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Finding Uses For "Non-Optimal" Kits

GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
So, who here has found uses for non-optimal kits?

I'm doing a run right now that looks like this:

Human Cavalier
Human Inquisitor
Human Undead Hunter
Human Skald
Human Cleric of Tyr
Human Swashbuckler->Fighter (longbows)

When making the party I was tempted to switch the Inquisitor for a monk. Everyone says that there aren't enough wizards in icewind dale to make an inquisitor worthwhile.

Well...

Dragon's Eye: The fight against the lizard king. The enemy casts hold person and strength of one. The inquisitor ended both of those effects, giving my party the edge.

Dragon's Eye: Fighting the duel with Presio the Necromancer. The Inquisitor was the perfect choice for this. Presio starts off with mirror image, and that is her main source of defense. An inquisitor sees right through that, which makes short work of the necromancer.

Dragon's Eye: Because I have paladins in my party, the fight against the disguised monks happened right away. The librarian got a slow off before I could shoot him. The inquisitor saved the day, using her 2 dispel magics to get rid of the effect on my party.

The Severed Hand: The orc shamans have a tendency to cast hold person. Both the inquisitor and the undead hunter are immune to hold, but the cavalier is not. Twice already (I'm on level 2 of it) my Cavalier got held. That is a death sentence for a front liner surrounded by the enemy. Both times the inquisitor got him out of that.


So the inquisitor really hasn't been doing that badly. Heck, she was instrumental in avoiding a reload a few times. That makes her a pretty decent character to have around.




----------

So, anyone else have any success stories using an underplayed kit?

JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTHsemiticgodAbelthespaceEmpyrial
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Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,977
    I see your swashbuckler->fighter combo, and co-incedently I do the same thing, except I give my fighter axes, because your str will increase the damage of your ranged damage and there is a throwing axe+2 in the dragon's eye dungeon deep down on the bottom level which acts as an infinite ammo ranged weapon, although I do use bow and arrow for the final boss in icewind dale I love using that +2 throwing axe more, as I say; INFINITE ammo, very much needed for heart of fury mode as well

    Grum
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
    sarevok57 said:

    I see your swashbuckler->fighter combo, and co-incedently I do the same thing, except I give my fighter axes, because your str will increase the damage of your ranged damage and there is a throwing axe+2 in the dragon's eye dungeon deep down on the bottom level which acts as an infinite ammo ranged weapon, although I do use bow and arrow for the final boss in icewind dale I love using that +2 throwing axe more, as I say; INFINITE ammo, very much needed for heart of fury mode as well

    I wish that I did that. 5apr with longbows is really deadly, but the arrow management is a real pain in the arse...

    sarevok57
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    @Grum, I used an inquisitor as my front-liner for my four-member party IWD:EE run about a year ago. I started a topic here talking about how much I liked my inquisitor, and that I thought the class was underrated. What I had to say was similar to what you've said, though I think you've said it better.

    A couple or three people came in and started arguing vehemently against using inquisitors in IWD. They got so angry when I politely disagreed and didn't cave, things almost degenerated into name-calling. I had to request from moderation that the thread be shut down.

    I think you're right on the money about the inquisitor class. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail this time, and the topic won't start fights. ;)

    GrumSkatanJLee
  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065
    I feel like any of the Paladin kits are great in IWD.

    Cavalier - Fire and Acid damage are not that rare, and Charm can be deadly. There aren't many Fiends, but the ones who you meet are boss-tier, and the attack bonus does matter in the boss fights.
    Inquisitor - Dispel Magic is great on offense and defense, since Bless/Bane/Chant/Prayer are common.
    Undead Hunter - Lotsa undead.
    Blackguard - Resistances are solid, and Poison is great to shut down the rare high-level spellcasters.

    BelgarathMTHJLee
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,426
    The Inquisitor's Dispel Magic is useful for dispelling really dangerous harmful effects on your party members, such as Hold Person, which is used by a lot of enemies.

    I don't think anybody else can hit harder than a level 30 Priest of Tyr. With the help of Righteous Magic and the priest's signature ability, you can reach 25 Strength and deal an additional 24 damage with each hit, with a +17 THAC0 bonus.

    A Swashbuckler/Fighter is pretty great. It also would be pretty funny if you had a playthrough in which you dual-classed your swashbuckler to a fighter at level 25, so when he or she finally regained his or her swashbuckler abilities he or she would be QUITE scary.


    That's all I have to say about your kits. However, there are some others I'd like to mention.


    Dragon Disciples are kind of boring when you just stick one into some random party, but they're really fun when you're using a party of six of them. Normally it annoys me how they can only use their breath weapon once per day no matter how high their level is, but when all six of your characters can use it, you get to use it a lot. Once they all get 100% fire resistance, they can use their breath weapon with impunity without worrying about killing each other with it.

    The Beast Master is probably the most underrated kit of them all. Animal Summoning III is normally a level SIX spell, and they can cast it as a level THREE spell. It's actually a good spell, too. Try it out; those bears hurt! Although they can't use many good melee weapons, they can use plenty of good ranged weapons.

