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Least Effective Parties and Most Effective Parties.

In your opinion what is The Least Effective or Most Effective Combination of NPCs for BG1 and BG2 (vanilla game, excluding EE characters and Mods). Please include PC as well, it adds to the uselessness or usefullness of the entire party

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Comments

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    PC as an Demihuman Wizard Slayer is probably a good way to set up a rough time. No UAI for you.

    dementedBlackraven
  • KingGhidorahKingGhidorah Member Posts: 200
    @DJ_Sweatz_2013‌ Use any item. The only way a wizard slayer is effective is if dulled into a thief and getting that ability.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,183
    edited August 2014
    @KingGhidorah
    But I respectfully Disagree.
    While wearing most (if not all) non armor/weapon items can be a problem, The Wizard Slayer more than makes up for it with his well....Wizard Slaying Abilities.
    I mean, Cumulative Spell Failure? That's awesome
    You just have to know how to play your cards right.

  • KingGhidorahKingGhidorah Member Posts: 200
    @DJ_Sweatz_2013‌ Problem is, that in order to apply that cumulative spell failure to an enemy mage you actually need to find some way pas this protections and physically hit him.
    And once you're able to physically hit mages, they're dead anyway.

    CrevsDaak
  • dementeddemented Member Posts: 388
    edited August 2014
    I'm in agreement with Dazzu. A Wizard Slayer that can't duel is going to be more challenging to play. As for the least effective party:

    BG1

    Garrick
    Eldoth
    Jaheira (not a bad NPC, but there are better choices in divine spellcasters)
    Skie (the main reason being she's not available till Baldur's Gate)
    Safana (she's not ineffective, but neither is she all the useful)

    BG 2
    I changed my mind. Spellcasters are the biggest threat in BG2, so a party of NPCs with low INT is going to be quite challenging. Chaos is going to be a nightmare.

    Minsc
    Valygar
    Mazzy
    Jaheria
    Yoshima

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,410
    edited August 2014
    If the hit on effect worked on ranged attacks that would be at least useufl once in a while. Still, it can be of use f you are hitting a stoneskinned or mirror imaged mage:your damage will be soaked but the spell casting failure will still afflict the mage. Ofcourse, if he is protected from magical weapons, no such chance.

    Not being able to use tons of useful magic protection and invulnerability potions mean that a regular fighter with said potions is better at wizard hunting than a wizard slayer. The miniscule magic resistance just is not enough.

    Blackraven
  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    Viconia just gets worse the later the game gets. While Aerie can use Sequencers/Vecna Robe on priest magic alongside arcana and Anomen has an extra 1/2 attack and the ability to specialize/GM, Viconia is literally just a divine spellcaster only, and as an evil one, undead creatures won't go boom. While controlling liches might be fun, there aren't enough Paladins to turn for the evilness to matter. That and she has 1 APR.

    Okay, a lot of Magic Resistance... and by ToB, you can easily get Anomen to match it with the Belt from Trademeet.

    elminsterKlorox
  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    edited August 2014
    Dazzu said:

    Viconia just gets worse the later the game gets. While Aerie can use Sequencers/Vecna Robe on priest magic alongside arcana and Anomen has an extra 1/2 attack and the ability to specialize/GM, Viconia is literally just a divine spellcaster only, and as an evil one, undead creatures won't go boom. While controlling liches might be fun, there aren't enough Paladins to turn for the evilness to matter. That and she has 1 APR.

    Okay, a lot of Magic Resistance... and by ToB, you can easily get Anomen to match it with the Belt from Trademeet.

    @Dazzu That belt gives Magic *Damage* Resistance, not Magic Resistance. The former reduces magic damage by the %, the latter gives a % chance of simply ignoring a spell's effects.

    I agree Anomen/Aerie are far more effective characters than Viconia however.

    CrevsDaakBlackravenelminster
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    In Bg1, any party with Kivan, Coran, and a fighter charname is pretty effective.

