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What's the best powergaming party/PC?

Discussion in 'Baldur's Gate (Classic)' started by Klorox, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Fly2tHeSkY

    Fly2tHeSkY Southern Comfort Veteran

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    Umm yeh, tanks need strength! If you want them to do ANY damage then they need strength ... and alot of it. You're probably thinking of IWDII where Con and Dex are more important.
     
  2. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    tank = meatshield

    Strength is nice, but not required. you can always have others (like Kivan and Coran) do the damamge from behind with bows.
     
  3. Gastong Gems: 5/31
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    i dont have iwd only bg1 without tosc and bg2 with tob
     
  4. Fly2tHeSkY

    Fly2tHeSkY Southern Comfort Veteran

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    @ Raptor,
    Yes strength is nice, I believe that as long as Fighters have a nice Constitution and their AC is good enough they will provide enough protection for the party, but seriously, in the later stages of the game it's gona be gettin REALLY hard if their strength is something like in the area between 14 -17. Having a high strength can help you to take down a larger number of enemies in a shorter amount of time and thus being able to assist the party better and THUS becoming a much better meatshield! :D
     
  5. raptor Gems: 16/31
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    Silvershield: Kivan and Coran can both do more damage in a round than any meatshield i have seen yet in this game. As i said Strength is nice. but i wouldn't skimp on either dexterity or constitution for it in a tank. of corse you have gauntlest of ogre strength etc to help you with such problems. But usually i just gave that to Coran, so get some extra damage to those arrows (also usually gave the Strength tome to Kivan, str 19 gives tonns of damamge with arrows)
     
  6. Fly2tHeSkY

    Fly2tHeSkY Southern Comfort Veteran

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    Hehe if we're talking about those two with bows then I'm with ya! They kill anything that comes near em in seconds! Sorry, I thought we were talking about melee. :D
     
  7. Ascendency-Down Gems: 2/31
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    As mentioned before in this thread archery is the powergamer's choice in "Baldur's Gate". It outperforms magic, backstabbing and melee in sheer firepower. Thus, several archers and one or two supporting characters seem to be the way to go in my opinion.

    Okay, what do we need?


    The Tank
    His sole role is to keep the attackers away from our archers and to soak up blows. Therefore we need someone with lots of hit points and a low armor class; strength is of no importance. Kagain with the Gauntlets of Dexterity fulfills this role perfectly: He regenerates, has more hit points than anyone else and great saving throws as a dwarf with high CON.


    The Archers
    Everyone who is able to use bows and has fighter-levels to get more attacks qualifies as reasonable choice. But who is the best archer in the game? Since I'm using TUTU, the following ranking sorted by THAC0 may vary a bit from the original game (e.g. the level-1-Khalid in TUTU doesn't start with a proficiency point in bows). I'm assuming 161.000 XP, installed Grandmastery-fix and as much proficiency points in long bow as possible.

    1. Kivan (Archer-kit): 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 2 (DEX 17) - 3 (4 PP in long bow) - 1 (elf bonus) - 2 (Archer-kit bonus) = 4

    2. Coran: 14 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 3 (DEX 20) - 3 (3 PP in long bow) - 1 (elf bonus) = 6

    3. Minsc (Archer-kit): 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 0 (DEX 15) - 3 (4 PP in long bow) - 2 (Archer-kit bonus) = 7
    Personally, I would never ever assign this kit to Minsc, but for the sake of completeness...

    4.1 Kivan (Ranger-kit): 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 2 (DEX 17) - 1 (2 PP in long bow) - 1 (elf bonus) = 8
    4.2 Shar-Teel (Fighter/Thief-Dual 7/8): 14 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 2 (DEX 17) - 3 (4 PP in long bow) = 8
    Note that Shar-Teel actually can become a better archer by dualing to thief.

