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Yet another "what class should I play"... Please help.

christopherp985christopherp985 Member Posts: 5
I've tried and failed to play through the entire BG saga a few times - and I really want to do it.

My party for BG2 would be Aerie, Anomen, Keldorn, Neera (or Jan?), Mazzy
In BG1, I like AJantis, Neera, and I'm open to the idea of any others.

What class(es) would be best? I was thinking Blade or Swashbuckler might be fun, but not casting in armor and only getting level 6 spells sounds too restrictive. Swashbuckler is a thief class, which to me tend to be a weird choice for CHARNAME. If I were to be Mage, I'd be Wild Mage and roll with the punches, but I find the idea of roleplaying them kind of hard and it's kind of sad to get a whole bunch of cool loot and the Mage can't really use any of it... Fighter/Cleric also sounds fun, but it might be overkill with Aerie and Anomen. I'm quite fond of Paladins, but I kind of like Ajantis and Keldorn and think it would be a bad idea to make CHARNAME one.

I'm crippled by this choice. Tell me what is really missing from my BG2 party and help me, please.


  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 931
    If you like Neera more than Jan, then I say be a swashbuckler. Seriously, it's a lot of fun in BG:EE, and in the sequel your level-based bonuses are going to look pretty sweet. Thief HLAs will keep you interesting and dangerous (getting your trap skill to viable levels could also be fun once you've got the basics out of the way). You can even make ranged attacks dangerous in BG2 despite the nerf - swashbuckler bonuses also add to ranged attack and damage.

  • christopherp985christopherp985 Member Posts: 5
    edited October 2014
    Would you recommend Swash over Blade? If I used Jan, what would your recommendation be? See, in nearly ever PnP or CRPG / Western RPG I play a "Paladin" type, and I kind of hate how much I like to keep Keldorn around. It makes fighting over the best Paladin gear a headache.

    Edit: Am I right in assuming that Swashbuckler basically is just trying to bash in combat? The lack of a backstab multiplier seems to say so (which is okay, because I find the hide -> backstab loop tedious).

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,086
    edited October 2014
    Well in a BG2 party of 1 to 1.5 arcane casters, 1.5 divine casters, and 2.5 warriors a good thief is what you seem to be missing. I love Swashbucklers both mechanics-wise and RP-wise. They have all the utility you can want from a thief and as the game progresses, they are increasingly useful in battle.
    As to your RP hesitations regarding the Swashbuckler, it's good to point out that a Swashbuckler (or any other thief) in D&D isn't necessarily a 'thief' in the real life sense of the word, i.e. a burglar. It's not for nothing that in more recent Editions the name 'thief' has been replaced by 'rogue'. A Swashbuckler is often a charismatic individual, an adventurer and a skilled duelist who relies on both their charm and their swordsmanship to be successful at what they do. If good-aligned, they can prioritize saving damsels in distress, protecting the bullied from the bullies, etc. They don't look for rewards necessarily, they can be in it for the excitement, for the glory, and/or simply to make other people happy. The thieving skills are used not to burgle homes, but to rescue the wicked mage's captive or to retrieve the documents needed to prove the evil organization's involvement in slave trade etc.

    Now if you went with Jan rather than Neera, then you'd have two multiclass mages. In a full party a single class Mage, a Sorcerer or a dualclassed Mage could be a consideration for your PC: you'll reach the high level spells a lot earlier than Jan and Aerie will.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 931
    I used to play paladins all the time too, but as time goes on I find the roleplaying restrictions hard to swallow (4th edition did make a nice change by allowing deity-aligned paladins). Anyhow, bards of every stripe are a lot of fun, I have logged a lot of hours playing a jester who fought as much as a blade. Don't get me wrong, blades are better at combat, but I don't like jeopardizing my lore or pickpocketing if I don't have to. Veraka (my jester) ran around picking the guards pockets in Athkatla (they often have spell scrolls of 6th to 9th level!) to make some early money in BG2:EE, and in BG:EE you will appreciate the ability to identify everything earlier in the game.

    However... swashbuckler has a very clean feel to it. You don't muck about with spells, but you are able to fill the role of thief in BG2 (which has very limited options). Rather than using a bunch of weird tricks to be effective, you pretty much kick ass all the time as a swashbuckler. I guess the question is, do you enjoy using lots of tricks and spells to micromanage your character, or do you like constant "always-on" reliability? You'll have fun either way I'm betting, but if you really like spells you might edge towards a bard kit. If you do play a swashbuckler, you can be a bit more of a tank in BG:EE if you pick up a pip in One-Handed Style.

  • christopherp985christopherp985 Member Posts: 5
    edited October 2014
    Your write-up of Swashbuckler has me intrigued. RP-wise it seems similar to the Blade, but obviously lacks the thief skills. Thanks, I'm going to give that a try... starting with BG1, though. It's going to be weird being in the same party as Imoen.

    For BG1 I'm thinking... Ajantis, Yeslick, Neera, Jaheira, Khalid. I kind of want to fit Imoen in there, but having the two thieves seems silly. I also have problems roleplaying a Paladin in BG2 and having to do a few questionable things for a "greater good" idea.

