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Best IWD party setup

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Comments

  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    My submission for best party is based on one major factor:
    Getting the most out of the game's unique race/class/gender/attribute based dialogue options.

    You can get all the dialogue that gives you a reward, most of the dialogue that doesn't give a reward, and you'll be using what *I* believe to be the best kits for all of them. The only thing I might change for power-gaming would be to make the druid a fighter/druid instead, but I just like having kits. Not to mention the Avenger is such a perfect choice for IWD. Same thing applies to the Tempus cleric and assassin thief becoming a fighter/cleric and fighter/thief respectively, but you can get a lot of dialogue as a Tempus cleric that you can't otherwise, while the assassin thief can actually get a little extra cash as well as new dialogue.

    Undead Hunter Paladin (Human)
    Avenger Druid (Half-Elf)
    Fighter/Illusionist (Gnome)
    Assassin Thief (Halfling)
    Cleric of Tempus (Dwarf)
    Unkitted Bard (Half-Elf)

    CrevsDaakAerakar
  • PakioPakio Member Posts: 14
    As the many different answer shows, there is no such thing as a “best IWD party setup”. It will depend on what you mean by “best”.

    If you want to get the most of the game (quests, objects dialogues) then try a group including different classes and races, as it has been already described in this thread. Including a druid, cleric of Tempus or a bard are quite interesting choices in this game. Specially if you are new to the game, try to combine all possible classes. Include 2-3 fighters, (warrior, ranger or paladin) and then you need a cleric/druid, mage/sorcerer and a thief. You can make a multiclass by combining any of these classes to leave a free slot for a bard, for example. Try to combine different alignments too.

    If you wan the most effective party for fighting enemies, there are different ways to go, depending on which combat tactics you like to use. On my experience, the two most effective are using ranged weapons (bows and crossbows, slings…) and summoning large quantities of monsters and undead. You can combine these two by sending ahead monsters as decoys and using ranged weapons and spells to bring down your enemies from distance.

    For powergaming, a group with high dexterity and proficiencies in ranged weapons is the way to go. This is way more effective than a group of tanks with 2-handed axes and 19 strength. The game allows you to carry a large amount of ammo and you can also switch to melee weapons instantly if needed. Try to attract enemies in small numbers, or disable them by using web, grease, slow, etc… Attack always the spellcasters first, most of times you can kill them easily before they can cast a single spell. Very effective but it can make your game a bit too easy and boring.

    CrevsDaak
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 732
    Powergaming wise the strongest party should be:
    Cavalier (human)
    Fighter/cleric (dwarf) or dualled fighter7-cleric30 (human)
    Fighter/druid (elf) or ranger/cleric (half-elf)
    Illusionist/thief (gnome)
    Archer (elf)
    Bard (half-elf) or sorcerer (elf)

    This setup is soo easy for everybody included beginners.
    3 melee fighter, 1 super ranged, 2 arcane user, 2 divine user. If you dont like archer than use a dwarf Berserker or Dwarven Defender.

    CrevsDaak
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780
    I used this party in Heart Of Fury mode from level 1 on, and breezed through the game:

    Fighter 7 > druid dual (scimitar/sling)
    Fighter 7 > cleric dual (flail/sling)
    Swashbuckler 5 > fighter dual (axes/hammers)
    Sorcerer
    Skald
    Bard

    CrevsDaakStromael
  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 194
    edited September 2019
    My extremely successful level 1 HoF set-up was:

    Fighter (13) -> Cleric
    Fighter (13) -> Mage
    Fighter/Cleric
    Fighter/Druid
    Fighter/Mage/Thief
    Bard

    I play in vanilla, so I guess to increase power in the EE one could swap out the pre-dual Fighters with Berserker and Kensai, respectively. These guys were ludicrous, literally steamrolling parts of the game.

