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New BG player wanting some advice

Hey guys

I somehow missed this great masterpiece RPG as I was playing games in my youth. Im 30 years old, and played many other old school games such as Diablo, Warcraft, Legend of Zelda etc

I love dragon age and and mass effect, have finished those around 3-4 times

So ive just started playing this game. I was wondering If anyone could help me with a couple of things
Ive heard this is a hard game so I put the difficulty on easy, just to learn this

I cannot work out how to identify my own items. I had to pay about 300g from the merchant

Also whats the easiest class and alignment to choose from for a brand new player

BelgarathMTHRnRClown
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Comments

  • Time4TiddyTime4Tiddy Member Posts: 262
    Identify is based on the Lore skill you see in your character stats. Bards get 10 Lore per level, Mages and Thieves get 3 Lore per level, all other classes get 1 Lore per level. You get a one-time Lore bonus for having a high intelligence or a high wisdom (or both, stacking), and you get a Lore penalty for intelligence or wisdom under 10. Basically, any magic item will correspond to a certain Lore skill - Arrows +1 or Dagger +1 might need a Lore in the low 20s, while a cursed item could need a Lore of 80-90. By the end of the game, your mages and thieves will be able to identify most generic magic items, while only a bard will be identifying named items and cursed items. When you see the item with the blue background, you just need to right click to open the description and if your Lore is high enough, it will tell you what it is.

    Usually I just give all the magic items to whichever party member has the highest Lore. Imoen does a pretty good job between being a thief and having high intelligence, but she won't be able to identify even +1 arrows until level 4 or 5.

    Other options: You can cast the Identify spell, a level 1 mage spell. Any mage other than a Conjurer, and all bards can learn and cast this spell. This is good if you have a lot of open spell slots, later in the game I will have a mage with 2-3 Identify spells available, if I don't have a bard.

    Paying to have items identified is not really too bad - almost every magic item is worth more than the 100 gold you'll pay, so if it turns out to be a generic +1 weapon, you can recoup the cost.

    Also, don't ever equip random items that are not identified, there are a LOT of cursed items in this game. Typically arrrows, bolts and bullets are okay, you can use them and they are pretty much all bonused missiles.

    BelgarathMTHRnRClown
  • Time4TiddyTime4Tiddy Member Posts: 262
    edited November 2013
    As far as easiest class/alignment - the game is MUCH easier if you play as lawful good, you will get high rep which gives rep bonuses and lower costs in shops. Playing as evil is very hard because shop prices are high (or may not even sell to you) and you may spawn guards to attack you on sight.

    Clerics are solid for your main character, they can get heavy armor and shields along with healing spells. Cleric/fighters (multi-class, must play non-human) are even easier because they can get proficient in weapons to do more damage and get more hit points, and Ranger/clerics (multi-class, must play half-elf) are probably the hands-down easiest/best class for a brand new player. The swashbuckler (type of thief) is another solid class for a new player because you get all the thief abilities for disarming traps and opening locks, but still have really good armor class and damage. Swashbucklers can't backstab, but that is a skill that takes some learning anyway, if you are new.

    The good thing is that you'll get lots of companions to help along the way and you'll find that any class you are interested in, there is probably a companion who will let you experience it.

    BelgarathMTH
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    I'll add in that one merchant in the Nashkel Carnival identifies stuff for 75 gold rather than 100gp. So, if you want to get someone to IDs tuff easily, either pick up Garrick in Beregost and keep him alive through the game, or pick up Dynaheir in the Gnoll Fortress (along with Minsc, as you cannot get one without the other). And get her to learn the identify spell (I don't remember offhand if she comes with it or not). And if you pick up the ring under the tree outside the Friendly Arm Inn- and let her equip it, It doubles the number of first level spells you get.

    Time4TiddyCrevsDaakBelgarathMTH
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    THanks guys

    Just another thing about some of your experiences. Were you like me when you very first played baldurs gate? Were you overwhelmed and felt a bit lost in the game?

    Thats how I feel right now but I only just started. I like these sort of games so you always get satisifaction when you learn something or master something for a long time

    BelgarathMTH
  • XagygXagyg Member Posts: 4
    Drekko said:

    THanks guys

    Just another thing about some of your experiences. Were you like me when you very first played baldurs gate? Were you overwhelmed and felt a bit lost in the game?

