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Race for a Swashbuckler?

As the title implies, I'm wondering what class to go as for a solo play though as a swashblucker.

I've read around and decieded between the Dwarf, Half-Orc an the Halfling.
I'd duel wield Scimitars from the get-go (for that pirate-esq feel).

The reason I'm torn between these three races are
Dwarf: The con bonus for his shorty thows, and his buff to Open Locks/Find traps.
Half-Orc: His natural 19 STR and no dex penalty make him far stronger in melee, but weaker to those saves.
Halfing: His natural 19 Dex and his wield bonus to all his theiving skills set him far above the mentioned races, but his -1 STR makes him hit less.

Any suggestions?

BlackravenQuartz
«1

Comments

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,297
    edited August 2014
    Half-Orc or Dwarf. I'd probably go with the Dwarf personally (though with only 17 dexterity you will have less in the way of thieving skills than you would have if you went with the Half-Orc).

    Blackravenjackjack
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    I've been playing around with the Dwarf. There are bracers that you can find early on that up your dexterity, so it isn't too bad.

    Thanks. :)

    jackjackJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,468
    Of the three I like Halfling the best, even if lower STR for fighterish Thief is suboptimal. You'll be a great Thief though, and thanks to the Thac0/Damage bonuses you'll be a very fine fighter anyway (though in a similar vein the Half-Orc and Dwarf will be fine Thieves over time as well).
    Between Dwarf and Half-Orc the Dwarf's lower DEX is partly offset by racial bonuses to thieving skills.
    The Shorty saves are very nice, but keep in mind that they max out at 18 CON, so you could either suffice with 17 CON at character creation to get maximum saves after you get the CON tome which can be early on, or you with 15 CON at character creation to get 16 CON for maximum hitpoints and with your shorty saves 1 higher than you would have with 18 CON.

    JuliusBorisovOmniOptic88
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    So if I want to be more of a thief, go with the Halfing?

    DJKajuru
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Let's be honest, it's all nice to be the underdog but if you want your character to be as powerful as possible, don't pick Halfling.

    As a single class Thief you will have all the thieving skills you will ever need, so aim for that sweet 19 Str if you care more about BG1 or for Dwarf if it doesn't bother you to be less effective until you have found the Tome of Strength.

    RAM021KloroxJuliusBorisov
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,468
    @TheGreatGodLoki, Halfling is by far the best Thief of the three and like Dwarves they have great saves. However @Gotural is right in that eventually you'll end up with all the thieving skills you'll ever need, but at the same time you'll also find STR items (Gauntlets in BG1, belts in BG2).
    So your choice is between starting out as a better fighter (Half-Orc), or a better Thief (Halfling), or to take the middle ground (Dwarf).

    JuliusBorisovOmniOptic88
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,297
    edited August 2014

    but at the same time you'll also find STR items (Gauntlets in BG1, belts in BG2).

    Gauntlets of Ogre Power can't be used by thieves. You can use Rasaad's belt, and eventually you can get DUHM as an innate ability, but besides that there aren't a lot of other options in BG1.

    Personally I'm of the opinion that since you are a swashbuckler you can forgo points in stealth skills. At least until your utility skills are in better shape.

    With that out of the way if I recall correctly there really isn't that much of a difference between a dwarf and a halfling when it comes to Open Locks and Find Traps. I believe a halfling with 19 dexterity will have +5 in open locks compared to a dwarf (with 17 dexterity), and the same amount in Find Traps. They'll also have the same amount in Set Traps. Once you get the gauntlets that grant 18 dexterity the differences will be reduced to nothing (or in favour of the dwarf). Personally I'd still favour a dwarf because of your ability to get a boost up to 19 strength with the tome.

    BlackravenJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    I shall go with Dwarves. Another question is "Should I up his CON to 19?" even though he doesn't gain the extra HP.

    BlackravenAerakar
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,297
    You could if you want him to be able to use the Claw of Kazgaroth while still having 18 constitution (if you get the constitution tome).

    Blackraven
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    I like the 19 con, simply due to the fact that when you hit 20, you regain health when travelling. It's a small thing, but helpful when you are soloing.

    ronaldoBlackraven
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    Dwarf it is, thank you all so much!

    BlackravenJLeeJuliusBorisovDinoDin
  • RandyMcStudRandyMcStud Member Posts: 71
    edited August 2014
    elminster said:

    Half-Orc or Dwarf. I'd probably go with the Dwarf personally (though with only 17 dexterity you will have less in the way of thieving skills than you would have if you went with the Half-Orc).

