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To glory!

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Sir Farivald, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Sir Farivald

    Sir Farivald The Obsidian Cleric

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    Hi everyone. I haven't posted here in a good while, I know, but I thought I'd return with a request...

    This weekend (starting friday evening), I plan to play through Icewind Dale II - or get as far as I can in the two (give or take) days I have off from work. Trouble is, having never gotten very far, I'm not really sure what sort of party to take. So I ask, can anybody recommend a good party in terms of character classes and abilities? I'd like to play through it with a challenge, naturally, but I think a lot of the time I make lame characters due to lack of rules-based knowledge. It's all about the roleplaying for me y'see, so I miss a lot of the number crunching. Therefore I seem to struggle after the prologue...

    Any help is much appreciated!
     
  2. Klorox

    Klorox Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-mênu! Veteran

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    Since you're just playing normal mode, I'd suggest something like this:

    Aasimar Ftr/Pal
    Deep Gnome Monk
    Aasimar Cleric (lathander)
    Dwarf Cleric (Tempus)
    Drow Rog1/Wizard
    Aasimar Sorcerer
     
  3. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    As long as you have on eof each: Fighter/cleric/Wizard (or sorcerer), you can basically slap on anything you want after that and have a functional party. A rogue is not a bad idea, neither is a bard. A seccond warrior style also works nice.

    Races per say does not play to much of a difference, it means some might level up a tad slower and some faster. but all in all they will keep within 2 levels of eachothers. And any bonus or penalty each race might have can be worked around etc, so even a halforc can do a decent sorcerer.
     
  4. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    An extremely powerful party which grants access to all kind of spells is: (feat suggestions)

    dwarf paladin3/fighter x 18-13-20-3-4-18 (power attack, cleave, dodge, rapid shot, greatsword specialisation)
    dwarf cleric (battleguard) 18-16-20-3-18-1 (dodge)
    human sorcerer 15-18-18-3-4-18 (GSF enchantment, evocation, necromancy)
    human rogue1/transmuter x 15-18-18-18-4-3 (GSF enchantment, evocation, spirit of flame)
    human druid 18-16-18-3-18-3 (rapid shot, GSF transmutation, dodge, scion of storms, GSF evocation)
    aasimar bard 15-18-18-3-6-20 (lingering song, mercantile background, rapid shot, GSF enchantment, dodge)

    I'd give concentration skill to the casters, bluff and diplomacy to the bard who can act as spokesperson, intimidate to the fighter. You need 10 spellcraft (including int modifier) to be able to take the very useful elemental feats for your sorcerer, transmuter, and druid.
    Everyone should have at least a melee weapon (2-handed does more damage) and a missile weapon.


    The game is of course beatable with far weaker parties. But make sure you have at least a cleric and an arcane caster. Once your cleric reaches level 5 and can cast "animate dead" the game gets easier. The level 2 spells "bull's strength", "eagle's splendor" and maybe "cat's grace" can also help a lot.
     
  5. Caradhras

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

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    Sound advice although you don't even have to min max stats that much. ;)

    The best tip I can think of in order to have an effective party is to avoid multiclassing your spellcasters. If you keep your Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard, Druid and Bard single class you will get better spells earlier and they will be much more effective.

    Multiclassing Fighters and tanks is not a bad idea, but if you want to use a high level Barbarian don't multiclass him (in normal mode because of the way the Challenge Rating works even if the game limit is level 30, your characters won't be anywhere near this level at the end of the game).

    Rangers get the ability to use two weapons if they wear light armours. It's useless if this character wears other types of armours.

    Rogues work best if you take 2 levels or if you go all the way (at least 10 levels).

    Many players like to have level 4 Fighters for weapon specialisation, it's very detrimental to a Rogue's sneak attack IMHO and it won't help a Barbarian to get greater rage.

    That being said you can always give one extra level to add some variety. The Paladin1/Sorcerer X combo is enjoyable, Monk1/Druid X works fine, Rogue2/Wizard X can be great.

    One Monk level or 2 Rogue levels grant Evasion and it can be handy in some situations.

    By the way if you want a character to have Rogue levels, start as a Rogue (first level Rogues get more skillpoints than any other class).