    I usually have Garrick along until Baldur's Gate. I find him to be a very effective early game character. He identifies, picks pockets, uses wands and the Crossbow of Speed. Late game his THACO just doesn't hold up, cost of identifying is less cost prohibitive, and there are more optimal choices. However, I feel his uselessness is often greatly overstated, imo.

    I don't know about the most effective, but my current playthrough in BG2 has been smooth as silk:

    Dwarf Swashbuckler: Scimitars + Scarlet Ninja-To
    Korgan: Crom Faeyr + Kundane
    Minsc: Mace of Disruption/Celestial Fury + Belm
    Mazzy: Tuigan Bow/Gesen > Mr. ToB
    Aerie: Purveyor of NPP, CC
    Nalia: Purveyor of IH, Time Stop, ABDH

    Later Korgan and charname have such good saving throws that with IH, I just point and click and the enemies are gone.

    I know Aerie and Korgan can fight, but it never happened in my game. I wonder if giving Aeire Staff of Magi early, thereby rendering her invisible helped. Does anyone know if that was it or was it just luck?

    Anyway, these discussions are fun to read and think about.


    Blackraven
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,870
    The weakest player character I can imagine would probably be a illiterated Mage with an Intelligence score of 8, or less. No scribing spells, using wands, or casting from scrolls for that poor lad.

    True... one has to lower the Intelligence score via EE Keeper, or let some Mindflayers eat the hell out of his brain to make that happen, but still a fun thought.

    Blackraven
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,153
    Most effective party setup for both games:
    Fighter/Mage/Thief solo!

    JLeeBlackravenGotural
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,183
    CrevsDaak said:

    Most effective party setup for both games:
    Fighter/Mage/Thief solo!

    For a Solo Playthrough, that can work. But I believe a Full Party is much more capable than Solo, and also, you miss out on the fun banter if you have nobody in your party.

    @DJ_Sweatz_2013‌ Problem is, that in order to apply that cumulative spell failure to an enemy mage you actually need to find some way pas this protections and physically hit him.
    And once you're able to physically hit mages, they're dead anyway.

    I never saw it that way, I suppose you're right.

  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    edited August 2014
    CrevsDaak said:

    Most effective party setup for both games:
    Fighter/Mage/Thief solo!

    Perhaps, but only if you remove the XP cap. I might be taking the word "vanilla" too literally. I'm not sure which version of the game the OP is playing.

    The 89,000 BG cap and 2,950,000 SOA cap favors a party. If you have no cap or are playing with the ToB cap, a solo sorcerer makes much of the game trivial.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,183
    JLee said:

    CrevsDaak said:

    Most effective party setup for both games:
    Fighter/Mage/Thief solo!

    Perhaps, but only if you remove the XP cap. I might be taking the word "vanilla" too literally. I'm not sure which version of the game the OP is playing.
    I have played both the Vanilla and Enhanced Versions of the Game, and I have never used any Mods or Tweaks.
    Currently I am playing Enhanced but Vanilla (which is what the thread is about) means the Original Version of the game (No Dorn, Neera, Rasaad, Hexatt or the areas that were added in Enhanced, No Mods, No Tweaks, Original Limit on Item Stacking, No Shadowdancer, No Dragon Disciple, No Dwarfen Defender, No Subclass allowed for BG1)
    Does that help?

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    edited August 2014
    I feel like in the first game, you need a divine caster for healing and a thief for traps, while in the second, you probably still need a thief but definitely need a tank to deal with heavy melee attackers, and probably need a mage to deal with other mages. As such, the least effective party for either game would logically be the one that fails to meet some or all of these requirements. So, I present:

    BG1
    Vanilla Monk PC
    Garrick
    Eldoth
    Quayle (breaks the "no cleric" thing a bit, but makes up for it with his personality, which will lower party morale)
    Xan (Since he can't take a hit for beans, and with two bards his magic is less necessary)
    Rasaad

    Okay, so a party with no thief, no healing until Baldur's Gate and limited by a multiclass after, two monks (!) plus four arcane casters to squabble over bracers and rings of protection, and basically no tank either. Could probably still win fights by spamming Sleep/Blindness and later abusing wands, but still highly vulnerable to all manner of threats.