    Unless I am mistaken, Half Orcs get not racial skill bonuses and Dwarves do, I would guess that they end up with pretty similar overall skill points. The dwarf may even edge it. It would also have superior saves.

    To answer the OP's question, if you are just playing BG1, then the half orc is a no brainer. Superior saves arent enough to justify having 18 rather than 19 strength for the great majority of the game particularly if the focus is solo play.

    If its a full run through the series, then the dwarf becomes more attractive. Spells and magical abilities are a lot more common on enemies at higher levels, so the save bonuses matter a lot more, and the difference between 19 and 20 strength is nowhere near the difference between 18 and 19.

    Another race to consider is human if you would be interested in dualing to a mage.

    Dont pick halfling. They wont get a decent strength bonus even after using the tome, the dwarf gets the same save bonuses and the same armour bonus after the tome of dex, and the extra skill points really dont matter too much to a solo thief who cant backstab and therefore relies and stealth less. Also, without 19 constitution that both the Half orc and Dwarf offer, you cant get natural regen after using the constitution tome, which is handy for solo play.

    Post edited by RandyMcStud on
  • TheGreatGodLokiTheGreatGodLoki Member Posts: 93
    I ruled out Halfings a long time ago. :P
    I just don't like halfings, I love dwarves, usually because their more tanky than anything else.
    I thoughts about playing as a H-Orc, but I just don't like the feeling of no saving throws to fall back on. I love my defensive stats a lot, but I find playing a fighter or the DD just to boring in my opinion.

    elminsterjackjack
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    I started BG1 as a solo human swashbuckler. I went all the to BG2 and dual classes to cleric at level 26 with UAI and 2 (or 3?) whirlwind attacks.

    Really fun character. Basically a Fighter/Cleric/Thief. Enough wisdom to abuse simulacrum helmet -> wish scrolls too.

    JuliusBorisov
  • OzzyBotkinsOzzyBotkins Member Posts: 396
    One of my play troughs was with a Chaotic Good Male Halfling Swashbuckler Fenton Kinkaid
    Will probably eventually do another one do another play through with a different race

    Blackraven
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,853
    edited October 2014
    If you're looking for raw power: Dwarf. Once you get the Strength tome, you will be way better than any Half-Orc would be thanks to your saving throws, and you'll basically have his Strength. (20 is not much better than 19) Saving throws are important but absolutely VITAL in a solo run.

    If you're looking for the lulz: Halfling. But honestly, I'd pick Halfling over Half-Orc in the case of a solo run. Again, the saving throws.

    KloroxJLeeJuliusBorisovOmniOptic88
  • T2avT2av Member Posts: 202


    I've read around and decieded between the Dwarf, Half-Orc an the Halfling.
    I'd duel wield Scimitars from the get-go (for that pirate-esq feel).

    Swashbuckler isn't a pirate per se. While a swashbuckler could be a pirate or anybody really. This misconception about what a swashbuckler is due to hollywood/movies. Real Swashbucklers are associated with sword fencing and the small metal shield they had(buckler). When they would walk around with their sword it would clang on the buckler which rested on their hip. How many times have you seen a pirate use a buckler (if at all) in movies?

    Also scimitars, which were popular among people in the Ottoman empire. So are you some kind of middle eastern pirate(hopefully along the coast).

    To answer your question, for my swashy, I used half elf for some minor resistance and So that I wouldn't feel weird about using a crossbow. ( I can't picture an full blooded elf using a crossbow). Shorty races are your best bet for survivability and orc for damage. Although you can get that +19strength girdle quite early(SoA).

    Fiendish_Warrior
  • Fiendish_WarriorFiendish_Warrior Member Posts: 309
    T2av said:


    I've read around and decieded between the Dwarf, Half-Orc an the Halfling.
    I'd duel wield Scimitars from the get-go (for that pirate-esq feel).

    Swashbuckler isn't a pirate per se. While a swashbuckler could be a pirate or anybody really. This misconception about what a swashbuckler is due to hollywood/movies. Real Swashbucklers are associated with sword fencing and the small metal shield they had(buckler). When they would walk around with their sword it would clang on the buckler which rested on their hip. How many times have you seen a pirate use a buckler (if at all) in movies?

