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Question about gameplay

I would first like to state that I am very new to Baldur's Gate and DnD in general (still getting used to the basics of armor and such) and I have a few questions. I have noticed (this is probably true for DnD in general) that instagibbing is a problem. Right now my party is a Level 3 Sorcerer; Level 3 Khalid and Jaheira; Level 3 Imoen; Level 3 Rassad; and a level 3 Minsc. Now I realize this is not really high but instant death is pretty annoying. My Khalid has a armor rating (I forked over the money for a Plate Mail) of 0 and gets instagibbed by Bears and small packs of ranged units. This results in me "save scumming" and resting nonstop. It almost feels like I am making no progress at all.

I have gotten advice to use Ajantis in place of Khalid and when I rescue Dynahier to replace both Khalid and Jaheira and then replace Rassad with Yeslick. With my ending party of a Sorcerer, Paladin, Thief, 2h Warrior, Clerk, and Invoker.

My questions are; Do you think this is a good plan for a party that is balanced and can go to BG2? Is instant gibbing just a part of life or does anyone have any tips on combat?

Comments

  • MitchforkMitchfork Member Posts: 390
    First off I gotta make sure- check your difficulty slider in the options menu. If you've got it turned up, enemies will do way more damage. Make sure it's on Core or Normal for an easier experience.

    Your party is generally just going to be squishy in the first part of this game, though. One of the things about this ruleset is that HP outstrips damage as you grow closer to level 10- at level one a fighter might be doing 15 damage max and have 14 HP, so OHKO's are definitely a possibility. Once you get up to around level seven, though, your HP is closer to 60 (with random rolls) and your damage has only gone up to 20, so there's a huge jump in survivability. The game does even out eventually, but this is going to depend on your party composition and the luck of the dice if you're playing on Core or higher.

    Another thing to note is that your armor class doesn't affect how much damage you take. Khalid in plate mail takes the same amount of damage as Khalid in leather armor. Your armor class determines how hard it is to actually hit you, though, so plate mail Khalid gets hit a lot less.

    That endgame party is pretty good and covers all of your essential bases. Two pure arcane casters (your Sorcerer and Dynaheir) is maybe a bit overkill for the first game but it's definitely workable. Good luck making smart spell picks on your Sorc.

  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    edited January 2014

    Is instant gibbing just a part of life or does anyone have any tips on combat?

    Keep in mind that you're working with very low level characters, it won't take much to kill them. As you level up they'll get more hitpoints and be able to defeat their enemies better, so they'll have a better chance of surviving. Once you get to BG2, you won't see your team members getting insta-killed, they'll have to take some sustained damage from a tough opponent to take them down.

    Post edited by Belanos on
  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,307
    Use missile weapons for bg1, they're incredibly powerful and keep you out of trouble.

    jackjackbooinyoureyes
  • victory_rosevictory_rose Member Posts: 72
    For the first few levels, you sometimes have to resort to equipping all but one character with missile weapons and then having the enemy chase one character in circles while the rest just pummel him to death. Strategy is also very helpful, using terrain/environment to your advantage (e.g. bottle-necking the enemy so only one or two at a time can damage you). If you can, lure the enemy to you one by one. Even then, sometime a lucky hit from the enemy can insta-kill you. Still, life (as in playing) should definitely become easier around level 5-6. :)

    booinyoureyes
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    You probably should have posted on the New Players section to avoid spoilers... but here's a few points in addition to the most important advice those before me have already mentioned (use ranged weapons, the bow/crossbow/sling is king in BG 1).

    1) There is such a thing as a 'canon' party in BG 1. If you want the beginning to BG 2 to be more significant/sensible from a storyline/roleplay perspective, I recommend that you use it. It consists of Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, Minsc and Dynaheir.

    2) You can take your main character into BG 2, but not your party. You will meet most of them again in BG 2 under various circumstances, and be able to re-recruit them, but your decisions with them in BG 1 doesn't affect how/if they show up in BG 2. For example if u killed an NPC in BG 1, u can still run into him/her in BG 2, and the game reconciles this by giving u the conversations that range from (paraphrasing) "My dear! How I've missed u!" to "What?! I thought I killed you already!".

    3) If you imagine a road running from the Friendly Arm Inn to Nashkel, the further you go from the road, the more difficult the area is. You might just be struggling cos u are tackling stuff you are not ready for. Major exception to this rule is the Southwest corner and the Gnoll Stronghold, which is easy.

    4) Sorcerers are very powerful... but not so much in BG 1, especially the early game. Also if u really aren't very experienced, it's not the best idea to begin with a sorcerer, cos u will have a fairly small pool of spells, and need to pick wisely. That said there are guides on how to use sorcerers, so it isn't impossible, but generally mages are better for a beginner cos it allows u to try out all sorts of different spells and then settle on a style you like.

    booinyoureyes
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    It's worth making sure that everyone who can has a helmet on - they make you immune to critical hits.

