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Starting BG:EE fresh & going after into BG2:EE. Please help me pick a class.

I have read a few topics about which classes are good in BG1 and which are good in BG2, but I would like to have a more concise idea on what people think are good classes.

First of all, I'm not familiar enough with DnD to either multi class or dual class, so it needs to be a single class.

It doesn't matter if is Melee or ranged or caster, as long as I can contribute to the party. I am currently playing a Cavalier and I like it, even though for some reason the skill Lay on Hands doesn't show up for me even at level 4 :-(

I have heard that Archers are really good in BG1 but they start lacking towards the end of BG2. I am planning on beating both games in multiplayer, so I don't want to be the weakest link. I hear Cavaliers are good throughout both games, as well as the Blackguards. How about a Dragon Mage? I wouldn't want to be a specialized Mage, cuz I would pick conjurer but then I can't even use Identify. So out of the casters it would have to be either dragon or basic Mage.

Thanks for any input.


  • AristilliusAristillius Member Posts: 873
    edited April 2014
    Why not just take a straight up vanilla mage? Max out your intelligence and you're good to go :) If you want a bit of flavor I can recommend Enchanter - great way to familiarize yourself with all the awesome spells that arent fireball and magic missile (which can be a bit overused).

    Dragon mage (disciple) is interesting, but I would not recommend that or sorcerer for your first run through, much more fun/educational to experiement with all the different spells as a regular mage. Anyway, as a straight up mage you are guaranteed to always be a powerful member of the party, and all the different spells (one of BGs strongest points in comparison to other CRPGs) makes it interesting throughout. You will get comparatively (to fighter classes) stronger and stronger as the game progresses - so dont be worried if you feel a bit weak at lvl 1.
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    What other classes are in the party?
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    I would strongly advice against picking an Enchanter, their opposed school being Evocation, they can't use Sequencers spells and Contingencies spells unless you use a mod to correct that (SCS for example) and he will end up quite weak.

    If you're playing in multiplayer, I would recommend Wild Mage, because honestly, when you are going to summon some Fiends or change the gender of your friend in the middle of a battle you are going to laugh so much with them on vocal (if you use Skype or something) it makes for a really fun experience. And I think it is mechanicaly the best mage kit once you're in SoA.

    Have fun !
  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    Archer is a total beast in BG1 and most of BG2 (very few fights that you might find piercing resisted or not have strong enough enchanted ammo) and becomes less so once you hit ToB. That said, is those instances you can still switch to a melee weapon (or two melee weapons since the Archer gets two free pips in Two Weapon Style) and still contribute to the combat. You won't be as good as a dedicated melee character in that situation but the dedicated melee fighter isn't as good as you in far more situations throughout the saga.

    Mages are a good choice but they're kind of dependant on your play style, especially early in the game. If your friends don't mind stopping to rest fairly frequently in the eaerly levels they can contribute quite effectivly, if not you'll find yourself out of spells quickly and flinging rocks at your enemies (and doing a poor job of it at that) and not being mucn help. Mages become obscenely powerful at later levels though, if you know how to use them properly. The Conjuror is the best specialization hands down. Divination is really not the best arcane school so giving it up isn't a big deal. You will find that quickly you'll have enough money that paying 100gp for an identify is nothing, and in BG2 you find items that let you identify for free a certain number of times per day. Also, that can be left to another group member such as a bard. Summoning monsters is always a useful tactic, it can prevent the enemies from getting near you, it can deal damage, and every attack spent attacking your summoned creatures is one less attack made against a valuable party member.

    The fighter classes (Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger, Paladin) are solid choices throughout the entire saga aswell. You wont be dealing the most damage or controlling the battlefield like a Mage but you'll be able to take a hit, prevent your weaker party members from being slain, and have staying power. This is the one archetype that stays consistently good and useful throughout the entire game. The best choices are: Fighter - Berserker: They get a good damage buff when they berserk and become immune to a number of nasty status effects. Inability to specialize with ranged weapons can be bothersome in BG1 but if you specialize in Axes you can use Throwing Axes at no penalty. Paladin - Inquisitor: The Inquisitor is very specialized in taking out enemy spellcasters, thing is most of the toughest encounters in the Saga involve enemy spellcasters. The dispel ability works great for removing effects from your party and buffs from the enemy, is cast faster than a typical dispel magic and cast at double strength compared to a normal dispel magic. True Seeing is also an enormously useful spell to have, and as an Inquisitor you'll have a good number of them. Paladin - Cavalier: The Cavalier gets a decent bonus vs. some of the toughest enemies in the game aswell as a slew of resistances and immunities. The Cavalier is a very forgiving class gameplay wise, it doesn't require too much micromanaging on the players part since most of the abilities are just constant effects. Grab your sword, pull up your socks and wade into the fray.

