will be able to identify for you if you increase his skills in the appropriate areas.

    Personally I would make the Drow something else besides a Conjurer. You won't be albe to cast Evocation spells that way, which are some of the best offensive spells in the game. Esp early on. And your Battleguard will be able to do most of the summoning you'll need with Animate Dead. I would pick a Diviner or Transmuter for this party.
     
  3. AzathothXy Gems: 3/31
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    You don't lose control of the Barbarian. I have a similar style as you. I'm more into melee, and not worring about which spell to cast. I'm trying a melee heavy party now.
    Right now they are as follows:
    Human Fighter 10/Barbarian 2 Two-handed swords
    Shield Dwarf Barbarian 8/Fighter 4 Great axe
    Aasimar Paladin 7/Fighter 4 Dual longswords
    Human Druid 11/Barbarian 1 Polearms
    Human Morninglord 12 Mace
    Shield dwarf Battleguard 12 dual axes

    So no arcane spellcasters or thieves at all. I did use dalekeeper to give the Paladin a base rank of 10 in Kno(arcane) and Alchemy. I notice that without a arcane spellcaster to cast certain spells(esp chaos and confusion) mass battles are alittle longer. But the summon(undead ands animals) is a nice combo.
     
  4. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    6 characters is a big party... 4 would be much better if you want to reach higher levels by the end of the game (I found that out the hard way, it was frustrating believe me).
     
  5. AzathothXy Gems: 3/31
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    Yeah, but i can never decide on a 4-person group that I like.
     
  6. Mudde Gems: 9/31
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    @bulldog2001
    Your party should be fine. Just be sure to put the abilitypoints on the right place. A druid can be very powerful without the weimer-cheat: with maxed str, con, wis and high dex you don't need shapeshifts.
    The bard using the lingering song-feat can be good in a party of 6 but I don't know who you should replace to get the bard. The Rogue(1)/Conjurer should be able to identify. If it was my party I would let a bard take the place of the paladin and use my cleric and druid for meleeing, but I don't think that would be good for your playstyle.
    If you don't have a good RP-ing reason to choose Gold Dwarf the Shield Dwarf would be a little bit better (-2 cha is better than -2 dex). And take a good look at the cleric domain spell-lists. The Battleguard don't have many good domainspells and two dots in Axe-using isn't usually worth it. Choose a better order and spend one feat in MW-axe or take one lvl fighter or barb. The only thing the second dot in a weapon gives you is +1 to hit and that don't make a difference. Look a little extra on the Dreadmasters, Morninglords and Stormlords. The Dreadmasters gets a special bonus later in the game and the other two have good offensive domainspells.
     
  7. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    Here I assume that you are powergaming to some extent and do not intend to go no higher than 14Str since that is not "RP" :rolleyes: IWD is not kind to such parties.

    Pick the Barbarian over the Paladin. There just are not enough stat points to make a pally anywhere near as effective a fighter as a barb. You need to max Str & Con along with decent Dex and Wis and your dump stats are Int and Char. As a paladin, you cannot ignore Char and will have to compromise elsewhere. Plus, barbarians get along swimmingly with the Battlegaurd who looks to battle with the same relish and respect.

    Rouge[2] gives you evasion which is a lifesaver, so don't stop at Rouge[1]. Also specialist mages are far more severly curtailed in IWD as compared to BG. While Edwin was a powergaming choice because he was a Conjurer, the same cannot be said here.

    As far as races are concerned, Sheild Dwarf is better than Gold Dwarf. And Aasimars make better Sorcerers.

    I would sacrifice the Cleric to make place for the Bard. Or atleast mix them into one.
     
  8. Harkle Gems: 16/31
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    Your party is okay in my opinion: although it has plenty of spellcasters. If you prefer melee over spellcasting, you could take Barbarian, Ranger/rogue or something like that instead of one of the spellcasters.

    I think there's one problem with your Drow rogue/conjurer: favored class for Drow Males is just plain wizard, not one of the specialists (could someone ensure this?). So, you could make him Rogue/wizard or just single-class wizard (or specialist wizard).
     
  9. Arianyr Gems: 4/31
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    i think (i hope) the favored class also counts for subclasses. after all; female drow have favored class cleric and you have to take a subclass there
     
  10. MindChild

    MindChild Science should not set limits to imagination Resourceful Veteran

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    yes, they do count, by the game they are considered "kits" of that class. Meaning you get that class and a little peice of information is set saying you are that "kit" so it gives you certain spells, in Dalekeeper you could remove that kit and it would show you as a plain wizard...or at least it should.
     
  11. Spliff Krieger Gems: 5/31
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    You're right Caradhras, 6 characters is too much for a party... Better take 3 or 4... Less micro-management, more level-ups...
     
  12. General Ghoul Gems: 8/31
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    No, go with 6 your first time through, and don't worry about what level you reach. 6 = more fire power and more important, a better chance to feel out the different classes, different spells, and skills. Try different weapon and armor combos for the characters. Think of this as a trial run. I went through to Chapter 2 6 or 7 times tinkering with my party until I feel strong enough to finish the game. Yeah, you will get to a higher lever with fewer players, but this is a game, have fun with it first.
     