    Thats how I feel right now but I only just started. I like these sort of games so you always get satisifaction when you learn something or master something for a long time

    Hi Drekko, I think one issue with games like BG is the learning curve is pretty steep. If you don't come from an RPG background or even have any knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons it can be a bit baffling.

    Many modern games tend to hold your hand to get you going whereas in BG most things just try to chop your hands off!

    I can only say take your time, talk to as many people as you can in the game and follow side quests to gain valuable experience, the game will eventually point you in the right direction to advance.

    Hope this helps and have fun on the way :)


    BelgarathMTH
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    As a new player you really can't go wrong with a fighter.

    Learn the importance of the Quicksave (mapped to the 'Q' key). You won't regret it.

    Don't worry about feeling too lost, you can't go wrong with following the questline and doing some sideline exploring. Once you gain a few levels under your belt you can then branch out and explore a few more areas.

    Don't forget to quicksave.

    StoneSwordsBelgarathMTHRnRClown
  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    Drekko said:

    THanks guys

    Just another thing about some of your experiences. Were you like me when you very first played baldurs gate? Were you overwhelmed and felt a bit lost in the game?

    Thats how I feel right now but I only just started. I like these sort of games so you always get satisifaction when you learn something or master something for a long time

    This is exactly how I felt when I first played all those years ago - didn't know how to properly build a character, didn't know where to go, didn't know how to take down enemy mages, etc. I say embrace the fact that the world feels overwhelming, because in the context of the story that's probably how your character feels from a roleplaying standpoint. And even if you don't start to get the hang of it until level 4 or so (it is totally normal to die many times before then), I can promise that you *will* have fun no matter what difficulty you choose as long as you focus on/invest in the story.

    Also, remember that BG1 and BG2 are very different games in terms of narrative. They both have a good story, but it isn't until BG2 that the character interactions start to blow modern games out of the water.

    As far as picking a character, choose what sounds like the most fun and don't worry about it (just make sure to max out the class' primary stat and throw a fair amount into dexterity). On easy difficulty and with a full party, you should have no trouble beating the game :)

    If you want to research the available classes a little bit before you pick one, there are plenty of strategy and class guides out there.

    BelgarathMTH
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    I remember dying a lot in BG1. I was coming off the whole SSI Gold Box games, so I was familiar with the conventions of Computer RPGs, and I'd been playing D&D/AD&D since 1977/78, so I was pretty familiar with those, too. But I expected the game to be like a pen and paper RPG, where the GM will generally baby you a bit by not throwing anything too difficult at you for a while. Yeah, that notion was quickly sunk. But I loved the game, especially the NPCs. (Minsc was a perennial favorite, as was Imoen.) I didn't get BG2 for a good bit, and never got around to playing the expanded stuff from BG1, because I was going to do it after I killed Sarevok, not realizing that killing Sarevok was the end of the game. So, I tried to do it before the end and got killed by Battle Horrors and Doom Guards traveling from where Erdane the merchant is to the Courtyard, and I got frustrated and left. Never went to Ulgoth's Beard.

    CrevsDaakBelgarathMTH
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Drekko said:

    THanks guys

    Just another thing about some of your experiences. Were you like me when you very first played baldurs gate? Were you overwhelmed and felt a bit lost in the game?

    Thats how I feel right now but I only just started. I like these sort of games so you always get satisifaction when you learn something or master something for a long time

    I know exactly how you feel. Actually about 200 hrs into my BG and BG 2 experience (STILL haven't finished BG 2 yet), I am still learning new things all the time, and after a 3 month break, I feel like a noobie again!

    It can be daunting, sometimes frustrating, but trust me it is all for the better. BG 1, especially at the very start, can seem very unforgiving, but as you progress you will find that there are infinitely paths to victory, and discovering them is all part of the fun.

    I will just say that you should keep Imoen with you, and improve her Detect Traps each time she levels up until she has 100 in that skill... you're gonna need a good trap finder/disarmer... trust me.

    CrevsDaakBelgarathMTH
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,081
    To start you should go Good, its always easier in BG1 to be good for the first time. The best class to play BG1 may be Mage or Fighter, depending on the NPC that you got along in your party. Bards are fine, and Multi-Class rocks, Dual-Class is a real cheese. If you search in the internet, there are a lot of guides regarding the best PC you can make.