  • pixie359pixie359 Member Posts: 251
    Unless you do switch to Jan for Neera you are sort of stuck being a thiefy type. As you're more flexible about your party in BG1, and prefer not to have a thief in BG2, you could always try a multi or dual class - perhaps play BG1 as a fighter of some stripe, then dual to thief at the start of BG2.

    Otherwise, if you're not backstabby, I'd say Swash was a good bet, and assuming you play them as a melee character there isn't too much cross-over with Immy, and you can have them specialise differently. Or she could become a mage...

  • GlidderdustGlidderdust Member Posts: 70
    Swashbucklers are fun but I would miss backstabbing too much to play one all the way through ToB.

    There are a ton of posts and a couple of faq's I've read over the years that talk about how great Blades are but I never had much fun with them.

    Personally, I would use a fighter/thief and keep Neera. F/T are very similar to Swashbucklers. They level up slower but perform the same way with the ability to backstab. It depends on how much you use hit and fade tactics, invisibility items, and how quickly you want to boost skills like detect illusion and set traps over stealth.

    Or you could create your own thief/mage and drop Jan all together for another melee character. You could also use a fighter/mage. I prefer either over a blade.

  • elementelement Member Posts: 833
    why not dual class imoen to mage early on that way you wouldn't have to worry about 2 thieves

  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 563
    edited October 2014
    If you like the idea of swashbuckler, you could always pick up Valygar for your backstabbing pleasure :)

    Of all the times I have played this game, there are only a few classes that hold my interest long enough to complete the whole saga and swashbuckler is one of them. Highly recommended!

  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303

    I've tried and failed to play through the entire BG saga a few times

    Have you got an idea why that is? How far have you come?

    Even if the number of NPCs may seem limited (even more so in BG2EE), you can build greatly varying parties that all can succeed or be enough to push your personal character through the game so you can transfer to BG2.

    For beginners, the basic rule of 1 mage + 1 cleric + 1 thief is good, and you're free to add lots of fighters/paladins to that. Too many casters which are poor fighters are not helpful for a long time. It's also easier to play if you only need to handle few casters/supporters.

    My party for BG2 would be Aerie, Anomen, Keldorn, Neera (or Jan?), Mazzy

    If with Neera, it's two clerics, two mages. Choose a Fighter/Thief or a specialized Thief, since you do need to have someone for the thieving skills. For Neera's personal quest I would recommend a dual-class Fighter/Thief for the extra HP and fighting power.

    Aerie and Anomen together give you more than enough cleric spells, Neera however will become the more powerful mage than Aerie. Anomen is safe to go with even wearing a shield and a single weapon because of his level 7 fighter half and his cleric powers to increase his attributes a lot. No need to make it more complicated. You may need experience before choosing more elaborate parties.

    If with Jan, choose any fighter type you like, which complements Keldorn and Mazzy. You could use two weapons, for example. Or if you are unsure about the implications of that, go the safer route with a weapon and shield warrior. There are more than enough good shields in BG2EE.

    Don't forget Imoen. She's a capable thief, especially with the thieving rings you can find.

    In BG1, I like AJantis, Neera, and I'm open to the idea of any others.

    Again, unless you want to keep Imoen (who starts as a Thief), you will need a thief. You cannot get Safana (who is great!) too early. Certainly not as early as Ajantis, who you can pick up immediately after leaving Candlekeep.

    Don't fear that the early standard NPCs you meet are not powerful enough. There is nothing wrong with Imoen, Jaheira & Khalid, Minsc & Dynaheir. To make room for Ajantis and Neera, you might want to replace more than two. Dropping Minsc and Dynaheir is almost the only option, or else you need to kill either one which may conflict with your role-playing. Jaheira knows enough divine spells due to her druid half. No real need to add a real cleric such as Branwen (a female cleric I like a lot and which you can reach quite early, too). Dynaheir is a powerful mage and almost one too many, if you keep Imoen and convert her into a mage at level 3 (at most 4). That's enough arcane power for BG1. It's more fun to have only one NPC mage and let join someone who can fight.

    Don't underestimate a bard such as Garrick. He's a supporter and even learns mage spells throughout BG1. Plus, you meet him early. A good option if you want to avoid a mage other than Imoen, but get a few more casting power.

    About NPCs like Coran (fighter, good aligned) and Kivan (ranger, good aligned), as you can guess, you only have room in your party if you manage to break the pairs Jaheira/Khalid, Minsc/Dynaheir somehow and still keep Ajantis, Neera and a thief. Sometimes a solution is to make your personal character the one who fills the gap, such as a Cleric/Thief, Mage/Thief, but that requires more experience doing so.

    You may also want to finish BG1 once first and then give it another try with the goal of transferring the character to BG2.

    In general: BG1 can be easier to finish with single-class characters, such as a pure warrior with added NPCs. It can become harder, if you want to dual-class within BG1 already. The easiest is to create a pure fighter with attributes that make it possible to dual-class to either Mage or Cleric in BG2 (depending on whether you want a Fighter/Mage or Figher/Cleric).

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