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Ranger/archer longbow question

Hello, i'm pretty new to the game and i've searched everywhere i could but couldn't find the answer to this...
I've read a few guides and such that say that Archer can reach grand mastery in bows, but as i play, i seem unnable to put more then 2 points in them! It just doesn't want to. Am i missing somethign pretty obvious?



  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    You can't put more than two at creation in BG1. You will get another point at levels 3, 6, 9, etc. This means you won't be able to get GM until BG2. Only some very specific dual class builds of fighters to thieves/clerics/druids allow you to get GM in BG1. For some silly design reason, GM in bows doesn't give you the attack bonus that melee weapons do.

  • RachnarRachnar Member Posts: 9
    Oh ok, thanks a lot! Are longbows generally better then crossbows? (without counting the elf affinity with bows)

  • luskanluskan Member Posts: 269
    In BG1 the best bows are longbows. If you're planning on playing into BG2, its better to go shortbow or crossbow.

  • RachnarRachnar Member Posts: 9
    Ok i'll go with crossbows then, they appeal more to me!
    Another unrelated question, is making a monk in Baldur's Gate 1 worth it to import into the second one later on? From what i've read they're just exceptionally weak early on, and maybe not worth the hassle.

  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    For the record, there is a thread specifically for asking general questions about the game, so if you want to use it, feel free. Keeps the forums less polluted, and there are several people who are always willing to answer your questions, so it never takes long. Here's the link:

    A word of warning. It is occasionally spoiler filled, so that is one "danger" for new players. Also, I'm not telling you this because you've done anything wrong, it's just so you're aware of the resource. =)

    Now! Back on topic. Monks in BG1 are not bad, they're just not ideal. You won't be as powerful as you could be otherwise, but you won't be "weak", per say. If you want to be the most powerful monk in BG2, I would recommend playing through BG1 first. There are some permanent enhancements available that make your character a more formidable force. I won't say any more for the sake of spoilers. Have fun! =)

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,981
    Rachnar said:

    Another unrelated question, is making a monk in Baldur's Gate 1 worth it to import into the second one later on? From what i've read they're just exceptionally weak early on, and maybe not worth the hassle.

    Its going to be tough for certain in BG1. But it is worth it if only because you can get items that will permanently raise your stats. Plus there are a few items that you can import into BG2 (if you have them on your main character at the end) so its definitely worth it.

    Monks can use any of the potions a fighter can use, which really helps them in the later battles of BG1. I'd say its mostly the first half of BG1 where you'll have the big issues with the class.

  • RachnarRachnar Member Posts: 9
    Ok thanks for the help everyone! I'll probably just end up doing multiple runs anyways, one with each class that really interest me. For now that's just archer, swashbluckler, monk and then maybe a bard.

  • dreamriderdreamrider Member Posts: 417
    I play a lot of archers.

    Because of the +1 Thac0/Dam per 3 level, the rate of fire on either type of bow makes them much superior to x-bow for archers in BG1.

    The ordinary ammo for x-bows hits slightly harder (1d8) than arrows (1d6), but this is more than made up for by the multiple shots per turn from bows. In addition, there are so many arrows available as loot in both games that you will probably never run short after you initially fill your quiver at Winthrop's, even if you have 4 bow-armed chars in the party. You will have to buy virtually all your bolts, although you will use them up more slowly - because you are shooting slower. As you start using more magic ammo, the percent of damage advantage of a crossbow bolt over an arrow actually decreases a little (e.g. bolt = 1-8 hits, bolt +2 = 3-10 hits; arrow = 1-6 hits, arrow +2 = 3-8 hits.) The one big ammo advantage that the crossbow has in the game(s) is the Bolt of Lightning, 1d8 + 4d4 electric, but there are a great range of special arrows available in game, including especially the Arrow of Dispelling, many of them for free as loot.

    Although from stats it appears that the light crossbow will beat the bows slightly on speed to engage (an therefore to interrupt), that is slightly deceptive. The bows are shooting at least 2 APR, so their real speed to engage is effectively half of their listed Speed value. (The best, fastest interrupt is still a fast 1st level spell like Magic Missile, however. After the first hit, arrows, bolts and stones are effective to continue to suppress. Always remember - Go For The Mage.)

    Also, although there is 1 good magic light x-bow and 1 good magic heavy x-bow in BG1, there are difficulties getting each of them. The light one is available early enough, but is very expensive so it still takes awhile to acquire it. The heavy one you will only see if you make a certain toss-up choice in the correct direction in mid-game, but in any case you won't see it until very deep into the game.

    +1 short bows, and composite longbows are available early, at moderate cost (clb from the very beginning), and several better bows come along in the first half of the game.

    There is an excellent magic x-bow available fairly early in BG2, but it is still slow relative to the best long/short bows. However, the best missile weapons without question in BG2 are undoubtedly two magic shortbows.

    There is a small problem in that the best bows in BG1 are longbows, and the best bows in BG2 are definitely shortbows. However, if you are playing a pure Archer, since your other weapons are limited to only Proficiency (1 pip), and you already have 2 pips in Two Weapon Style (if you want to take advantage of it), you should have plenty of proficiency pips across the life of your character to gain as much longbow skill as the XP cap will allow in BG1 (High Mastery, as I recall), and still reach Grand Mastery in Shortbows in BG2 by the time it matters much.

    So, bottom line? I recommend longbow > shortbow for an Archer double playthrough.

    (Unless you are going to try an Archer/Cleric, of course. ;-D )
    [You have to give up any Grand Mastery, but given that you still get the Archer's increasing +1 To Hit/+1 To Dam, and Called Shot, and further given that the sling adds the STR bonus to damage, and a Cleric can ALWAYS boost STR, this is actually not quite as crazy as it sounds.]

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