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Playing through with an unbalanced party?

I'm playing as a chaotic neutral bard who predominantly hangs out with evil chaps. My current party is Dorn, Neera, Viconia, Shar-Teel, and Imoen. The first three I want to definitely keep, but Shar-Teel is certainly replaceable (being not that interesting) and Imoen just doesn't fit with the overall party alignment (I really don't want anyone above True Neutral).

I've looked at my options, and frankly Kagain is an even more boring character than Shar-Teel and is really the only evil "fighter" replacement, for a thief, Safana is my best bet, but she generally seems underwhelming.

I've always played the game with a fairly balanced party usually containing a couple of melee fighters, a spellcaster, a cleric mostly for healing and light melee, and a thief/ranged fighter. In this playthru however I'm looking at possibly unbalancing things a bit, maybe recruit Edwin and Baeloth, but then I'd have a 3 mage party with only 1 true front-line fighter and no thief (though I'm mostly only concerned about that for detect traps which I could supplement spell-wise).

Anyway, long-story short I'm curious how many people have played through lacking a specific role in their party (such as a melee fighter, mage, or thief) and how much more difficult did it make the game? I'm sure it's doable, but I'd like to hear a bit more about other people's experiences and what kind of extra challenges to expect?

jackjackXcidium

Comments

  • AigleborgneAigleborgne Member Posts: 24
    As for uninteresting NPC, I can only recommend you to install BG1NPC mod, which should be included by default in any install because it's really incredible.
    With it, I find Shar-Teel very interesting but well, I like her character and since I always play evil characters, she is in my party most of the times.
    Kagain is admitelly boring and I don't remember how he is with BG1NPC.

    Now, for unbalanced party, it can be done but certain fights might be more difficult. Lack of good melee fighters will make end of the werewolf isle hard as they are magic-resilient and Karoug can only be hit by silver weapons.
    Abusing summons is however a good way to deal with lack of fighters.

    Playing without a thief is something difficult honestly. You can trigger traps with a good tank (or well protected mage), but it will be meta-gaming. Some traps will also remain until disarmed.
    As a neutral thief, there is Safana, even if I don't like her much.

    In my own experience, the best way to deal with huge lacking role is to have a strong solo character and removing experience cap.
    In my next game, I will play with a full party but I really dont pay attention to balance. I only require a thief for traps and at least one sword fighter to deal with Karoug.

  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,206
    edited January 2014
    I don't think I've ever played without all the roles covered (fighter, healer, locksmith, arcane caster), but I've never played a "balanced" party either. I pick the people I like. This is actually a lot simpler, mechanics-wise, in the first game since the companion personalities are virtually non-existent there. And I've never had much of a problem except for early on; reaching Friendly Arm Inn with just Sorcerer/Mage and Imoen can be really harsh when it starts throwing wolves at you.

    Edit: Should clarify what I mean with not balanced. I can easily have 3 healers (Jaheira, Viconia, Branwen) which are sub-optimal fighters, and still do okay. Same goes for arcane casters; myself, Neera, Xan. In SoA I actually beat the end boss, first phase anyway, by hammering him with a couple dozen magic missiles in a second; me, Imoen, Jan, Aerie firing off spell sequencers at once. That's 4 arcane casters. Both games can seemingly be beat with just about any party combination, a fact verified by all the people doing "solo runs".

  • MitchforkMitchfork Member Posts: 390
    You could probably get by without thieves if you don't do Durlag's Tower. There will be some difficult areas (the optional parts of the Candlekeep Catacombs come to mind) but by-and-large you won't be too hurt.

    You could pick up Montaron as an NPC and he'll fill your Thief role while being able to tank due to his good stats and Halfling saving throws. You might have to do some tedious inventory management to get the best armor class since he can't use thief skills in metal stuff.

    jackjack
  • TheZodiakTheZodiak Member Posts: 33
    All you need is a thief. Otherwise it would be very hard to ovecome some traps in the game. You don't need a mage or cleric for a playthrough.



  • XcidiumXcidium Member Posts: 22
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    Mitchfork said:

    You could probably get by without thieves if you don't do Durlag's Tower. There will be some difficult areas (the optional parts of the Candlekeep Catacombs come to mind) but by-and-large you won't be too hurt.

    You could pick up Montaron as an NPC and he'll fill your Thief role while being able to tank due to his good stats and Halfling saving throws. You might have to do some tedious inventory management to get the best armor class since he can't use thief skills in metal stuff.

    Just hunt down Drizzt, his armour can be used in conjunction with thieving skills.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    i got by BG2 without any mages my first time through (until I got Imoen). let's just say there is always a way, no matter what you are missing. traps you can protect against and walk through, mages you can wait through protections or find a way around (normal weapons against pfmw), special effects, I had a BG1 no reload without a divine caster and I won. so long as you don't install something like SCS you really should be fine on vanilla no matter what you are missing. difficulty mods are even possible but more challenging than I think one should stand through

  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,206

    I read unbalanced party and I thought Xzar, Tiax and Minsc :)

    Hahahahahah :D

  • Midget_GemsMidget_Gems Member Posts: 8
    I'm with Silverstar on this - I take who suits my mood and never worry about covering all the skills. There is a workaround for everything.
    I once did Werewolf Island with 3 Clerics, easy.
    Just done a run-through with 6 arcane spellcasters, no problem.

    So go with whatever takes your fancy and get outside of your comfort zone.

  • Bhaals_PawnBhaals_Pawn Member Posts: 3
    A thief is the most essential part of a party. Doesn't even have to be a good thief. You could have a party with five Mages and a single Mage/Thief with only a bit of innovation in gameplay style. Change that to six Mages and no Thief and it becomes significantly more difficult.

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