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Fun with Greater Weapon Mastery without waiting for BG2

Contemplating another build, just because it can be done!

I always wondered why the weapon specialization table went up to 5 pips and Greater Weapon Mastery for the first game, as no-one could achieve it. Silly me - of course druids running around with Ambi-scimitars would naturally expect to have this!

The build is foolishly simple - start a fighter (pick your kit if desired) and at first level put 2 pips in Scimitars, and 2 pips into 2-weapon fighting. At 3rd and 6th we put another 2 pips into scimitars, and follow on to 7th for an extra half attack.

Now it is time to switch to Druid, and we can expect to reach 9th by the end of the game. At 8th we get a new pip which. of course, we drop into scimitars, giving us grand weapon mastery for a base 7/2 attacks around (including off-hand) and 5th level spells. Naturally, toming to the max, we will rock a ridiculous 19 strength to really strike home with the scimitars, and 21 wisdom to gain bonus level 5 spells. I think this is superior to the 6/10 split that can be achieved if you really want to max the druid level.

The icing on the cake is that we put the 3rd pip into 2-weapon style early in BG2 at level 12 druid - 300,000 xp, or 364,000 total including fighter xp. A straight fighter would be 9th at this point, needing 3 more levels for that 3rd 2-weapon pip. Meanwhile we also have points in slings, staves and 2-weapon style. The 64k xp paid for fighter is little more than a speed bump in BG2, and while we will miss out on the final level 31 at 8 million xp, spells max at 25, there is no late pip or other boost at that level, the only thing we are giving up is 2 hp (which pales compared to the fighter levels hp, including fighter con bonus).

Compared to a figher/druid multi, I am ultimately missing out on THAC0, but not paying double for those really expensive levels 14 and 15 (3,000,000 xp for a single level if multi?!) and ultimately getting the final few spell levels seems like a win.

This strikes me as, RP choices aside, the ultimate druid, although I have a harder time comparing against kits that are clearly less militant in the way that they play.

Also for GWW, thieves can manage a similar switch-up and reach 7/8, if a little later than druids. Clearly there is a greater variety of weaponry to consider in this case, especially for backstabbing, but I am not sure it necessarily beats out the regular thief kits.

Mages can similarly achieve 7/8, but lack the extra pips at the right level, no GWM here.
Likewise, clerics can achieve only 6/8, which nests GWN in the first game, at the eternal expense of an extra attack every other round.



  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    For maximum backstab a kensai 6/thief 9 with GM in staff using the staff of striking can be nice ...

    It's not reaching GM but it is also really nasty (one of the most OP BGEE build IMO),
    the assassin 6 -> fighter x :
    - +4 thaco/+5 damage (thanks to +1 bonus from assassin) -> better than grand mastery (but lacking 0.5 extra APR)
    - can maximize one thieving skill (find traps or set traps preferably)
    - overly OP poison weapon

    As for the original fighter-druid, i still think a multi will ultimately be much stronger thanks to fighter HLA.
    The multi is a late bloomer though.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    edited May 2014
    There used to be an even easier way in the original games and unpatched EEs. You would start as a non-fighter, then dual into fighter. You could then put all your fighter level 1 pips (four pips) into a single weapon, thus reaching GM at something -> fighter 3. This has been fixed in the latest EE.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Thanks @FinneousPJ‌, I did not know about that trick. That's hilarious! (but I am easily amused.)

  • PibaroPibaro Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 2,989
    I wonder why you can still create a Fighter in BG2EE (starting at level 7), and you can assign ***** in any weapon (when you should be able to give no more than ****).

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