Hi folks -
Bit of background, I am a longtime IWD/IWD2 player, but it's been 7+ years since my last full run through the game. I've got a party together, and am looking for some specific advice on a few points. The party is playing on Insane, then will do a second run through HoF; vanilla IWDEE, no tweaks or mods; stats are 85+; my play style is about managing combat efficiently and runs more toward crowd control than max DPS at all times.
Human Kensai (will dc to mage)
Half Orc F/C
Half Elf F/Dr
Human Assassin (will dc to mage)
1) Aside from the lvl 30 cap, is there an XP cap for dc characters? I'm thinking of doing a very high level dc for the assassin (17+, maybe even 21) but I have seen reference in a couple places to an 8M cap. Is there actually any impediment to a 21/30 assassin/mage?
2) Best actual level to dc the assassin? Looking for a balance between max value and playability, so will want to have high sneak attack/backstab but not be without thief skills before certain trap heavy areas (e.g. DE lvl 5 on HoF round).
3) Assassin currently uses short swords and short bows, am mulling over crossbow proficiency. Will she be able to use heavy crossbows?
4) Will probably dc the kensai at over lvl 9. Best level to dual at? I've seen posts with duals at 12 and 13, to take advantage of kensai bonus and fighter increase to A/R respectively, but have also seen some fairly strong opinions on those options with not much explanation. Would someone like to lay it out for me?