    BelgarathMTH
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    edited November 2013
    MMm Well Ive always been the melee tough guy in any RPG, so maybe I will start again and pick Fighter

    Also I might add, that my first DnD style RPG was Dragon Age Origins, and played and finish that 3-4 times I think.. Loved it. Cant wait for Dragon age 3, but I hope that has the top down view option again to play like classic DnD style

    The other old school RPGs I played were Diablo, and the original Legend of Zelda's ( if you call that an RPG, but it could be action/adventure more so)

    BelgarathMTH
  • Time4TiddyTime4Tiddy Member Posts: 262
    Drekko said:


    Just another thing about some of your experiences. Were you like me when you very first played baldurs gate? Were you overwhelmed and felt a bit lost in the game?

    I had played all the gold box AD&D games in the 80s and early 90s, and I still felt that the game was SO hard when I first started it. I died all the time to wolves and bandits but for some reason I never got discouraged.

    A few simple tricks - put the party member with the most hp/lowest AC in front and make sure they are the one opening the "fog of war" - they will automatically pull arrow fire from hidden enemies. If you are the leader and you have low hp, you can be killed with one arrow for the first few chapters.

    Second, give ALL of your party members some kind of ranged weapon, at least through chapter 2. Most of the time you can burn down a horde of gibberlings or dread wolf before it can even reach you if you have six ranged attackers.

    I suggested before that fighter/cleric or ranger/cleric is the easiest starter class. I'm going to back-pedal a bit on that now, as I think the slower leveling and learning which spells do what may take some getting used to. Those are the easiest classes for an experienced player to play. :)

    I encourage swashbuckler - you will level really really fast, so you'll get hit points quickly. You can stealth so that you can lead w/o immediately taking arrow fire. You can open the chests to get more money and loot faster. And you are basically a fighter who can run right up and just start swinging or can sit back and shoot arrows.

    Definitely swashbuckler for first play through - and give yourself 15 or 16 constitution.

    BelgarathMTHRnRClown
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Oh another thing I found very different between Baldur's Gate and other games is the value of scouting ahead. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it is very prudent to scout ahead with a thief in stealth mode or a caster with invisibility, to detect traps and identify threats before the entire party stumbles into it.

    Most encounters will turn out very differently if you can spring an ambush on your enemy, compared to the other way around. For example... Imoen spots gang of hostile assassins, Dynaheir throws Web at them, and Neera throws a Fireball and then everyone unloads with arrows, bullets etc... A potentially dangerous enemy group dead/crippled before they knew what hit em'...

    BelgarathMTHRnRClown
  • Time4TiddyTime4Tiddy Member Posts: 262
    Yes! Great advice @Heindrich1988

    Another trick is sending summons to those out-of-view enemies to draw their attention. Your stealthed thief can just sit there while your mage summons up a bunch of kobolds or gnolls (or your cleric some skeletons!) and send them into enemy group. Once they are distracted by your monsters, you can bring your party in to clean them up.

    HeindrichBelgarathMTH
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    Thanks great advice all

    I have a couple of questions that I just remembered

    With AC, you mentioned stick the guy with the lowest AC at the front? So Lower the AC the higher? I was confused when putting on a studded leather armor which seemed better lowered my AC, so I thought this would increase my AC

    Also with spells, where do you find them? In dragon age you had a set of spells you could unlock as you leveled up. But I dont see in BG where I can learn them. Do you need to look and find them yourself?

    Also with the spell book, I can have say 20 spells but only use 6 or so at a time?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    BG uses the AD&D 2nd Edition rules for 'to hit' rolls, which are determined by THAC0 and AC... But basically the lower the better for both.

    Priests (Cleric and Druid) Spells are learnt automatically as a character levels up.

    Arcane Spells are learnt through Scrolls. Instead of just using an Arcane Scroll to cast whatever spell is on it, if you right click on it in your inventory, you will see the option to Write it into the character's Spellbook. Writing the scroll consumes it, but it is saved permanently in your spellbook.

    Sorcerers learn Arcane Spells naturally as they level up and don't need to learn scrolls, and you can choose which spells they learn.

    The number of spells you can prepare between 'Resting' increases as you level up.

    In the early game, spellcasters are very weak, they are very vulnerable, their spells are weak and they only have a few to use each 'day'. Towards the end of BG 1 they become increasingly powerful. In BG 2 spellcasters are extremely powerful and pretty much dominate battles.

