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Unable to train certain skills on level up...

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by iwdrookie, Feb 3, 2023.

  1. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    I'm having my bard focus on search and disable device skills (among others). At creation I put 4 points in each (which bought me 2 skill points in each). I also put 4 points into several class skills. When I reached level 2, it would allow me to put an additional point in my class skills, but it would not allow me to use 2 points to buy one more skill point in search and disable.

    My INT is 18, so after creation I had 6 points in it. But I don't think that should be an issue, because I have 8 or 9 total in alchemy and knowledge arcana, and it still allows me to train those.

    Someone suggested to me that non-class skills cannot be advanced after level 1, but I cannot find that in the manual or anywhere else. All I read is that non-class skills cost twice as much to increase.

    Would greatly appreciate if someone would clarify this for me.
    Thanks!

    UPDATE: I just found this on a site I'd never found before....
    "The maximum rank in a class skill is the character’s level + 3. If it’s a cross-class skill, the maximum rank is half of that number (do not round up or down)."

    So, it sounds like a level 2 bard (for example) can reach 5 in class skill, but only 2.5 in a non-class skill, which would explain my situation.

    Just putting that here in case it helps someone else.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2023
  2. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    This is explained on the in-game help screen, and there is a tip on the load screens.
    I would suggest going to character record, clicking on "information" and taking a look at the in-game documentation.
    Also reading the manual, which should be in the game directory, on the CD*, and is also available for download here.

    * I've had the game for almost 20 years, at the time purchasing software via download was rare for commercial software put out by professional publishing houses, but common for public domain, shareware, and freeware. Commercial sites were just starting to offer paid downloads for software.
     
  3. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    Yeah, generally speaking you can put points into non-class skills only every alternate level up. You've already found the documentation so I'm not going to explain the mechanics. For most players this means adding 2 skill points (+1) for every 2 levels. I think you should be okay with your bard as the primary search/disable entity even with this limitation. There are not too many "devastating" traps in IWD2 so even if you can't disable a couple of them, you should survive.

    You have not mentioned Open Locks in your question so that makes me wonder. If your bard is also your primary lock opener, you may have some difficulties, depending on your strongest character's strength/exceptional strength. There are more unopenable chests in the game than there are knock scrolls (unless you memorize it) and not having a high enough Open Locks skill could mean missing out on stuff -- e.g., Floor 3 of the Officer's Tower in Severed Hand (from memory, could be wrong) or even a few chests on Dragon's Eye L1. Depending on your party composition, even casting strength buffs doesn't help with breaking a few chests (or maybe I just got frustrated too fast).
     
  4. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    In 2nd Edition the bard is a kit of the thief class. As such I never understood why the bard did not get Knock in IWD2. The manual even says that "The bard is a rogue" which they renamed the thief class to in 3E.
    That said, if you do have a sorcerer or wizard (that isn't an abjurer or necromancer) in the party, take the knock spell.
    It may be a sacrifice for the sorcerer, but the loot might be worth it for those few locks that you have trouble picking.

    Still, you might consider trying cat's grace as an alternative to knock. Cast it on the bard before having him try to open a stubborn lock. It should give a bonus point or two to his open lock roll. Combine that with Tymora's Melody and the lingering song feat and it will be like having 2-3 extra points in open lock (+1 luck, +1 or +2 from cat's grace depending on if you get 2-3 or 4-5 extra dex. It's possible if you have an odd dex score to get a +3 bonus to your dex modifier from cat's grace alone if you are lucky and get +5 to dex. That only works if your base dex score is an odd number, if it's even your modifier will only increase by +2).

    The other thing to do is if you get any dex boosting items, give them to the bard after the CHA boosting ones. Open Locks and Disable Device depend on dex scores, so boosting dex boosts your skill by +1 for every 2 points in dexterity.
    If you haven't built the bard yet, consider making a high dex build, and if you have made the character, once you raise your CHA to 19 or 20 consider putting the remaining points into DEX (though you probably won't get that far before finishing the game if you started with 16 CHA. You will reach 17CHA at level 4, 18 at level 8, 19 at level 12, and 20 at level 16, thus not getting a free point until level 20).
     
  5. Mati Gems: 2/31
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    Or you could just start with human rogue with those stats:
    S 8
    D 16
    Con 12
    I 16
    W 8
    Cha 16
    And just put points into Dexterity every 4 levels. Go rogue into 3rd or 5th level taking all important rogue skills (intimidate, search, open lock, disable device, maybe alchemy) and start taking bard lvels after that.
     