    BG2
    Vanilla Druid PC
    Cernd
    Viconia
    Aerie
    Hexxat (Don't know if she works with Aerie, since I've never tried)
    Nalia

    This party faces different challenges, obviously, so it has different problems. There's no tank here besides Cernd (Because I too like to live dangerously), so they'll have a hard time tanking Golems, Demons, and other enemies that hit hard and can't easily be disabled with magic. Of the two thieves, one has relatively meager skills and won't get past a number of traps/locks, while the other has unusually low HP (at least when I used her, she did. Don't know if that was just me) and has her stats nerfed if used in daylight. With the exception of Cernd's Greater Werewolf, there's also a lack of physical offense in this party, which sucks given the number of enemies in SOA who possess magic resistance. Also, there's only two mages, so Stoneskin will only do so much to alleviate heavy physical assault. And leading with your mages like that is generally pretty risky anyways. The Druids could compensate with Iron Skins, but that directly limits their ability to use Insect Plague instead.

    To be clear, I don't think either of these parties are by any means unsalvageable; honestly, I don't think it's possible to make a six-person party in either game that can't win, just as any single class should be able to solo the game. That said, they're both kind of frail and don't take heavy damage well, and some fights will become much harder. That's about as ineffective as it can get, I figure.

    Edit: Just noticed the OP asked to exclude EE characters. Just disregard the presence of Rasaad and Hexxat, and the overall point still works. Hell, the BG2 team is weaker without a full thief.



  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946

    I feel like in the first game, you need a divine caster for healing

    The best cure is prevention. If you can prevent damage through saving throws/AC improvements or by increasing hit for a 'kill it before it kills you' approach can be very life saving. Healing isn't bad because a dice based game has unavoidable variables, but reducing those statistics in your favor is better in the long term than a long to cast restoration of 8 health.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,180


    Quayle (breaks the "no cleric" thing a bit, but makes up for it with his personality, which will lower party morale)
    Xan (Since he can't take a hit for beans, and with two bards his magic is less necessary)

    I'd replace them with Skie (who you likely would have if you have Eldoth) and Faldorn.

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    elminster said:


    Quayle (breaks the "no cleric" thing a bit, but makes up for it with his personality, which will lower party morale)
    Xan (Since he can't take a hit for beans, and with two bards his magic is less necessary)

    I'd replace them with Skie (who you likely would have if you have Eldoth) and Faldorn.
    But those would give you a thief and more healing, respectively. Went against my lengthy premise. More overall HP is also too helpful.
    Dazzu said:

    I feel like in the first game, you need a divine caster for healing

    The best cure is prevention. If you can prevent damage through saving throws/AC improvements or by increasing hit for a 'kill it before it kills you' approach can be very life saving. Healing isn't bad because a dice based game has unavoidable variables, but reducing those statistics in your favor is better in the long term than a long to cast restoration of 8 health.
    Well, it's harder to get by on that when you also lack a thief to disarm traps with.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,183



    BG1
    Vanilla Monk PC



    Umm....in Vanilla BG1 you can't BE a Monk

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,183
    Great Observations so far though Guys.

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    Vanilla Monk = Monk without a kit, I think. Not monk in vanilla BG1.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,183
    @ZelgadisGW Yes, but he said BG1, and then said Monk. And I specifically stated that I was talking about Vanilla BG1 in my earlier posts, and in Vanilla BG1 you cannot be a Monk.
    Listing Vanilla Monk in BG2 is fine, because in Vanilla BG2 you CAN be a Monk

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410

    Vanilla Monk = Monk without a kit, I think. Not monk in vanilla BG1.

    Yeah, that was another result of me not reading the OP carefully. An extra bard or mage would still give the party the same troubles overall, though, as well as making mage scrolls even scarcer.

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 2,183
    edited August 2014

    Vanilla Monk = Monk without a kit, I think. Not monk in vanilla BG1.