    Remember that the way favoured classes work you can ignore the XP penalty for your favourite class (which depends on the character's race) but that you'd better keep the other classes roughly at the same level (Dwarves ignore Fighter levels so if you have a Dwarf Fighter 4 Rogue 2 Paladin 1 you won't have any penalty but if your Dwarf is Fighter 4 Rogue 3 Paladin 1 you'll get an XP penalty).
     
  6. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    I do so like Deep Gnome Monks. With 20 WIS and DEX they start out with an impressing AC of 24! (10+5(dex)+5(monk insight from wis)+4(deep gnome dodge bonus)) :eek: This means no enemy can hit you unless they roll a 20 at first chapters. Plus they have blur and mirror image to help things, and very good saves, plus evasion, and other many neat monk tricks.

    You can further improve the AC to insane levels with feats such as Expertise, (+5) Dodge (+1) and spells such as Armor, Ghost Armor, Barkskin, Cat's Grace, Pro from Evil, etc. It is very possible to reach 35+ ACs very early in the game and without any items. Add the item bonuses, and you have a very capable tank. (AC 40+ in normal mode is quite good! Even the best meleers need to roll very high to touch you!)

    Send the monk to fray. Let enemies surround him/her. Cast mirror image just in case. Now hurl your fireballs/skull traps! Don't worry, monks have evasion and great reflex saves, so your monk will dodge the blasts (if unlucky, mirror image still takes the hit!) and all enemies will get crisped instead! Other fighter types can use ranged weapons meantime, with rapid shot they pack quite a punch! I like this strategy a lot, makes first chapters a walk in the park. Try it! :)
     
  7. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Geeez, Kmonster. Sir Farivald said " It's all about the roleplaying for me y'see", and yet you suggested a thoroughly powergamey party. :rolleyes: Shame on you. ;)
     
  8. Sir Farivald

    Sir Farivald The Obsidian Cleric

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    Thanks for all this help guys, by all means keep them coming until tomorrow eve and I shall post back with the party I create. I do like roleplaying yes - especially the stories behind my characters, so I'll probably avoid things like Deep Gnome Monks (because I can't imagine a deep gnome ever becoming a monk...) and Drow characters (Drow are evil, let's face it. Drizzt is a billion to one anomoly...)
     
  9. Half-elven Duergar Gems: 4/31
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    So long as you have a tank and a spellcaster, you'll get through the game. A good strategy is all there is to it, if you ask me, any party will do... in normal mode, that is.
     
  10. Mudde Gems: 9/31
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    If you want to powergame somewhat you should only have high charisma on the characters that needs it (sorcs, bards, paladins and the party spokesman). The rest should have it as low as you can allow it, preferebly as low as possible for that race.
    Same goes with int! Most characters don't need many skills.
    This gives you a some extra ability points to put on more important things: primary casting ability (for spellcasters! paladins and rangers do fine without spells and should focus on other things), con, strength/dex depending on melee/ranged in roughly that order.
     
  11. Caradhras

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

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    If you don't like min-maxing you can avoid dumping stats too low and find RP reasons for doing so.

    Low CHA: bad attitude, gruff or self centered character.

    Low WIS: might be a little bit crazy, suicidal, or just foolish in a happy-go-lucky sort of way.

    Low INT: thick as a brick wall, dumb or simply do not think that much.

    A character may have a low INT and a high WIS, he/she would be well attuned to his/her surroundings but wouldn't reflect that much about it (a more instinctive character).

    Most powergamers wouldn't dump other stats but if you don't need a character to fight a low STR is an option (it's not as if you needed a STR bonus with bows and crossbows anyway).

    A character who is going to wear a heavy armour and wield a two hander doesn't need more than 10 points in DEX (such a character would still be effective with a sling or darts if he/she is a fighter, the STR bonus to damage works with slings and darts). Less than 13 points in DEX also means you're losing on some feats but at the end of the day a tank is better off with a very good STR and an average DEX than with good scores in both STR and DEX.

    Dumping CON is not such a good idea unless you badly need stat points (and try not to go below 8) it won't matter too much if the character is not a frontliner and can protect from attacks with mirror image and other spells.

    As a rule whenever I dump a stat below 8 it always has something to do with my concept for this character. I just find preposterous having characters with 3 points in INT for the only reason that you don't lose anything with dumping this stat... But that's just me.