    The only classes I would advise against, for a number of different reasons are:
    1) Monk - The monk can be good if you have the right stats and know how to play one effectively. But they only become decent once you get into BG2. If played in BG1 you will easily be the worst, most useless member of the team, and a lot of the time a liability. Towards the end of BG2 and through ToB them come into their own and can be quite good, you just have to endure half of the saga as a chump that can't do much.

    2) Thief - Thief can be good, but usually only as a dual or multiclass which you don't want to do. To be an effective single classed Thief you need to focus on trap setting and backstabbing (and even backstabbing becomes moot late in the Saga as more and more things become immune to backstabbing.) This means that you have to have an agreement with your party to hold up while you lay down your traps or get into position to backstab, something not all group mates are willing to do. While definitely a useful class for disarming traps and opening locks, most people don't want that to be the highlight of their career.

    3) Sorcerer - The Sorcerer is possibly the strongest class in the game once it comes into its own. It requires a deep understanding of the rules and the magi system in order to reach its full potential though. One too many poor spell choices and you can find yourself with a pretty subpar character. I don't recommend the Sorcerer unless you have a good understanding of what the best spells to select for each level are. Mage gives more leeway as you're not stuck with your spell choices and can swap them out or try new things.
  • SublimeBWSublimeBW Member Posts: 42
    Gotural said:

    I would strongly advice against picking an Enchanter, their opposed school being Evocation, they can't use Sequencers spells and Contingencies spells unless you use a mod to correct that (SCS for example) and he will end up quite weak.

    If you're playing in multiplayer, I would recommend Wild Mage, because honestly, when you are going to summon some Fiends or change the gender of your friend in the middle of a battle you are going to laugh so much with them on vocal (if you use Skype or something) it makes for a really fun experience. And I think it is mechanicaly the best mage kit once you're in SoA.

    Have fun !

    Agreed! Love playing a wild mage in multiplayer. Not only does it allow you to have some fantastic random outcomes you can also cast the wreckless to cast any spell you have memorized regardless of level. Nothing like casting Cloudkill as a level 2 mage.
  • squalltheonlysqualltheonly Member Posts: 40
    edited April 2014
    The party would be fresh and idk what the other people would pick, but I would like to have some choices. A regular Mage sounds good, but I was wondering how does AoE affect multiplayer? I wouldn't want to hurt or affect my party, cuz I've noticed it happens in single player. Also, what about resting? Normally In single player I rest after every encounter if I have used spells or taken damage, so wouldn't this slow down gameplay? Or people rest a lot in MP.

    How is the shadow dancer? Is it hard to get bedding enemies, seeing how small the character sprites are. That might too risky, appearing in the middle of a pack, just to be hit next by 2-3 enemies at once.

    EDIT: very goo info Steve, I didn't refresh the page before posting this.
  • KarashiKarashi Member Posts: 38
    There are many classes that have many excellent benefits. But the first thing you need to ask yourself is what roll do you want to fill in your party. Every good party is going to need a tank, dps, mage, thief and a healer. A single character can fill multiple rolls so even if you have a small party you shouldn't have any issues but when deciding a class you should play in a multiplayer game you may have to settle on playing a different class then you may want to fill a necessary roll needed by the group so I would recommend thinking about a few classes as even if you settle on a character you really like you may end up having to change it when you first get the game rolling. After all a party full of only tanks won't get very far... well I suppose it could but it would be a bit frustrating.

    Tanks are a straightforward roll thats easy to play. You could pick any paladin kit and you will easily establish a solid front line against any enemy. I also find barbarians to be very good at this roll, they get more health then other classes and their rage ability has no winded affect like the berserkers does so you can use it multiple times per battle without any detrimental effects to your character. If you decide to use two handed weapons or dual wield either of these classes will be good dps as well, which would be recommended as even though the extra armor class is nice, you really shouldn't need the extra AC that a shield will give you even if you are the only tank in the party.

