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Halfing Fighter/Thief or Swashie Tank Viable?

FrogmanFrogman Member Posts: 153
Hello all! Three questions for you BG and IWD veterans today:

1) Is a halfling Fighter/Thief or Swashbuckler tank viable for IWD? (I plan on running with a barbarian as well)

2) Which character would be the more effective tank? F/T or Swash?

3) Which weapon types would you choose to dual wield?



  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,756

    I just refuse to look at a Swashbuckler in IWDEE as a tank. No helmet = no tank for me during early levels, and IWDEE is all about early levels - high levels are only available if you import the already existing IWD character into another IWD run with HoW mode on.

    During early levels AC bonus of a swashi can't cover his inability to equip helmets. Several critical hits by an enemy = bye-bye your tank.

    Although a Fighter/Thief is better used for backstabbing (combining backstabs with fighter's THACO) and thus I prefer such a character wear a leather armor, I can perfectly imagine a Fighter/Thief as a tank - just equip a heavy armor and you'll tank as any other fighter. But then - this character is much better a a backstabber. Why his Thief part is needed if a tank is his main role?

    So, neigther a Fighter/Thief nor a Swashbuckler is a good tank for IWDEE, a barbarian is much better (there're many characters who are better in fact, a paladin, a F/M, a F/M/T, a F/M/C, a F/C, a F/D, a fighter...). But if you choose between these two, I'd vote for a Fighter/Thief for the reasons mentioned above.


    In IWD there're 5 melee weapons that confer an extra APR: Morning Star of Action +4, the Longsword of Action +4, the Bastard Sword of Action +4, Fast Flail +2 and the Valiant Scimitar +2.

    Therefore, for a a Fighter/Thief or a Swashbuckler I would choose long swords and scimitats.

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    Both will be a little light on hit points, honestly. A fighter/thief will probably also be light on AC, although you could keep a suit of heavier armor around to use in a pinch. A swashbucker's gonna have a better AC, but will be vulnerable to crits until you fight a non-helmet item for the head slot, which I don't think you'll be able to do until the midgame. Now, on average, the AC will prevent more damage than the crit immunity would, but crit damage by its nature comes in bursts, which makes it harder to compensate for, especially at low levels. As for comparing the two, the fighter/thief will hit harder, especially at low levels when the swashy is starved for proficiencies, but the swashbuckler will be a better thief (and tank better once you get something in the head slot). In general, I'd say the swashbuckler is probably better for your purposes in the mid-to-late game, but not as strong in the early game.

  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 2,558
    bengoshi said:

    In IWD there're 5 melee weapons that confer an extra APR: Morning Star of Action +4, the Longsword of Action +4, the Bastard Sword of Action +4, Fast Flail +2 and the Valiant Scimitar +2.

    Don't forget my favorite ring, the Ring of Reckless Action. Sure, you take a -2 penalty to AC but you get an extra attack per round out of the deal. My first IWD party had a halfling fighter thief (good old Jacknife) who had a specialization in dagger and used Spinesheath. Sure, it counts only as a +1 dagger but the +5 to hit on top of his other bonuses meant that I used him to deal with spellcasters. "Now you will suffer as I cast--" *stab* "No, you won't." *stab*

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    DreadKhan makes a very good point. The AC difference is gonna be largely negated by that helmet, if you don't have anyone else who wants it.

  • CutlassJackCutlassJack Member Posts: 493
    I made my own Swashbuckler in the original version of this game (Fighter/thief) and in IWD2 I was able to cut out the fighter part and get a better version of the same character as a thief. In Baldur's I ran a Swashbuckler main and tanked most things.

    So I think you'll be completely fine, especially with a Barabarian along. I had a barb type in my original Icewind group. A two handed type who used this great voice that only spoke in frankenstein growls. I'll definately have to remake him in EE.

  • RAM021RAM021 Member Posts: 371
    kEEper a Fighter/Swashbuckler - best of both worlds!

    Otherwise F/T > Swash: Exceptional CON, greater APR & better armour options

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    The higher max Con bonus doesn't really help that much, as I'm fairly certain from recent experience that it only adds to the fighter rolls. Add to that the fact that the F/T will be lower level than the swashbuckler, and the end result should be a fairly similar HP total for both characters.

    Similarly, better armor only applies if you want to micromanage your armor constantly AND don't care about backstab, as anything heavier than a thief can normally use will disable your thief skills. In thief armor, the swashbuckler will actually win out, AC-wise. At higher levels, the swashbuckler's AC will win out anyway.

    Fighter APR is definitely an improvement, though. That, and backstab, is why the F/T is a better damage-dealer.

    Note, however, that the available magical equipment changes things somewhat. The existence of powerful APR weapons means that the fighter APR isn't as much of an improvement (4 attacks vs. 5 isn't nearly as big as 2 attacks vs. 4), and the existence of a certain helmet does rather even out the AC difference, especially at lower levels.

  • SedSed Member Posts: 788
    There are several elven chainmails that make micromanaging armor very easy - you don't have to ;)

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