    With regards to armour, as has been said it reduces the chance of being hit rather than the damage from the hit. A combination of platemail, a helmet and a shield is a decent set of gear for a low-level tank, to be upgraded and supplemented as you adventure. There are several rings, necklaces and cloaks that give AC bonuses. It's not obvious but high Dexterity is one of the best stats for a tank - each point above 14 gives you an Armour Class bonus up to level 18.

    Setting your difficulty to Normal may also help. This reduces the damage you take slightly, but importantly means you get maximum HP on each level up. More HP = less chance to get 1-shotted.

    Oddly, Baldur's Gate 1 is a lot easier with 1 very well equipped tank than a number of average ones. If you concentrate all your best gear on your main tank and send them in a few seconds before the rest of the party you'll notice a difference.

    Some of the best ways to reduce the damage you take early on are effective crowd control. There are a number of spells (Sleep, Glitterdust, Slow and Chaos for Mages. Command and Hold Person for Clerics) that stop your enemies hitting you effectively. Sleep and Hold person are very effective at low levels, and can turn a tricky fight into a cakewalk.

    Also - Bears and Ogres can ruin your day early on. Avoid them until you're level 4 and have decent gear.

  • KusarigamaKusarigama Member Posts: 3
    Corvino said:



    Oddly, Baldur's Gate 1 is a lot easier with 1 very well equipped tank than a number of average ones. If you concentrate all your best gear on your main tank and send them in a few seconds before the rest of the party you'll notice a difference.

    Some of the best ways to reduce the damage you take early on are effective crowd control. There are a number of spells (Sleep, Glitterdust, Slow and Chaos for Mages. Command and Hold Person for Clerics) that stop your enemies hitting you effectively. Sleep and Hold person are very effective at low levels, and can turn a tricky fight into a cakewalk.

    I do not mind spoilers, mainly because the party I was talking about before was suggested by one of my friends who beat this game years ago. He also recommended that I stay away from melee class because he said it would be too easy for me. I am assuming now he wanted me to suffer a bit :P. I also started with Sleep and Mirror Image for my starting spells (do not really know if I should have taken Mirror Image) but my goal is to keep my character mainly as a enfeebler and pick up damage spells as needed. The stacking the tank has helped a little and I am managing now... well except for those pesky mages which I will have to learn to deal with. Thanks for the help!

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    Hey man! You're problem is very common. The beginning of the game is tough since your hit points are so low. Best way to survive is to avoid too much melee by using ranged weapons and spells. Sleep is great at early levels (and completely and utterly useless at higher levels). Also look at using Jaheira for the entangle spell and try using the level two spell Web (but away from your own party members). These will make your enemies immobile, so you can just shoot them from a distance while pointing and laughing at how useless they are. It is incredibly effective in this game.

    What I'm surprised no one has asked so far is where you are. Baldur's Gate is a very open game, but some areas are meant to be traveled by higher level parties (do NOT go north of the Friendly Arm's Inn before you are all at least! level 4). Also, you'd be surprised how dangerous a bear is! It's kind of counter-intuitive but one bear is scarier than maybe 5 xvarts, honestly. (one bear in particular is actually the boss of some xvarts!)

    Also, as Corvino said, make sure everyone who can where a helmet does. At low levels critical hits are basically instant-kills. Basically deck out one character with amazing equipment to get the best AC possible (someone who has high dexterity and can still where plate mail.... Khalid is a good bet, plus he has high constitution) and have them serve as a "tank". Basically the guy who gets beaten up while everyone else kills the bad guys.

    Also... do NOT under ANY circumstances let your sorcerer, Imoen or Dynaheir into combat. They will die. That is not what they were meant for.

    Best of luck!

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    If you started with Reflected Image then it's an okay spell, but the level 2 version - Mirror Image - is much better.

    Mages and Sorcerers become pretty hard to kill once they get hold of Mirror Image and Stoneskin. Fighter/Mage dual or multiclasses are some of the toughest in the game by using this combination and a couple of armour spells.

    jackjack
  • victory_rosevictory_rose Member Posts: 72
    Bears can be super difficult and annoying at low levels - as far as I know, they're the only type of enemy that goes consistently after the first person they see, and nothing seems to be able to distract them from that. If they first see your mage, they will pursue him/her and insta-kill if you're not quick enough to run away and/or in big enough circles until the rest of the group manages to kill them. At least the ogres don't care and will just whack at the nearest enemy, so your main tank can move in for the kill and save the day. :)

  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    edited January 2014

    I also started with Sleep and Mirror Image for my starting spells (do not really know if I should have taken Mirror Image) but my goal is to keep my character mainly as a enfeebler and pick up damage spells as needed.