    More recently I attempted it no-reload, using

    Paladin (LG) Axe, Xbow, Great Sword, Large Sword
    Fighter/Cleric (Gnome, LG) Mace, Sling, Flail
    Fighter/Druid (Half-Elf, TN) Club, Dart, Scimitar
    Fighter/Mage/Cleric (Half-Elf, LG) Hammer, Sling, Mace
    Fighter/Mage/Thief (Elf, LE) Large Sword, Bow, Small Sword
    Bard (Half-Elf, NE) Halberd, Xbow, Bow

    which was initially very successful, except I re-imported my level 1 Elf F/M/T from before and she got one-shotted by a passing Verbeeg; I didn't have the funds to Ressurect her and didn't want to continue without.

    From a role-playing/experience perspective the second party totally rocked, able to take advantage of (I'm pretty sure) all possible extra racial/alignment/class-restricted items/conversations/options. (Except that Dwarfy gem at the beginning?)

    If you play HoF it really pays to spread that ridiculous amount of XP around as many classes as possible.

    On core the strongest party for me might look like

    Paladin
    Fighter (7) -> Mage (LE)
    Fighter/Illusionist (Gnome, LG)
    Fighter/Thief (Dwarf, NE)
    Fighter (3) -> Druid
    Bard (Half-Elf, NG)

    There's no need for a pure Thief, and splitting them into a Fighter is super powerful, especially when your Mage gets Improved Invisibility (hello, endless backstabs!). The Mage dual doubles as the high-level nuker whilst earlier is a serious melee damager, the Druid dual nets healing pretty early, can Master Darts for decent ranged damage, and powers up to epic levels as quickly as possible. The F/I is always excellent and gets "that helmet". Paladin is similarly self-explanatory. And I just never leave home without a Bard.

    CrevsDaak
  • BuffaloSolider95BuffaloSolider95 Member Posts: 18
    Do you absolutely need a bard? I'm playing IWD ee, never played IWD before. I really like the blank canvas for characters, and have written several custom biographies.

    My starting planned party is:
    Human Undead Hunter
    Half-Orc Barbarian
    Gnome Illusionist/Thief
    Dwarf Cleric (Priest of Lathander)
    Elf Mage (Enchanter)
    Elf Archer

    Am I better off changing the cleric to multiclass or a different kit?
    According to most of the responses in this thread, I should have a druid and bard. But they just don't fit the idea I have of my party. I have written a background where the two elves are sisters. Is the bard/druid just for their combat ability or will it make a major difference in the story?

    CrevsDaak
  • kalekale Member Posts: 13
    Do you absolutely need a bard? I'm playing IWD ee, never played IWD before. I really like the blank canvas for characters, and have written several custom biographies.

    My starting planned party is:
    Human Undead Hunter
    Half-Orc Barbarian
    Gnome Illusionist/Thief
    Dwarf Cleric (Priest of Lathander)
    Elf Mage (Enchanter)
    Elf Archer

    Am I better off changing the cleric to multiclass or a different kit?
    According to most of the responses in this thread, I should have a druid and bard. But they just don't fit the idea I have of my party. I have written a background where the two elves are sisters. Is the bard/druid just for their combat ability or will it make a major difference in the story?

    Bard has a few additional quest rewards etc. from what I remember and one particular song that is quite powerful (which you get only later in the game, however). To be honest, if you're new to the game and have a tank/mage/rogue/cleric you're absolutely covered; I think for power gaming purposes, a fighter/cleric might be better, but, again, you will def. be able to beat the game with your group (and quite comfortably so). From my personal experience, playing with RP-backgrounds is much more fun than maxing out every character.

    CrevsDaak
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 662
    You do not "absolutely" need any type of character in IWD. Moreover when people talk about bards or druids having extra dialogue options, bear in mind that it is only "more" when compared to the zero most class/race combinations have. IWD is exceptionally roleplay-light so we're talking about a few extra dialogue lines sprinkled over the 30-50 hour campaign. There are solid reasons to include a bard or druid in the party but this should be very, very low on the list of why you'd want to do so.

    When putting your party together there are a couple of key differences between IWD and BG/BG2 that you want to be aware of. The first is, stat-boosting items are few and far between so the ability to start with a 18/00 or 19 strength is a lot more useful in IWD than it would be in say BG2. The second is that you generally want to dump-stat all mental ability scores because you don't have to worry about withstanding mind flayers (which attack INT), the wish spell (which requires a high WIS), or getting the best possible store pricing (which requires a high CHA). The third is, IWD has a fair number of weapons that inflict on-hit effects akin to FoA's slow, which means you generally want the highest possible APR for your divine casters if you also plan to have them man the front-lines. Finally it's worth pointing out that compared to BG/BG2 there are a *lot* of slash/pierce resistant monsters in IWD which is great for clerics and fighter/clerics but not so good for druids and fighter/druids.