    Dps(damage per second) are less likely to find in a multiplayer group since every other roll can fill itself but also do damage. But generally an archer and kensai do well in this field if your party has everything else covered. Archer would definetly be easier to play as it is just point, click and watch things fall down. But in my opinion that can get a bit boring in a multiplayer game as that is the only character you will be operating. Kensai can be wonderful damage, even at low levels he will do slightly better then other classes and will only scale up from there. His only problem is he is very much a glass cannon. You have to play in a way that you can hit the enemy while not getting attacked back, ie attack only the targets that the tank is attacking. Due to this most people would probably shy away from kensai as it is only in late game that he will try shine as he cuts a bloody path through any enemy who dares step up to him, but early and mid game there are other characters that can do damage and still wear armor. If you do ever play a kensai though I would recommend two handed weapons as you can attack further away and can hit the target while standing behind the tank taking the actual hit.

    As far as mages go, If you want to have all the main spells covered there is nothing wrong with playing a vanilla mage straight up. Wild mages can also be very fun if your group doesn't mind a little humorous death every once in a while. "Did that cow just fall from the sky and blow up our entire party???" "...Oops, well at least we went out in style!." Also, I know you said you did not want to dual class but it may be worth it you to make a fighter=>mage. If you ignore all the powergaming builds and just do a simple dual at level 2 or 3 you will have practically no downtime and you will end up with a mage that can use a bow for increased damage, wear a helmet and have a little extra hit points to spare then the average mage. you will still have to not use any armor as that turns off spellcasting but wielding the bow alone will make you a bit more fierce when you are not casting your spells. If you decide to do this, you just have to be human and have at least 15 strength and 17 intellect. If you dual at level 2 you will regain your fighter abilities at level 3(one level more then the level you dual) and you will play as a mage with benefits for the rest of the game. And once you get more accustomed to playing a mage I would also recommend checking out the sorceror, but that is not a class I would recommend for someone who does not know the game inside and out.

    Thiefs are a must have for every party and is one of my favorite rolls to play. But to get the most out of this class you really have to know all the mechanics inside and out so I would not recommend picking this class. To be honest if I had played a thief when I first started playing Baldur's Gate I don't think I would have liked it very much. It is something that has to grow on you and only really gets powerful when used in a dual or multi build anyway.

    A healer is an absolute must have for a multiplayer game. In a single player game you could get away with not having one as you can just check the rest until healed option, but in mutiplayer that option is not available. Therefore anyone who picks a healer will be an essential member of the group even though most of your healing will be done out of combat to get your party ready for the next encounter. In high levels you can even turn around a losing battle by busting out a heal to full health spell on your half dead tank who just took a crit to the face. There are a couple options for classes for this roll. If you want to be a in the fray type of character you can be a cleric(any kit is fine really). If you make a half orc cleric and get 19 strength you will be able to do some decent attacking on the front line, but since you will not have the attacks per round as a warrior your damage will still be lacking. Clerics get a few good spells, they have some summons and a few good buffing spells to help you in frontline combat. If you want a more of a back row casterish healer I would recommend the avenger druid kit. After much testing as playing a healer I have found this to be my favorite and scales well into the later levels as normally on a high level healer your spell book is littered with spells you no longer need. But the avenger gets spells like Chromatic Orb that scales up with you in levels and also has spells like chaos which can easily turn the tables in a difficult battle. You also get some rather nice spells for being a druid such as insect plague which basically destroys enemy mages and makes them useless. If neither of those classes appeal to you, you could always go a bit of a cheesier route a go with a ranger/cleric multi. There's nothing complicated about this build, put on heavy armor, get good weapons(go dual wield), they have access to both cleric and druid spells and they gain the attacks per round of a warrior which basically makes him a frontline warrior who can cast any healing spell he wants.
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,305
    edited April 2014
    You could go with a dragon disciple. It has more health than a regular sorceror but as a consequence it can casts one fewer spell per spell level (per day). You run into the problem sorcerers have (limited spell selection) and you need to be careful what spells you choose because they are permanent decisions. You should probably try to read up on what people suggest for spells at the different spell levels though (and also read the spell descriptions in game).
    Post edited by elminster on
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,483
    edited April 2014
    I think you'd have a blast with a Swashbuckler. They are really good thieves because they get 25 thieving skillpoints to invest each time they level up. Initially you have to be careful in battle because you'll be vulnerable (but that applies to pretty much all classes). At the end of BG1 you'll be a good fighter and thief in one single class. Also, being a thief in BG2 is convenient for reasons I shan't mention here so as not to spoil anything. Dualwield two blades and you'll be the most stylish character in the game.