    5. Shar-Teel (Fighter): 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 2 (DEX 17) - 1 (2 PP in long bow) = 9

    6.1 Khalid: 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 1 (DEX 16) - 1 (2 PP in long bow) = 10
    6.2 Montaron: 14 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 2 (DEX 17) - 1 (2 PP in long bow) = 10

    7.1 Minsc (Ranger-kit): 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 0 (DEX 15) - 1 (2 PP in long bow) = 11
    7.2 Ajantis: 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 0 (DEX 13) - 1 (2 PP in long bow) = 11
    7.3 Kagain: 13 (Base THAC0) - 1 (long bow bonus) - 0 (DEX 12) - 1 (2 PP in long bow) = 11


    The Spellcaster
    A single person who heals the occasional wounds and casts haste for an insane volley of arrows... Well, not much choice here, either the PC or Quayle. Quayle in a powergamer-party!? No, I'm not kidding. By covering the positions of the healer and the supportive mage he makes room for another bowman.


    The Thief
    Well, in my opinion Coran is completely sufficient as thief. If you let him join soon enough, he'll level up often enough to have decent stats in find traps and open locks. In case you rely more on thieving than I do, add Shar-Teel or Monty.


    So, the powergaming-parties of my personal choice would be:

    Kagain
    Kivan
    Coran
    Shar-Teel (Fighter/Thief-Dual)
    PC (Elven Archer)
    Quayle

    or

    Kagain
    Kivan
    Coran
    Shar-Teel (Fighter/Thief-Dual)
    Montaron (TUTU) / Khalid (Original BG1)
    PC (Cleric/Mage)
     
  8. Cernak Gems: 12/31
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    Best powergaming party? I don't know; but I think this is a pretty good one:

    Bard*
    Kagain
    Kivan
    Branwen
    Imoen T5/dualed to Mage
    Shar-Teel F3/dualed to Thief

    *Not everyone's first choice, but I like them, and they are certainly undervalued as a PC. With Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise, Drizzt's armor, the +5 Defender sword, and the Long Bow of Marksmanship, they become powerful fighters with magical abilities usable in the front line, plus lore and pickpocketing, which does get you some useful items. An elven fighter/mage would probably be a bit stronger though.

    This party has considerable power at archery and (except Imoen) at melee, and is fairly strong in magic.

    [ April 06, 2006, 00:03: Message edited by: Cernak ]
     
  9. Bsisi Gems: 5/31
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    Yesterday I finished the game with, I think, the strongest party that I ever played:
    Half-Elf Ranger/Cleric
    Kagain
    Coran
    Kivan
    Imoen (dualled to illusionist after lvl 6)
    Edwin

    My benchmark fight is with Sarevok, it's not perfect for this purpose, but it's the hardest fight that I do every time I play the game. Normally at this point I just want to beat him, I don't care about tactics, just buff, go and kill the bastard ignoring the rest of his party. No pauses, spells, micromanagement. This is suboptimal and usually requires a 2-4 trials, but I think it's the most effortless way. This time I went and not only killed him on the 1st trial, but killed him FAST. Curious, I reloaded and decided to kill his friends before just to see how will the party stand the heat of a longer fight. They went in, scored a couple of hits, but after a second or so, all his friends were invisible. Having nothing better to do, I started hitting Sarevok. This turned out to be a bad idea, his friends didn't emerge fast enough and he was dead. Oh well, too much firepower. And I wasn't fully buffed, haste, prayer, potions of STR, DuHM, mages having Armour and Mirror Image. Later I realized that I buffed badly, because my PC should use the potion first and cast DuHM later and that I forgot to switch his weapon; He used Mace +2 instead of Staff of Striking. And I didn't get all the best stuff, didn't go to the wolf island, didn't kill Drizzt. So overall, the party could be still a fair bit stronger.

    The party was better then the usual ones because of 2 reasons:
    -Normally I don't do Durlag Tower, just grab the book of Wisdom. That's because I hate the level with closing doors. So I usually end up with worse equipment, but that's just a matter of my playing style.
    -It's the only game when I had a cleric that was also a competent fighter. Yeslick and Jaheira are very poor in this regard and now I think that among BG2 NPCs clerics are the most lacking.