    BelgarathMTH
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @Drekko Lower AC is harder to hit. 10 is unarmored and with a sucky dexterity that means it's hard to dodge anything. Anything less than 10 is better, and negative numbers are harder still. At first level everyone has a THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class 0) of 20. So to hit AC10 requires only a 10. An AC2 requires an 18. Basically, subtract your AC from your THAC0 to figure out what number you need to hit.

    Spells are found on scrolls. Each mage has a slightly different version of that spell. When you attempt to learn the spell, you are seeing if you understand the formula to cast that spell (and this ability is based on your intelligence). If you understand it, you can scribe the spell into your spell book. Otherwise, you misunderstand something, and can't figure out how to make it work. You find this out as you are attempting to transcribe the spell, thus rendering the transcription useless and destroying the scroll in the process. Increasing your intelligence may temporarily enable you to figure it out, enabling you to understand the spell well enough to cast it even after the intelligence wears off.

    As for the number of spells in your memory, it's how many you can memorize at one time, not how many spells you know. Each time your mage memorizes a spell, they are memorizing all the words and gestures needed to cast the spell. When they cast it, the power they summon wipes the spell and all the words and gestures from their memory. As they gain levels, they are able to memorize increasing numbers of spells because their memory gets better, and they get more used to holding all that magical power in their minds.

    Sorcerers are a little different- in that they take the power to cast spells from the universe by persuading the universe to power their spells. The Higher level, the more persuasive they are- but the spells they "know" are locked into them in some fashion and cannot be changed. At least, that's how I see it, and also because Charisma, rather than intelligence, is their Prime Requisite.

    BelgarathMTH
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    thanks so much guys you have been a great help. So do the melee guys get to learn spells as well? Such as fighters? Do they need to find the scrolls or do they learn as they level up ?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Arcane Spells can be learnt through Scrolls (which you can find as loot and also buy from certain merchants) by Mages, Multi-classs Mages, Dual-Class Mages and Wild Mages. Bards can learn and use spells in this way too, but their magical progression is slower. I don't know if I've missed out anything else, but basically, learning spells and memorising a spellbook is mostly a Mage thing.

    I am pretty sure Sorcerors (and their Dragon Disciple kit) is the only class that can learn Arcane Spells naturally.

    So in short, no, Fighters cannot learn arcane spells, unless you dual-class into a mage. But I wouldn't recommend that in your first playthrough of BG 1.

    If you want a capable melee fighter with some magical capability, Clerics are allowed to wear armour (unlike mages) and can use all sorts of blunt weapons, and their arsenal of spells includes several self-buffing options that make them pretty handy in a scrap (Draw Upon Holy Strength).

    BelgarathMTH
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    ok so basically, if I chose a Fighter, I cannot learn spells, All I can do is melee? In Dragon Age, melee at least had special skills they unlocked, so they were sort of like spells but more so "abilities"

    Im just going through the tutorial as we speak, I actually learned a thing or two. Didnt know I had to rest to learn the spell, and didnt know I could only use 1 spell per day ( thats pretty hardcore)

    There's also a Start symbol on the very right hand side of the action bar which I previously thought they were spells to, but they seem to be different types of spells.... Maybe priest spells ?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    edited November 2013
    Fighters have no special stuff for most of the game. However, if your Charname is a fighter, he will pick up some abilities because of who he is. Those abilities have nothing to do with his class, but they do depend on his alignment.

    And yes as I said before, in the early game, mages are near useless. They have only 1 or 2 spells a day, which are weak, and they die if somebody sneezes in their general direction cos they can't wear armour. The only Charname I have used is a Fighter/Mage Multi-class... and for most of BG 1 he just fought like a weak Fighter, because I felt his limited spells were not worth taking off his armour for, which he needed for survival.

    However by the time you get to BG 2, mages learn all sorts of protection spells that mitigates their disadvantage of being unable to wear armour, and they can do... well just about anything you imagine a mage can.

    The 'Start' symbol you refer to, I think is the Abilities button, at the far right of the buttons along the bottom of your screen. For your Charname, it will be abilities he/she acquires because of... *spoilers*. For other characters, it will be related to their class or just specific to them. For example thieves learn how to set traps, Minsc can go into a Beserker mode, even though I don't think that's standard for a ranger.