  13. JT Gems: 12/31
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    My (quite limited) experience in HoF is that sorcerers are far better than wizards, that rogues can be mostly replaced with invisibility + knock spells, that summons make better tanks than PCs do, and that spellcasting is better than meleeing.
     
  14. Felinoid

    Felinoid Who did the what now? ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Can't really speak to that; I've never played a sorcerer.

    [rant]
    As someone who quite literally grew up with 2e (no sorcerers), I played a lot of wizards (single, specialist, dualed, multi, etc.), and when they came out with the sorcerer class, all my wizard characters were quite offended. "We worked like dogs to gain our magical prowess at academies, and these young whipper-snappers didn't have to do a thing! They just wake up one day and POOF, they've got magic powers. It's just not right, I tell ya!"
    [/rant]

    Don't forget Mirror Image for those pesky traps.

    Cannon fodder, maybe. IMhO, tanks can take damage and survive, maybe even get healed. Summons are just something you chuck into the mix to die in your place.

    Just about anything is better than melee-ing. Exposing your party to danger is never a good idea. I tend to prefer ranged attacks like bows, though, as they can't be disrupted and you don't have to rest to regain your ammo (you can just carry more, and never run out). Spells can be a lot more powerful, however.

    Ultimately, it's your choice bulldog. It looks like a good group, but if somehow it doesn't work, you can always try something else. You'll have a better idea what you need to suit your playing style the second time through, and the learning is part of the fun. (I would put more rogues in there than just one level on one character, but that's just because I like backstabbing a lot. :evil: )

    P.S. When asking for opinions, too much information is a lot better than not enough information. :)
     
  15. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Any party can survive this game. People have soloed bards and finished the game so it's pretty hard to go too far wrong. Tactics are more important than party composition. Go with the party that is going to be most FUN for you. For example, I can't be bothered with scrolls so I don't use wizards.
     
  16. Tillix Gems: 5/31
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    I used a very similar party in IWDII. You should be really okay with your characters, actually only the start proved to be difficult, you have enough power later on. I didn`t rise the level of the characters after say lev 5 or so till I really needed it. this gives you more Exp and plenty of power later on.

    The Battleguard is really good in Melee, it takes actually quite some time till the "real" fighters get better!

    The deep gnome monk is cool but will advance freakishly slowly. I simply went for a human.

    Have fun! And by the way try to read very seldom in a walkthough, it killed the fun for me in some stages...
     
  17. Faraaz Gems: 26/31
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    If you want an exercise in tedium, try the JUPP's arcane party.

    Technically, its the best arcane party in terms of power you could have legitimately in the game.

    It FEELS to be the weakest though...and I'm upto the battle with Sherincal... :(
     
  18. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Nothing wrong with it except if you're taking one level of rogue with your wizard, you'd better take two for Evasion. If you want any paladin spellcasting at all, you'd better not multiclass. In my view, paladin spells are way better than Weapon Specialisation. Still, if you already have a cleric in your party and you'd rather put the paladin's stat points elsewhere than Wisdom (such as Strength or Constitution), Fighter(4) for Specialisation is a must.
     
  19. bulldog2001 Gems: 1/31
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    Thanks everyone for their suggestions. In my attempt to put together a well-rounded party representing class/races different from my BG and IWDI characters, the party I ended up putting together is:

    Aasimar Sorcerer
    1/2 orc Barb(x)/Fight(4)
    Deep Gnome Monk
    Shield Dwarf Battleguard of Tempus
    Drow Rogue(1)/Mage
    Human Druid/Ranger(1)

    Quick Monk Question: Does the monk lose his/her "monk" powers when wearing magical nonarmour protection (like a cloak or amulet)?


    So far, things have gone fairly smoothly. I haven't had to reload due to getting massacred: I did have to reload fairly often due to frequent system crashes when I first started- at first, due to the nvidia driver problem (which was especially aggravating since it crashes right after you create your party but before you can save them). Once that was fixed, I had multiple random crashes during the game (like every five minutes), but after applying the latest patch and changing other settings, I think things have straightened out.

    First impressions of the IWDII: Considering how similiar BGI and BGII were, I was happily surprised at how different (and improved) the game play is from IWDI. I played KOTOR several months back and I can see where many of the IWDII character development were carried over (I thought KOTOR may have been one of the best games I've played).

    Thanks again everyone...
     
  20. General Ghoul Gems: 8/31
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    On the monk question, he can use anything but the actual armor slot. Boots, cloaks, bracers, etc all available to aid the AC. Don't forget the special abilities. Save the blur and Mirror image for your tough fights as effects don't last forever. Using a two handed weapon early, until your fists damage is up, makes sense also.
    I like your racial assortment, take advantage of each race's advantages. This is a great party for your first time through. Don't get frustrated by the lack of magic to go around. Just give everyone the best available armor/weapon and don't feel bad about giving someone a hand-me-down. Remember to stock your frontliners first, even if it means the backups only have slings or darts. Some character aren't meant to wade into battle right away (like the monk).
     
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