    Also scimitars, which were popular among people in the Ottoman empire. So are you some kind of middle eastern pirate(hopefully along the coast).

    To answer your question, for my swashy, I used half elf for some minor resistance and So that I wouldn't feel weird about using a crossbow. ( I can't picture an full blooded elf using a crossbow). Shorty races are your best bet for survivability and orc for damage. Although you can get that +19strength girdle quite early(SoA).
    This. I was going to ask a similar question. Either go sword and shield (long sword and buckler) or, if you must dual-wield, long sword and dagger all the way.

  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 257
    I presume the choice of scimitars is as a proxy for cutlasses which sometimes had curved blades and were popular amongst sailors.

    Blackravenabacus
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    edited March 2015
    Dwarf. With a staff as a weapon of choice!

    Why?

    (1) Dwarfs don't seem like the kind of guys who would usually either be good at hiding, or who would want to.
    (2) Dwarfs and blunt weapons go together well conceptually. Though I did once use a dwarven swashbuckler with two daggers, which I thought of as 'punch-daggers.' Because the idea of a dwarf with a bladed fist, punching his foe to death, seemed cool.
    (3) As a dwarf swashbuckler, he'd come across as more of an engineer than a thief. He finds and disarms traps, picks locks and creates traps of his own. He is also something of a warrior, preferring to fight in close combat honorably. He just wears leather armor because plate is too cumbersome for the work that he does.
    (4) You also get to save up points to put into detect illusion. Which seems like a very dwarven skill to have.

    FinneousPJBlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    edited March 2015
    Your question has undoubtely been answered so I'll keep this brief:

    My first thought was, Human because Swashbuckler makes an excellent jumping off point for other classes. Swashbuckler is already like a 1/2 Fighter 1/2 Thief, if you go from there and dual class to a Mage or Fighter or even a Cleric you're getting a beefy bonus to smacking stuff around.

    If you're sure you want single class, I would suggest Elf. They get bonuses to bows and longswords and resistances to certain effects and have high Dex. Thieves don't get benefits from Con higher than 16, which negates some of the bonus of Half-Orcs and with 18 Strength you can read the book to get up to 19 bypassing the benefits of Fighter Ultra-Strength. Granted Half-Orc + Book is 20 but that's neither here nor there.

    JuliusBorisovBlackravenDinoDin
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    I'd definitely go with 18 con to be able to use the Claw of Kazgaroth.

    Blackraven
  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    @Wowo That's certainly helpful but not strictly necessary is all. The elf con penalty doesn't hurt much for a thief if you don't plan on wearing Con-draining gear.

  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    in bg1 your swashbuckler will fare better using a bow anyway (No helmet, low hp, lack of pip).
    In bg2, you can get the girdle of strength from the beginning of the game.

    Therefore half orc is the suboptimal choice.
    between the other 2 its mainly a matter of preference

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    That's the funny thing about items. There is always someone who needs them more. A str19 jaheria for example is nice to have.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,339
    It's been answered above and you seem to have made your choice, but here's my 2 cents anyways:

    If BG1 only and between the three you said:
    half-orc. With natural 19 STR you can play through without meta-gaming (rushing for tomes, items etc). IMHO, playing chars with "force" you to meta-game is less funny than playing chars that can get by from the start and throughout without too much focus on a future item. So, with that said, scimitars is a decent choice, as is longswords. Pick a ranged weapon too of course, ranged is king in BG1.
    If it were me, I would go with elf for +1 thac0 and dmg with swords and bows and use shortbow and long swords mainly. Saves are somewhat less crucial in BG1 than in BG2 and you can make by without being a shorty.

    If playing the saga I would, as said above, go with dwarves. + to thieving skills on creation means nothing as you will be swimming in points as a singleclass thief without backstab (less need for stealth)

    JuliusBorisov
  • claudiusclaudius Member Posts: 80
    I like gnome but I haven't played the whole game. Some things I like:

    1) shorty saves to wands and spells (which are important)
    2) 18 dex + tome=19 (helps thieves skills)
    3) 18 strength + tome = 19 (a lot better than 18)
    4) 18 strength + tome = 19 (boo no regeneration)
    5) some bonuses to thieves skills

    They are not the best at everything but they are kind of a compromise.

  • OmniOptic88OmniOptic88 Member Posts: 4
    Halfling for the saving throws sure, but also so you can do all romances in the anthology. Some romances you'll miss the chance at with dwarf or half-orc.

    Aerakar
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