    By the way, as you learn about the game, which is a good thing, be careful to avoid spoilers, and certainly stay away from walkthroughs... BG is worth the patience to work things out yourself (and of course ask questions here, it is a bit unforgiving cos it seems the developers assumed most of us are D&D players, which I am not...), and you don't want to ruin your most precious experience in the game, which is playing it for the first time!

    Oh yeah... general tip... Missile attacks (bows, crossbows, slings etc) dominate most of BG 1. Melee and Magic dominate BG 2.

    BelgarathMTH
  • ChackChack Member Posts: 23
    The different Fighter (figther, paladins and rangers) kits have different abilities that can be activated via the "star" button. These abilities are explained in the description of the class.
    In BG1, paladins and rangers are very similar to fighters, the real differences show up in BG2.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @Drekko If you thinkl only having a single spell at first level is hardcore, never play original Basic D&D. Clerics got *no* spells at first level, there were no spells for mages to protect themselves with, and a mage was essentially a glass cannon. And there were no Bracers of ACx or Bracers of Armor, either. in first edition AD&D, you were also limited as to what spells you could learn by intelligence. Only a 17 INT? Forget about 9th level spells! The minimum to become a mage was a 9 INT, and if you had the minimum, you could only learn up to 4th level spells. Yeah, it sucked. Essentially, halve your INT to see what level of spells you could cast. Oh yeah, and there was another spell that every mage needed "Read Magic", to even understand a spell!

    Clerics had the "survival"-type spells. Create Food and Water, Purify Food and Drink. They also had spells like Bless, that buffed, and Healing Spells. In fact, a lot of 1e Clerics were fighting heal-bots- they fought and they healed, and only in extreme situations did they use or need the other types of spells. I can recall one published module- A4, Aerie of the Slave Lords, where the characters have been captured, imprisoned and tortured by the Titular Slave Lords, where it is mentioned that the Slave Lords have been depriving everyone of food, water and sleep, making it impossible to rest and pray for spells- but some slip-ups have allowed your Clerics to pray for food and water, thus enabling you to live.

    CrevsDaakRnRClown
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    My friend just talked to me about the game, and we are thinking to play together through multiplayer. Can we play together through the campaign?

    Also can we control say 3 characters each

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    You can... but personally I find multiplayer in BG kinda fiddly and awkward, and in BG 2, you really miss out on the banter between your party members. In fact, for your first playthrough, I really recommend just sticking to singleplayer. In multiplayer I can imagine all sorts of things going wrong...

    CrevsDaak
  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    lol ok, well we might just give it a go and see how it feels. Also Can I connect to somoone with the standard edition of BG? I have both EE and standard but I think i prefer EE

  • KyzarinKyzarin Member Posts: 21
    Drekko said:

    lol ok, well we might just give it a go and see how it feels. Also Can I connect to somoone with the standard edition of BG? I have both EE and standard but I think i prefer EE

    You can't connect to someone running the original BG when you're running BGEE. If your friend has the original, you'll need to play the original to connect to him/her. Additionally, if you are using modifications, you'll need to make sure you both have identical copies of the game.

  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    ok thanks, its ok anyway we had some connectivity issues. Couldnt be bothered working it out. We might play LAN at work some time, for now ill just play SP

  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    As a mage levels, she will be able to memorize a greater number of spells (until there are eventually more memorized than you could ever use in most fights).

    If you're looking for a melee class but find the fighter too vanilla due to its lack of abilities early on, you might want to try a kensai (ki strike), monk (stunning blows), blade (offensive/defensive spins), or one of the paladin classes. These all have abilities that need to be activated in combat and might help spice things up for your charname. The trade-off is that some of these are quite weak at early levels.

    Of course, a fighter/mage will almost always feel engaging once you get enough levels to make it effective, but the class requires a little more familiarity with the game and might be better for a second playthrough.

  • DrekkoDrekko Member Posts: 16
    edited November 2013
    I jjust started playing, chose a Pure Half-Orc Fighter, got a roll of 90 stats. Chose LongBow, Bastered Sword, Single and double hand weapon style.. This is going to be fun

    With rings and necklaces that have no stats at all, should I just sell or keep for later ?

    Btw im amazed how nice and helpful the Baldurs Gate community are. Must be because the game is old, and we have older mature people in here :)

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