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Survivable mage tips.



  • FlashheartFlashheart Member Posts: 125
    There's a bit of advice regarding the use of level 3 and level 4 spells. Usually by this time, a player has learnt how to play a mage.

    The trickiest time for a mage is the initial level 1 with 0 XP - and here's where the 'tips' are few and far between. They have only one spell at their disposal...unless they're a specialist mage (and I recommend one to get the extra spell slot). They also struggle to 'hit' their enemies. It is indeed an impossible situation for a starting mage.

    My spell tips for a budding mage:

    The Armor spell is cumulative with Dexterity. I put the Dexterity stat high on the list for a new mage (a DEX of 18 gives a base AC of 6). Coupled with Armor, that gives an AC of 2. Enough to survive the early encounters (barring bad luck).

    The Shield spell lasts 5 turns (5 minutes real time) and is also cumulative with Dexterity. Shield sets AC to 4 and with DEX 18 can set AC to 0 (-2 against missiles). This spell helps better against bad luck.

    Because the Mage only has 4 Hit Points at level 1 (barring Constitution bonuses), he is in serious one-shot danger. Larloch's Minor Drain is an oft overlooked spell by many, but not by the smart mages. Larloch's will give an extra 4 HP (always and instantly) and hurts the enemy by 4. This means that in most early battles, instead of the mage having to 'hit twice' and his enemy only having to 'hit' once, he turns these tables - the mage only has to hit once and his enemy has to hit twice. With dice rolls, this is a huge advantage. Note that early on (prior to mage level 3), Larloch's is superior to Magic Missile. If you cast Larloch's twice at the enemy, you'll gain 8 points.

    The Sleep spell is an excellent spell, but you can't trust it to save your Mage, it's advisable to cast this from behind the lines of your fighters. It'll help them tremendously against multiple enemies.

    The Blindness spell can save you against an enemy who is targeting your mage. By blinding them and then moving your mage, the enemy will 'lose' you. The enemy can then be targeted at range without fear of retaliation. This is useful against those enemies who 'hit hard' like Ogres. Like Sleep, it's not foolproof.

    I tend to choose a Conjurer, I memorize Armor (and cast it straight away) and Larloch's initially. When I have some companions I try and memorize Sleep and Blindness...and keep out of harm's way. Once your Mage gets to level 3 (and gains two level 2 spell casts), with Invisibility and Mirror Image, your Mage is well on the way to having good survivability.

  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    @Flashheart That's really good. I tend to agree.

    Be a specialist mage (not as important in a multiplayer game where you have other people to help right at the start) though I tend to favor the Wild Mage.

    One thing, in BG:EE you can start with the Find Familiar spell. This is a big help because you get extra HP plus a little magical buddy to lend some aid. Different familiars do different things so learn what yours does before throwing him at a gibberling's face.

    There's also the Ring of Wizardry outside the Friendly Arms Inn. This is a huge benefit, especially starting out.

  • FlashheartFlashheart Member Posts: 125
    Yeah, Find Familiar is very useful. I overlooked it (original BG1 player mindset perhaps). ;)

    Thanks for mentioning the Ring of Wizardry (double slots for level 1 spells). It's a 'must get' item.

  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780
    zur312 said:

    CaptRory said:

    @Necomancer How much does a Necomancer go for? Did we earn a commission? hehehe~

    All the bard kits are pretty good. Even the plain vanilla bard, which is usually considered the weakest, is plenty useful. So you can't really pick wrong hehe.

    this is so funny
    in bg1 bards level faster than mages
    can backstab (need invisibility)
    that is so weak of them ; D

    Bards shouldn't be able to backstab.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited May 2013
    Bards can't backstab. (they'ed be the strongest single class in the game if they could...well..more so then they already are).

    While they do require you to actually READ and understand what the effects of spells do, as well as knowing what you require for the whole saga, Sorcerers can be the most versatile casters, since they don't memorize spells...just get a set amount of casts per spell level that can be any combination of casts of any spells for that spell level, and with careful picks, can cover all possible situations. They also don't have to wait for spell scrolls to fall in their lap to learn new spells. But if you choose poorly, it'll can come back to Bite you HARD in the sequel or even late BG. (sleep sucks since it's a waste of slot in BG2 (just focus on getting the wand of sleep from High Hedge asap, or the free wand of fire)...MM should be chosen last, if at all, never learn find familiar, you should only ever have to cast it once)

    Bards get fewer spell casts, but can learn from scrolls and erase (but you have to know roughly want spells to memorize), as well as much better weapon and thac0, so they have a better showing then they aren't casting.

    It's hard to say.....I'm a bit biased towards mages..but BG sucks for Mages, due to how limited of scope it's encounters are, making the sorcerer simply better.

  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780
    I fully agree, ZK. I have never used more than 6 spells per spell level in BG2 anyway.

    If you want a single classed spellchucker, go with Sorcerer.

    BTW, where is this early wand of Fire? The Wand of Frost is always the first I find. I must be missing this one. TIA

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    There's a free one in the Ankheg lair...just need 2 potions of invis to get it (one on Jaheria, and one in a Mansion in beregost, same house as the wand of lightning). 50 charges, also some nice darts, a suit of ok armor, and some other stuff.

  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780

    There's a free one in the Ankheg lair...just need 2 potions of invis to get it (one on Jaheria, and one in a Mansion in beregost, same house as the wand of lightning). 50 charges, also some nice darts, a suit of ok armor, and some other stuff.

    can you save me a little time and tell me which house in Beregost that is?

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    The big mansion, near where Neera joins. 2nd floor.

  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780
  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    Well... Mages having 1d4+Con modifier HP at level 1 should be an idication they do not belong anywhere near enemies that can attempt to hit them... I think the best defenses a lvl 1 mage can get are on an elf mage... At 6 HP and 6 AC, without armor/shield spells... The idea is mostly for the mage to stand back and throw darts and spells (magic missile) until they get enough health to not be gibbed upon touch.

  • dementeddemented Member Posts: 388
    Arm them with a dagger and then run into battle naked. That's the only way to play a mage. None of that high falutin magic stuff.

  • DjimmyDjimmy Member Posts: 749
    Mirror Image + Stone Skin

  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    Cast Mom's Impenetrable Plastic Bubble then never leave Candlekeep! XD

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    Also, equip an ioun stone as soon as you can find/afford one. Doesn't matter what bonus it gives, it's a helmet that your mage can wear, so you'll be immune to crits. Even if the description says it does literally nothing, anything that goes in the head slot will make you immune to crits, and therefore much less likely to get one-shotted.

  • TyranusTyranus Member Posts: 268
    Remember to use your wands and potions. You only memorize 4 of the really useful spells, so you may as well use those Wands of Fire to do the job of holding all your Fireball and Scorcher slots while you fill up on Slows, Melfs Minute Meteors, and Spell Thrusts.

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