    A reason to play Swashbuckler instead of warrior is they become about as good a fighter as the warrior classes (even surpassing them in certain aspects). Besides Swashbucklers are a bit more versatile. Swashies can fight, but they can also burgle mansions, explore dungeons (disarming any traps along the way), scout out wilderness areas using stealth, and set snares for unsuspecting foes.
    Note that I'm not arguing that what @GoodSteve said is incorrect. He's completely right that warriors are solid and useful throughout the game (just generally not as versatile IMO as the Swashbuckler).

    Anyway I'll stop plugging one of my favourite kits...

    I wouldn't play a mage on a first playthrough because the arcane spells system is one of the most complex aspects of the game, and it might take away some of the fun in gameplay if you struggle to be an effective member of your party, or have to rely on walkthroughs and internet forums rather than discovering things yourself. I'd take a mage or two in your party, maybe more experienced players in your multiplayer party? That way you can learn through trial and error, and learn from your friends, which spells when to use (much more fun than having to consult the internet all the time for guidance), and have a useful character yourself.

    If you insist on using magic, plain Mage would make sense, as mentioned above. For specialists Illusionist and Conjurer are generally (and justly) considered the most solid picks. Or pick a Blade to combine some magical prowess with increasingly strong fighting power.
  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    Swashbuckler is a decent class, if you're stuck and really need a thief but the idea of the thief doesn't appeal to you. The Swashbuckler functions similar to a fighter/thief. While they wont be as tanky as a warrior (less hit points and generally less AC until late in the game when AC doesn't really matter any more) they can hold their own if used correctly. If using a Swashbuckler, definitely go for two weapon fighting and I'd suggest the Longsword as a great starting weapon. They are common and you get some very nice ones very early in BG1. In BG2 picking up Scimitar and Katana will be solid choices.

    For races you're spoiled for choice, since all of them can become a Swashbuckler. I'd suggest any of the short races (Dwarf, Gnome, and Halfling) because they get big bonuses to their saves based on their Constitution score (known commonly as Shorty Bonus), so the higher your con the better. Note though that while a Thief doesn't get any hit point benefit for a Con above 16 short races still get a bonus to their saves for a Con above 16. Out of these choices I find the Halfling and Gnome to be the best. The Dwarf gets a penalty to Dexterity which affects your Thief skills, while the Halfling gets the most racial bonuses to thief skills out of any race, the -1 Strength means they wont be as great in combat as other choices. Besides them, the Half-Orc is a decent choice since they can have 19 starting strength which will give you a good bonus to hit and damage over any other race. The Elf is also a solid pick, they get decent racial thief skill bonuses, an increase to their dexterity, a decrease to their Con but can still have 16 so no real downside, 90% resistance to Charms and Sleep, and a +1 to hit with Shortbows, Longbows, Shortswords, and Longswords which are all common weapons for a Thief.
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,251
    If you go Swashbuckler, I recommend a Halfling, even with the strength penalty, as that is the ability score I find easiest to boost. They, along with Dwarves, get the best shorty saves, (Gnomes don't get a bonus for save vs. death), and as @GoodSteve‌ mentioned, get the best racial bonuses to thief abilities and a Dex boost.
    He or she will be a murderous little bugger.
  • badbromancebadbromance Member Posts: 238
    I think Blade could be a decent choice (not the best but far from the worst) now hear me out as I try to explain this one!

    In BG1 if you take short bow from the start you will be able to pump out 3APR during offensive spin, get an attack bonus AND deal max damage.
    You will also have a bit of magic casting so you can start getting your head around the system and which spells to abuse.
    I can't see any real downsides here for BG1 where ranged combat is the way to go plus using sleep/fear etc.

    In BG2 you can turn into a melee powerhouse with defensive spells, offensive spin and DW weapons and there are some good shortbows for the ranged combat when it's needed
    Hopefully after playing BG1 you should have a good idea at what protection spells will get you through combat because when you drop the offensive spin you will be dropping baddies!
    Disclaimer: Be careful when you aim those dispels though!
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,251


    P.s I love Squall!!!!

    Don't tell anyone but I like FF8 more than 7

    Me too - having said that, FF6 tops them both.
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