    Remember that you can start with less than 6 characters and add other characters during the game. RPwise you can pretend you freed a prisoner from the Horde Fortress or that an NPC joined your group.

    Sorcerers are much better than wizards because scrolls are hard to find and end up costing a lot of money. Once a Sorcerer gets a spell level he/she can cast the spell you want. A wizard might be stuck with crappy spells because you haven't found the good scrolls yet (plus no matter what scribing scrolls in this game is a real pain).

    My last party included a Sorcerer (MC with Ranger1 and Rogue2 which is not a good idea if you want to cast higher level spells earlier in the game but I was in no hurry and wanted to experiment with a Pnp character), a Paladin2/Monk1/ClericX (I love this MC although it takes the spellcasting a few levels back, but with cat's grace -provided by the Sorcerer- this character's saving throws are just uber), a Monk1/DruidX, a Rogue3/Fighter4/BarbarianX (main tank), and I added a fulltime Bard and a pure class Cleric later on.

    Picking the right race is important since some stat bonuses can be very handy (in the example I gave my pure class Cleric was an Aasimar and it didn't take long for his spellcasting to be as good as the Pal/Monk/Cleric I had at the start; in comparison his saving throws were ridiculously low and he didn't have Evasion but he was more than able to compete as a Cleric eventhough he was a few levels behind).
     
  12. Faraaz Gems: 26/31
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    Take 4 characters only:

    1 Morninglord of Lathander Cleric (Drow)
    1 Sorcerer (Aasimar)
    1 Dreadmaster of Bane (Deep Gnome)
    1 Diviner (Drow)

    Its the perfect party!!
     
  13. Caradhras

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

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    That's certainly not the "perfect party" for Sir Farivald:

    This party suggestion includes 2 Drows and 1 Deep Gnome!!! :D
     
  14. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Besides, 2 clerics and 2 mages hardly represents a roleplaying party. It's a powergaming party.
     
  15. JT Gems: 12/31
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    "Roleplaying" in any single-player CRPG is a dubious concept to begin with, and in IWD2 it is essentially nonexistent. Making a party of cripples is not roleplaying, even if you give them all imaginary backstories to go with their 14 INT WIS CHA.
     
  16. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    Puh-leeeeze. 2 clerics and 2 mages is nowhere near roleplaying.

    And just because the game doesn't require any roleplaying doesn't mean that you can't do it in your mind for the fun of it. Besides, who ever said that you can't play decent "roleplaying" characters who simply are not min-maxed out the wazoo and have fun doing it.
     
  17. JT Gems: 12/31
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    So if the roleplaying is all going on in my head, why can't I roleplay with 2 clerics and 2 mages?
     
  18. 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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    Why not? Do I always need to play with the standard party of fighter, thief, cleric and mage to be able to call it roleplaying? If I can put together a nice story of why they should be together in my head, can I still not roleplay it?
     
  19. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    Oh yes, the old argument of what is and what is not roleplay vs powerplay. Give it a rest already ;)

    It is up to each person to find what "balance" between the two he/she/it/geek enjoys.

    I see no problem with coming up with a good background and story for 2 cleric and 2 sorcerers. It is definitivelly harder than to make a more varied team. And especially if you also add on drows and Svirfneblins (deep gnome).

    Minmaxing however is in near any case cosidered powerplay, and while powerfull, not even near required. Personally I hate putting any score below 8, though i will generally have at least one score of 8 on any character (becose I enjoy that each character have at least one weak spot). But that is my personal preference.

    Eitherway, to make anoying long bothersome post short(er):

    To original poster: Play however you like to, but the game is very doable and infact fairly easy as long as you have at least cleric and sorcerer single class on a race with no level penalty (forexample human), a couple of tanks, and someone with a few levels of rogue for trap removal. As long as you give each spellcaster max stat in prime spellcasting stat, and gives warriors good strength and constitution, everything else is dependent upon your skills as a player. Meaning that if you are not good tactically of micromanagement-vise then no amount of powerplay will help you any more anyways ;)

    -out
     
  20. crucis

    crucis Fighting the undead in Selune's name Veteran

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    I'll give it a rest when the powergamers stop trying to foist powergaming characters on posters who ask for ROLEPLAYING party suggestions. Until that time, I'll stand up for roleplayers. ;)
     
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