    If you're playing as a Sorcerer, Sleep is a poor choice. They only get a very limited pool of spells to work with, and Sleep quickly becomes useless as you come across higher level enemies. At least Wizards have a wide variety of spells in their books they can memorize on the fly, but not so Sorcerers. It's not really a recommended class to play if you're new to these games, as it's easy to end up with a bunch of useless spells later on if you don't understand how magic works. If you want to try a caster type, you should start with a regular Wizard. A good compromise class to start with would be a Cleric, or even a Druid. They can engage in both melee and spell-casting so you'll get a good chance to learn how both things work in these games.

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,248
    I know I didn't go out fighting bears when I was 20.

    abacusbooinyoureyesCorvino
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    But what about your rite of manhood @jackjack? Don't tell me you spent a year in the Peace Corps instead.

  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,052
    Don't mess with bears in melee. Regardless of AC they will always seem to get a big hit in on you.

    jackjack
  • KusarigamaKusarigama Member Posts: 3
    Belanos said:

    I also started with Sleep and Mirror Image for my starting spells (do not really know if I should have taken Mirror Image) but my goal is to keep my character mainly as a enfeebler and pick up damage spells as needed.

    If you're playing as a Sorcerer, Sleep is a poor choice. They only get a very limited pool of spells to work with, and Sleep quickly becomes useless as you come across higher level enemies. At least Wizards have a wide variety of spells in their books they can memorize on the fly, but not so Sorcerers. It's not really a recommended class to play if you're new to these games, as it's easy to end up with a bunch of useless spells later on if you don't understand how magic works. If you want to try a caster type, you should start with a regular Wizard. A good compromise class to start with would be a Cleric, or even a Druid. They can engage in both melee and spell-casting so you'll get a good chance to learn how both things work in these games.

    As I stated in my second post, I chose a Mage class because my friend stated a melee character would be too easy in this game. I then had a choice between a Wizard which I took a quick glance at the wiki and seen there are numerous Wizards in BG. I then seen that there are not very many good Sorcerers and they have a set amount of spells per day (I was thinking simplicity instead of scribing everything) so I picked one up. I do not know if anyone could answer this is Dragon Disciple any good? It seems like a melee sorcerer and I was thinking of doing my second run with one when I eventually beat this one.

    Update: I am doing very well now and Ajantis is tanking really well and things are just falling into place. I would like to thank everyone for the advice because I probably would have quit out of frustration without it.

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Dragon Disciple plays very similar to a sorcerer. It is a little bit tougher, but has fewer spells, so overall a bad trade-off. With the right protections he can be tanky like any mage, but it's not a warrior class, so he won't do a lot of damage via melee.

    If u want a mage that can fight well in melee, use a fighter/mage multi-class or Kensai=>Mage dual-class.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    Corvino said:

    It's worth making sure that everyone who can has a helmet on - they make you immune to critical hits.

    With regards to armour, as has been said it reduces the chance of being hit rather than the damage from the hit. A combination of platemail, a helmet and a shield is a decent set of gear for a low-level tank, to be upgraded and supplemented as you adventure. There are several rings, necklaces and cloaks that give AC bonuses. It's not obvious but high Dexterity is one of the best stats for a tank - each point above 14 gives you an Armour Class bonus up to level 18.

    Setting your difficulty to Normal may also help. This reduces the damage you take slightly, but importantly means you get maximum HP on each level up. More HP = less chance to get 1-shotted.

    Oddly, Baldur's Gate 1 is a lot easier with 1 very well equipped tank than a number of average ones. If you concentrate all your best gear on your main tank and send them in a few seconds before the rest of the party you'll notice a difference.

    Some of the best ways to reduce the damage you take early on are effective crowd control. There are a number of spells (Sleep, Glitterdust, Slow and Chaos for Mages. Command and Hold Person for Clerics) that stop your enemies hitting you effectively. Sleep and Hold person are very effective at low levels, and can turn a tricky fight into a cakewalk.