    One more thing, scrolls aren't easy to come by in IWD unless you've played the game before and know how to reach certain vendors as quickly as possible. Add to that the game's roleplay-light nature and nearly complete lack of mage-on-mage battles and you're looking at casting the same 5-6 spells over and over again as you advance through dungeons, which is an ideal scenario for sorcerers who you would nearly always want to pick over wizards in this game.

    Fighter/clerics, ranger/clerics, and fighter/mage/clerics are among the strongest options available for your frontline while sorcerers will generally be your best option for the backline. Druids are decent because of their summoning spells but sorcerers can do that better while also preserving versatility in case you decide on the fly that you'd rather throw fireballs or emotion hopelessness spells at your foes. You are absolutely right that bards have a great song which helps make your frontline more effective, so there's a solid case to be made for having a bard on the backline. Piercing specialists like archers are decent but aren't OP here like they are in BG/BG2, while IWD's low-XP termination point (around 1-2 million) means melee characters will almost always be better off multiclassing with cleric or mage (or both) rather than being singleclassed.

    mlneveseCrevsDaak
  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 194
    Bards make all your other characters better, can blast wands and sling high-level spells when needed (notably their dispel will be very high-powered, second only to the Inquisitor's), can be your shopping "face" and alleviate your Thief from needing Pick Pockets. I love 'em.

    Druids are strong summoners but also offer some fantastic crowd control and area damage:
    stacking multiple Entangles and Spike growth, anyone?
    Finally when they reach a certain high level they unlock an incredible Shapeshifting power:
    the Water Elemental Form, which gives insane levels of physical damage resistance, instantly making them your party's de facto tank.
    Couple that with immunity to Fatigue at high levels, and you have an immensely versatile and powerful character to add to the ranks. Also there's a class-dependent weapon you can forge in HoW, and the Druid's version is arguably the best.

    CrevsDaak
  • BuffaloSolider95BuffaloSolider95 Member Posts: 18
    Thanks. I see the problem of having two arcane casters that rely on scrolls. I made a few tweaks, some for RP purposes (which is why it is sub-optimal). After a bunch of restarts, I decided against having a bard, but I did add a Druid. I might try a bard on a second play through.

    Human Undead Hunter
    Dwarf Fighter/Cleric
    Gnome Illusionist/Thief
    Human Sorcerer
    Elf Totemic Druid
    Elf Archer

    StromaelCrevsDaak
  • ThundarrThundarr Member Posts: 2
    A big factor is designing your party around the gear that will be available. There isn’t a lot of gear for mages that will be in melee or else I would recommend a lot of Cleric/Mages.
    You must have a Thief but pure Thieves are comparatively weak.
    Clerics are incredibly powerful. They have a lot of good spells that scale all the way to 30. There are some Cleric spells that are so powerful they only exist in IWD They have the best summon in the game. There are plenty of good Morning Stars and Flails and lots of very good Plate. They can buff their strength very high the best ranged weapons in the game are Slings.
    I would not have more than 2 Mages due to the limited amount of scrolls and armor. I replaced my Paladin with a Dwarven Defender so he could tank while my party buffed up. You lose out on Pale Justice but he is literally unkillable and can reach 100% physical damage resistance.
    I ended up with:
    Dwarven Defender
    Fighter/Cleric
    Fighter/Cleric
    Fighter/Cleric
    Mage/Cleric
    Mage/Thief

    The only thing I might change is go pure Thief in IWD to level up find traps and pick locks as fast as possible and then replace him with Fighter/Mage/Thief in HOW. That would enable you to better use the swords in the game. Mage/Cleric has both Holy Power and Tensers Transformation to get access to the Fighter hit table but Tensers Transformation competes with Improved Haste.

    CrevsDaak
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