  6. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    That will mean missing out on the song xp from Jhonen's quest for absolutely no benefit. From memory, there are no early-game chests and traps that this bard can't deal with. Dragon's Eye comes late enough for you to make multiclassing choices later, (keep the xp penalty in mind if your race is not favored) and those are the first "difficult" chests. Just in case, there are enough Knock scrolls available by then to open every chest with knock even if you haven't memorized it (do remember to buy them). You'll run out of them soon enough but not yet.
    If the OP wishes to play without a rogue, I'd much rather follow Slick's advice of memorizing Knock on an arcanist. The OP's handle is iwdrookie so I'm assuming they will be resting often enough to keep switching spells if they don't have a sorc in the party.
    Of course, we are all assuming that the OP has at least one arcanist in the party. Maybe they don't, in which case just try your luck with the best strength buffs available on difficult chests.
     
  7. Mati Gems: 2/31
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    I know there's Jhonen's quest in IWD1 prologue, but where's (another one) in IWD2?
     
  8. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    Oh damn. I mixed up games again :confused: Sorry, I just started yet another IWD campaign and couldn't get that out of my head. My bad. In IWD2 the bard is only useful for Sordirskin, and even then they are not required for quest purposes.
    *The rest of the information was correct for IWD2 though, about the first difficult chests being in Dragon's Eye L1, availability of knock scrolls, etc.
     
  9. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    I looked at both of these places, but could not find it. Doesn't mean I couldn't have overlooked it, but I tried to look carefully.


    Really appreciate the info! I'm actually having one of my melee toons focus on opening locks.

    Thanks for that great info!! I'm actually including a sorcerer as my caster, so yes, she will be taking knock for sure.


    I actually made my bard S 10, D 12, C10, I 18, W 10, C16. Since he is learning a ton of skills AND serving as my talker, I figured I needed 18 in INT. I suppose I could drop my STR and WIS, but I guess I worry about my WIS saves and being able to carry anything.
     
  10. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    You can't control who talks in a few situations (but in such cases it's usually the front-most party member). There are 2-3 convos which require Wis for a so-called good outcome. If you have a good walkthrough you can refer to, you can always drink a Potion of Insight before such convos (or talk with a different party member).
    E.g., iirc the drunk soldier Niles in the Palisades requires 16 Wis (maybe high Cha too) to make him stop drinking. But you could give him a bottle of wine for less xp.
    With 18 Int, I expect you've put a lot of points into talking skills. Here's a list of skill checks https://weidu.org/IWD2-QuestSkillList.txt that are used by the game, which are largely independent of your base stats.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2023
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    Actually they aren't that independent, your stats give modifiers for every 2 points. 10 is the base value, every two points above or below you get a +1 for every 2 points above 10, and there's a -1 modifier to relevant skills for every 2 points below 10, starting with -1 for the 8-9 range, -2 for the 6-7 range, -3 for 4-5, -4 for 2-3, and -5 for 1 point in a stat.
    So having 12 dex and 4 points in Open Locks is the same as having 18 dex and only 1 point in open locks. Ditto for CHA. Having 12 CHA and 4 points in bluff is the same as having 18 CHA and 1 point. Similarly having 18 Dex and 4 points in Open Locks is the same as having only 12 DEX and putting 7 points into it.

    So having high stats means you need to invest less skill points to make those checks, since they are based on your total ability. I am drawing a blank right now, but I believe that the "Character arbitration" and the "Character record" screens show different values for the various skills, one of which shows the effective values, but I am drawing a blank on which is which and my old computer where IWD2 is installed is turned off right now (plus I don't want to dig out the CD).
     
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  12. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    Thanks for tossing in that link...that's interesting. I had a similar list already, but I think this may have some additional items on it. It would be great if it would tell exactly which skill each requires....or would opening those files show that?

    Regarding Niles, I've made him give up drinking with only about 10 WIS, so I think it's only CHA that is needed for him.
     
  13. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    It's a little hard to follow but search for SkillGT on that link. SkillGT means "greater than" and LT means "less than" though I don't know if the numbers are inclusive (does >7 means 7 and above or 8 and above?)