    Also - Bears and Ogres can ruin your day early on. Avoid them until you're level 4 and have decent gear.

    lol yeah I beat a no reload game using a -9 AC kagain. even sarevok had trouble connecting :)

    anyway, your group looked fine tbh. i usually have jaheira, khalid, imoen and Minsc in my party, with a random NPC and whatever my charname is. khalid is actually a great tank for me weilding varscona and manage to keep up with me. jaheira has the healing you would need, minsc is a great dps character, and Imoen has all the thieving you need. companions depend mostly on how the player uses them. @heindrich1988 says Jaheira is useless in BG2 with 4% kills while my Jaheira on my current game has 14% of the kills, behind my OP charname and Minsc (and that is to be expected). many complain about khalid but I've seen him doing better than Minsc before as well as being the tank. i say use who you find interesting and look at their strengths. i also must admit those were bad spell choices, and you could have used a guide. sleep is only really effective in the beginning, but worthless late BG1 and throughout BG2. reflect image is then a much better mirror image at level 2 and would have been a better pick. sorcerors are more of a character for the experienced, while mages allow you to pretty much scribe anything and have it available when you need it with a rest.

    the game will be hard to start, but the experience will be rewarding. don't forget to keep healed, as being gibbed is just when you suffer so much damage beyond death. if you are healed there are more points keeping them alive and potentially not gibbed so they can be revived. there are some mods that reduce gib chance but all I know is SCS and that is a difficulty mod mostly and would not be recommended on a first game because of that.

    good luck :)

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    @ChildofBhaal599 - I don't see anyone criticising Jahiera in BG2 in this thread.

    If anything I'd say she's weak in BG1 and gets a substantial upgrade in BG2. In BG1 her spell selection flat-out sucks and her stats are lacklustre. With level 5 Spells and her stat improvements in BG2 she becomes a very solid tank and a more valuable party member.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    Corvino said:

    @ChildofBhaal599 - I don't see anyone criticising Jahiera in BG2 in this thread.

    If anything I'd say she's weak in BG1 and gets a substantial upgrade in BG2. In BG1 her spell selection flat-out sucks and her stats are lacklustre. With level 5 Spells and her stat improvements in BG2 she becomes a very solid tank and a more valuable party member.

    was just making a point of the party recommendations and that you could use anybody, so long as you know how. not being specific to her. like replacing khalid for ajantis but if he wanted khalid but thought he wasn't doing good there are ways to use him properly.

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,248
    Corvino said:

    But what about your rite of manhood @jackjack? Don't tell me you spent a year in the Peace Corps instead.

    Hey, I only said I didn't do it when I was 20.

    Corvino
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Corvino said:

    @ChildofBhaal599 - I don't see anyone criticising Jahiera in BG2 in this thread.

    @Corvino
    Yeah he was just referring to how I use Jaheira badly. :D Although in my defence, I don't think I called her 'useless'.

    I refused to use her as shield and scimitar (for roleplay reasons), so she was kinda squishy, and I generally kept her safely at the back with the girls (Imoen and Aerie) to protect them if enemies got past Charname, Anomen and Minsc.

    Until fairly recently, when Jaheira suddenly got White Dragon Scale, Staff of the Ram +6 and OP spells like Insect Plague and Creeping Doom, I didn't use her in much of an offensive role.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781

    Corvino said:

    @ChildofBhaal599 - I don't see anyone criticising Jahiera in BG2 in this thread.

    @Corvino
    Yeah he was just referring to how I use Jaheira badly. :D Although in my defence, I don't think I called her 'useless'.

    I refused to use her as shield and scimitar (for roleplay reasons), so she was kinda squishy, and I generally kept her safely at the back with the girls (Imoen and Aerie) to protect them if enemies got past Charname, Anomen and Minsc.

    Until fairly recently, when Jaheira suddenly got White Dragon Scale, Staff of the Ram +6 and OP spells like Insect Plague and Creeping Doom, I didn't use her in much of an offensive role.
    sorry not useless but ineffective :)

    it is a point, still, in using the party right making almost any character strong. i don't know how many khalid threads i've seen and then I look at his stats and he is the best NPC I have :)

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    I've currently got Jaheira dual-wielding Scimitars (Spectral Brand & Belm) and she's a pretty solid wrecking machine. Cast Iron Skins and she's also one of my more durable frontliners - moreso than Mr. TOB.

    jackjack
  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,307
    jackjack said:

    Corvino said:

    But what about your rite of manhood @jackjack? Don't tell me you spent a year in the Peace Corps instead.

    Hey, I only said I didn't do it when I was 20.
    Clearly a late bloomer…

    jackjack
  • TheZodiakTheZodiak Member Posts: 33
    Why would you pick up Ajantis, Dynaheir and replace Khalid, Jaheira? You get zero advantage. I would recommend to replace Rasaad asap. Pick up Dorn. Best NPC in BG1 by far!

    So you get Khalid, Dorn (Frontline) / Minsc, Imoen (Ranged) / Jaheira, You (Utility)

    You can also mix things up i.e. use Minsc as a third Frontline or Jaheira. You don't need a second mage for BG1, especially when you are a sorceror. Mages are weak early levels and BG1 is early game.

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