    I started thinking: If I made a full custom party, how much better would it be?
    A draft plan below:

    1. Human Thief(6) / Conjurer(9)
    2. Human Fighter(7) / Illusionist(8)
    3. Half elf ranger(7) / cleric(8)
    4. Elf Fighter(8)
    5. Elf Fighter(8)
    6. Dwarf Fighter(8)

    1. Thief/Conjurer is a perfect character. 6 levels of thief are enough for all traps and leave a few poins to invest in locks.
    If some locks are too hard, there's always a knock spell. And 6 levels still allow reaching the highest mage lvl.
    Equipment:
    Tome of DEX
    darts or Frostbrand

    2. Fighter/Illusionist. A supporting mage is really useful, sometimes the extra fireball can really make a difference.
    And Mirror Image turns this character to a formidable tank. A drawback is Mirror Image and Armour require frequent recasting, so relying on characters like this would make the party bothersome; With just 1 there should be no need to buff except for boss fights.
    To be a useful support mage, character needs at least lvls 5 in this class. This would still allow reaching the highest Fighter level, 8.
    However, the difference between F(8) and F(7) is 14 points of health and 1 THAC0. It is something, but 3 levels as a mage add:
    1 spell of level 2
    2 spells of level 3
    3 spells of level 4 (a lvl 5 mage has none)
    6 hit points.

    Also, this one starts as a fighter and turns to a mage later. It's much better then the other way, because you can get 18/00 STR. Though you could use braces that grant it anyway.
    Maybe there's a THAC0, saving throws or proficiency update too, I didn't check, but even w/out it's surely a better deal.

    Equipment:
    Tome of INT. You need some INT, but this character is more likely to have to save some points here then the other mage.
    Crossbow of Speed / Eagle bow
    Defender +5

    3. R/Cs rock. A great buffer/debuffer who also acts as a good tank, OK damage dealer and it's relatively easy to pump CHA to 18 too. So the first character in formation is the diplomat, which simplifies things.

    Equipment:
    3 Tomes of WIS
    Tome of STR - because when rolling all 18s, it's hard to get 18/00 STR
    Tome of CON? - This would be the front liner, needs to be tough. A pure fighter would probably get a higher HP bonus from it though
    Tome of CHA
    Shield +2. Since he doesn't have a bow or crossbow, this character is the best to use a shield.
    Staff Mace. The highest damage 1H weapon this character can get, except for one that makes you go berserk.
    Sling +3.

    4, 5. Elven fighters.

    Equipment:
    2 bows
    2H Sword +3
    Spider's Bane

    6. Dwarfish fighter. There are only 2 really good bows and and a second tough frontliner would be useful.

    Equipment:
    Crossbow of Speed / Eagle bow
    Staff +3 / Staff of Striking.

    Formation:
    Code:
    *  R/C
     * Dwarf
    *  Elf
     * Elf
    *  T/M
     * F/M
    This way the highest AC would take the most attacks and in case the last character is attacked, it's not the weakest one.
     
  10. Bsisi Gems: 5/31
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    Now I think I would change one thing.

    Opening deptrapped locks doesn't kill you, unlike fighting enemies. So I would give the book of DEX to the dwarf to improve his AC. This would reduce lockpick skill by 10 (5 directly. You can save the other 5 on traps) and require more frequent knocking. Boring, but easy.
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    While I think that your party can certainly work, I would say from a pure powergaming perspective, you may be better served by multi-classing as opposed to dual classing, and certainly multi-classing some of those pure fighters. While dual classing may well give you the optimal end game setup, there is considerable lag in the middle when you're trying to get those levels back.

    To use the second character as an example, a gnomish F/I multi-class would be at level 7/7 at the end of the game. You're losing one level as a mage, and a level 8 mage is still going to be limited to 4th level spells anyway. If there were some means of getting to level 9, I would agree with your plan, as that would open up the level 5 spells. But the only way to do that would be to dual class prior to getting to level 7 as a fighter, and that's definitely suboptimal as you're missing out on that additional proficiency point, and the extra 1/2 attack per round.

    My main critique is that by dual classing so late, you're nearly defeating the purpose of dual classing in the first place. You're playing nearly half the game as a pure fighter, nearly half the game as a pure mage, and have maybe 5% of the game with both classes active. So while that end battle will result in a party setup that is marginally better, if you're talking about the best means of powergaming throughout - and not just the last 5%, I'd say multi-classing is the way to go.