    Yeah, that was another result of me not reading the OP carefully. An extra bard or mage would still give the party the same troubles overall, though, as well as making mage scrolls even scarcer.
    Lol, that's Ok. You're forgiven. It's an understandable mistake.

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    Dazzu said:

    I feel like in the first game, you need a divine caster for healing

    The best cure is prevention. If you can prevent damage through saving throws/AC improvements or by increasing hit for a 'kill it before it kills you' approach can be very life saving. Healing isn't bad because a dice based game has unavoidable variables, but reducing those statistics in your favor is better in the long term than a long to cast restoration of 8 health.
    Well, it's harder to get by on that when you also lack a thief to disarm traps with.


    Wait, what? I didn't mention anything about thieves! I'm just saying not to load your holy symbol with low quality healing.

  • dockaboomskidockaboomski Member Posts: 438
    I'm trying to come up with a good answer to this, but it makes me think of how in the original Baldur's Gate there is not a class that is legitimately is bad; the only reason you can misplay a bard or druid in it is if you roll poorly on purpose.

    That being said, I think most inefficiency comes from the addition of class kits, and even then, a good majority of class kits aren't terrible if, again, you are patient enough to roll nicely.

    I often get the sense that some of the NPCs were created around rolls made before all the game rules were implemented (Coran's DEX and Kagain's CON), creating a higher number of inefficient characters.

    lolien
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,180
    edited August 2014



    But those would give you a thief and more healing, respectively. Went against my lengthy premise. More overall HP is also too helpful.

    Well for one thing you already had Quayle so its not like the party wouldn't already have a healer. However Xan gets access to Chaos and Hold Monster, two of the more powerful enchantment spells in the game. Along with a bunch of other mage spells that he could be casting along with your bards and quayle.

    Quayle on the otherhand gets access to strong spells like Fireball, Holy Smite, Web, Greater Malison, Glitterdust, Animate Dead (through the cleric spell book) and Polymorph Self.

    You are replacing them with a thief yes, but a thief you get very late into the game and one that you likely have very little choice with (in regards to what skills she starts out with). Her starting thieving skills are as follows

    Level 4

    Open Locks: 45
    Find Traps: 30
    Pick Pockets: 50
    Move Silently: 45
    Hide In Shadows: 40
    Detect Illusion: 0
    Set Traps: 5

    Thieving Skills (level 6):

    Open Locks: 55
    Find Traps: 40
    Pick Pockets: 60
    Move Silently: 55
    Hide In Shadows: 50
    Detect Illusion: 0
    Set Traps: 5

    If you pick her up at level 4 (which would provide you with greater opportunity to specialise her skills) her thieving skills start out pretty lackluster (she will need to use potions to make up for it until you level her up further). If you pick her up at level 6 you have even less levels to work with.

    She is also frankly considerably less useful in combat than your two suggestions. She is basically a ranged character in a party that already has two ranged characters (and she doesn't have as much access to wands and has none of the spells that the bards can use). You can use her to backstab but her level 4 version only has 22 health and her level 6 version only has 27 health (by comparison Imoen's level 4 version has 29 health and her level 6 version has 43 health). So if she fails to hit and is seen she can't take much of an up close beating.

    As for Faldorn yes she is a healer, but compared to Quayle she is less useful overall. She will eventually get Insect Plague, which is an amazing spell, but that is going to be awhile from when you first pick her up (77,000xp or so).

    Abi_Dalzimlolien
  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    elminster said:

    Snip

    No Insect Plague in Vanilla BG1 only makes this a better point, I suppose.

    That said, Level 5 spells are so late into BG1 (especially for a full party) that I don't get why people put much consideration into them when forming a party.

    elminsterlolien
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,180
    edited August 2014
    Right forgot. Non-EE.

    So then ignore anything I wrote about Glitterdust and Holy Smite (plus obviously insect plague). Plus her thieving skills would be a bit different (since she'd only have stealth and none of the thieving skills BG2 introduced).

    lolien
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