    Maybe Niles does require Cha. The link says his dialogue choices depend on Diplomacy, which affects Cha if I understood Slick correctly. Yxbudur'Zmutkimdu on Severed Hand L3 also requires high diplomacy but I remember reading somewhere about the need for high Wis there. Maybe I'm simply drowning in info overload and it doesn't help that I'm not playing the game right now. It's quite possible Wis is a dump stat for your bard. I have a habit of chugging a potion of insight just for the heck of it if I know a dialogue has the chance to give me higher XP :)
     
  14. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    Completely unrelated, before I found that link I had no idea you could sneak by 0 camps in Goblin Warrens to gain max xp. I though alerting at least two camps was a given.
     
  15. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    Whoa! I hadn't scrolled all the way down before....thats' awesome! Thanks!
     
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  16. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Bard single class is a waste if your Bard is also your thief. In that case always go Rogue 1 then Bard for the rest of the game. You’ll get max thief skills to start with. After that a Bard with high intelligence will easily handle the thief role.
     
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  17. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    No disagreement there. But I've already restarted my party several times to fix things, so I think I'm just going to ride this one out. It seems to work fine...a fighter (with 16 DEX) is picking up the locks skill, and the bard has just enough skill points to level search, disarm, diplomacy, bluff, pickpocket, knowledge, and alchemy consistently. However, I may switch to rogue after Bard 11....either that or sorcerer, haven't decided yet.

    Right now I'm trying to decide whether to have my sorc pick up knock, or just trust that my open locks skill on my fighter will be enough to let me save that spell slot. Kinda hoping that maybe with an occasional master thievery potion and cats grace I can get by without knock....but the thought of having to leave just one chest unlocked is frankly more than I can bear.
     
  18. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    I think you'll get by without memorizing Knock. Make it a habit to buy knock scrolls just in case whenever you come across them and keep them in your scroll case, as well as enough potions when you can afford them (don't waste your gold on this yet, you probably won't need any of this stuff). Now that I think about it, DEX consumables is probably a better choice than STR consumables (or even Cleric strength spells).

    Remember that stat modifiers don't stack though. I'm unable to test this for you right away but if you have any DEX modifying item equipped (in the future), Cat's Grace either shouldn't work or should add only 1 point to DEX. Or maybe the highest applicable value is used. Master Thievery and Tymora's Luck are not stat modifiers so they will help.

    STR consumables/spells are good in the sense that you would usually give them to your primary damage dealer, so they will benefit from it in upcoming fights anyway. Of course, you would benefit from higher DEX in a fight too, but my personal preference for front-liners is dishing out more damage.

    There will be a time when you don't like any of the L2 spell choices of the Sorc. Maybe learn Knock then :)
     
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  19. iwdrookie Gems: 3/31
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    Excellent! Thank you for sharing all of that!!
     
  20. gibberishh Gems: 14/31
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    About multiclassing, I wouldn't have picked your choices. Rogue in IWD2 is neither a good 2E thief, nor a good 3E rogue. You generally don't need more than 3 levels of rogue in your party (only in IWD2 because it's woefully implemented). Even a pure rogue stops getting much benefit of rogue-ing beyond level 10.

    If you're playing on Normal difficulty, imo even Sorc after Bard 11 is kinda late. The greatest benefit you'll get is a few extra magic missiles, chromatic orbs, webs, stinking clouds, Melf's acid arrows, etc. and faster buffing because you'll distribute buffing responsibilities between the two sorcs (say Mage Armor, Ghost Armor or Spirit Armor). By late-game you will have more flexibility so if that is your goal then fine.
    If you want to go down this path, I'd recommend multiclassing now. IMO, having 2 sorcs while both have limited spell slots is more useful than after one sorc has more slots than you can handle.

    I am the last person to discourage someone from taking rogue points -- I bloody love rogues and thieves* but IWD2 does quite a poor job of it. If you really want a rogue-bard, take the 3 points now (alternate between the two) while you are leveling up quickly. For your next playthrough, read up a little on IWD2 rogue multiclasses. Rogue-Monk is a very good choice. Cleric-Rogue also great. If you multiclass early enough, Rogue-Wizard is good too.

    *I am so obsessed with thieves that I played an entire campaign of IWDEE with a thieves-only party (single+multiclass).

    Pinging @SlickRCBD in because I'm sure he has some good advice to give about rogues as well as about bard multiclassing choices.
     
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