    I would use a similar argument for the other pure fighters as well. The game doesn't really punish you for multi-classing fighters at all. It only costs you one level, and it's a level where the difference doesn't hurt nearly as much as it would at other points. Getting your fighter up to level 7 is a priority for the extra proficiency point and the automatic +1/2 attack per round that level 7 gives you, but level 8 gives you +1 THACO and some more hitpoints. While those benefits certainly go beyond marginal, the do not IMO, outweigh the benefits of having all the skills from another class available throughout the game.
     
  12. Bsisi Gems: 5/31
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    Mostly, we just focus on different things.
    What matters for me is power near the end of the game, roughly the last 10%. I like parties that go to the toughest enemies that the game offers with little or no preparations and totally destroy them. This definition of power doesn't care about what it takes to make the party work and when I'm into making powerful characters or parties I am willing to sacrifice a lot to get them. The toughest thing I did was making my main character a Kensai(21)/Mage(22) in BG2 AND Sarevok F(21)/M(22) too. And now I wouldn't do it again, because I regained my kensai abilities like 5 fights before the end of the game and with Sarevok I had to abuse Machine of the Lum or he would stay a pure mage even in the last fight. It was too extreme to be worth it (especially that the Kensai was weaker then a Gnome F/I), so I too have some limits, but in BG1 it's way easier because you can spend 1 hour (realtime) on sirens and get like 300 000 XP.
    Summing this up, I totally agree that this party would be way harder through most of the game to get only little more top-end power, but that's fine for me.


    Another advantage of a gnomish F/I over human would be way better saving throws, so I'm not sure, it might actually be better. Easier - there's no doubt about it.

    As to making the pure fighters multiclass - they would loose 2 THAC0 and 2 Dmg for not being able to put 4 stars in bows. Making them F/T would increase their generic THAC0 by 1 or 2 points and for both HTH and distance action, but IMO that 2 DMG is worth more. Obviously, they would get thieving skills too, but I don't like sneaking my way, especially when I just destroy enemies anyway. Always preferred Quake over Counter Strike ;).

    So for some playing styles definitely dualling them would work better and if I were to create a PvP party, that one would certainly be different, but as I see things now, what I described above seems to be about the most powerful party for me.
     
  13. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Hmmm... you're right about the proficiency points - that's one of those rules I never completely agreed with. If dual classed fighters can get more than two points in a weapon proficiency, why can't multi-classed fighters do the same? I also thought it wasn't necessary to limit rangers and paladins to two proficiency points, as they are primarily fighters with no access to spells at all until they hit level 8 or 9. I do not think giving them access to more than two points would be overpowered, because they are already penalized by requiring more XPs to level, and thus it's likely that a high level fighter would have earned more proficiency points than a paladin or ranger with identical experience.

    Out of curiosity, what do you do from the point you dual class your thief at level 6, until you regain your thief abilities when you hit mage level 7? (Btw, I do agree with that strategy, as you still get your mage to level 9, and that's well worth it for the addition of 5th level mage spells.)

    I have rather strong opinions on whether or not to dual and multi-class as well. In BG1/TotSC, I prefer multi-classing, just because in BG1, multi-classed characters only tend to lag one level behind their single-classed counterparts, and there's never a point where you can't use both sets of skills.

    In BG2 without ToB, I favor dual classing, as at that point multi-classed characters start lagging more than one level behind after reaching level 9. However, if you have ToB, I think the balance shifts back to multi-classing, as you get two sets of HLAs to pick from.
     
  14. Bsisi Gems: 5/31
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    Me too. For the same reasons.
    Sirens. :)
    Though all the way to lvl 7 is boring, so I go around the place gathering cool items, reputation or otherwise binding my time. Last time I played, I left the sirens just after getting lvl 6, so I got 2/3 of what I needed this way. While wandering around I missed having a thief just once and only slightly, in Ulcaster there were 2 or 3 traps shooting fireballs. But after all, what is protection from fire for?

    When it comes to general rules as to when I prefer dual or multiclassing, I don't have any. I have little experience with them, almost all my ways through the games (especially BG1) were with different single class fighters. Now I'm learning what works and what doesn't, sometimes it's not obvious like the various R/C bonuses or gnome F/I who starts getting HLAs after the total of ~3 mln XP or 1.5 mln/class, which gives him more GWWs then he can use.
     
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