    I really like the Blade kit. Although it seems like it was designed to do some dual-wielding, I prefer to give my Blade a nice two-handed weapon. If one way or another your Blade gets 19 Strength and uses Offensive Spin with Two-Handed Weapon Style, he or she can attack for 25 damage per hit with Joril's Axe, twice per round.

    semiticgodJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    The Inquisitor's Dispel Magic is useful for dispelling really dangerous harmful effects on your party members, such as Hold Person, which is used by a lot of enemies.

    I don't think anybody else can hit harder than a level 30 Priest of Tyr. With the help of Righteous Magic and the priest's signature ability, you can reach 25 Strength and deal an additional 24 damage with each hit, with a +17 THAC0 bonus.

    A Swashbuckler/Fighter is pretty great. It also would be pretty funny if you had a playthrough in which you dual-classed your swashbuckler to a fighter at level 25, so when he or she finally regained his or her swashbuckler abilities he or she would be QUITE scary.


    That's all I have to say about your kits. However, there are some others I'd like to mention.


    Dragon Disciples are kind of boring when you just stick one into some random party, but they're really fun when you're using a party of six of them. Normally it annoys me how they can only use their breath weapon once per day no matter how high their level is, but when all six of your characters can use it, you get to use it a lot. Once they all get 100% fire resistance, they can use their breath weapon with impunity without worrying about killing each other with it.

    The Beast Master is probably the most underrated kit of them all. Animal Summoning III is normally a level SIX spell, and they can cast it as a level THREE spell. It's actually a good spell, too. Try it out; those bears hurt! Although they can't use many good melee weapons, they can use plenty of good ranged weapons.

    I really like the Blade kit. Although it seems like it was designed to do some dual-wielding, I prefer to give my Blade a nice two-handed weapon. If one way or another your Blade gets 19 Strength and uses Offensive Spin with Two-Handed Weapon Style, he or she can attack for 25 damage per hit with Joril's Axe, twice per round.

    Though you have some good points I'll play the devil a little but and point out:
    1. Inquisitor Dispel is identical to the Dispel Magic that any cleric, wizard, bard or Druid can cast as there is no level checks for dispel on IWD (i think this should be changed).
    2. Priest of Tyr will need to dual wield Fast Flails and wear the Reckless Ring to even remotely compete as a front line combatant which is an inappropriate allocation of scarce resources
    3. Swashbuckler -> Mage is a better choice with Longswords of Action and Tensers Transformation
    4. Blade is a great kit dual wielding in a 3 or 4 member party as you get the dialogue benefits of a bard without the issues of song utility in a small party
    5. Beastmaster is terrible as it's a mediocre ranged combatant and a mediocre summoner and terrible at anything else

    semiticgodJuliusBorisovAbel
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,426
    edited December 2015
    Wowo said:


    2. Priest of Tyr will need to dual wield Fast Flails and wear the Reckless Ring to even remotely compete as a front line combatant which is an inappropriate allocation of scarce resources
    5. Beastmaster is terrible as it's a mediocre ranged combatant and a mediocre summoner and terrible at anything else

    A Beastmaster not a mediocre summoner. It's better at summoning things than any other non-multiclassed warrior. It's also as good with ranged weapons as any other ranger or paladin other than an archer. I've tried playing a beastmaster all the way through IWD and it's a great class.

    As for Priests of Tyr, most front line combatants can't cast lots and lots of cleric spells. Not everybody needs to have only one purpose.

    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
    Beast master seems decent if you want to use a ranger for most of his skills.

    No metal armor? No problem if you want to use his hiding skills.
    No metal weapons? Not a real issue if you go bow and give him a good staff.
    Add in the great summoning spells to complement his Druid spells.

    semiticgodOlvynChuru
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 164
    How about this group for a non-optimal kit run?

    Wizard Slayer
    Beast Master
    Priest of Talos or Shapeshifter
    Bounty Hunter
    Invoker or Enchanter Specialist Mage
    Jester

    Grum
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 164
    I have to say... I'm still thinking about this. How about expanding it to non-optimal kit/race combos?

    For instance:
    Halfling Wizard Slayer (17 str max)
    Dwarf Bounty Hunter (17 dex max)
    Gnome Priest of Talos (17 wis max)
    Human Beast Master (no elf/half-elf perks)
    Human Jester (no half-elf perks)
    Human Invoker (no elf, gnome, or half-elf perks)

    This may turn into my evil party run-through.

  • AionZAionZ Member Posts: 3,034


    Halfling Wizard Slayer (17 str max)

    This is actually not bad, wizard slayers make good archers so 19 DEX is good.

    Dwarf Bounty Hunter (17 dex max)

    This is also not bad, dwarves get +15 to detect traps and +10 to open locks.

    Human Beast Master (no elf/half-elf perks)

    18 strength sling-wielding beastmaster/cleric is pretty strong.

    Grumbutteredsoul
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 164
    All good points, Arty. I'll keep that in mind when developing these guys.

    Friendly reminder: we are talking non-optimal here... not gimped. No class/combo is bad (unless we're talking relatively)... just not optimal and, therefore, rarely seen.

    I think the halfling and the gnome will spend lots of time on the frontline protecting the tallkins. Lol

    Grum
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 164
    Anyone else with clever non-optimal kit parties they'd like to share?

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
    Shapeshifter (13)->fighter

    Get greater werewolf form (21/20/25 for str/Dex/con, along with great magic and elemental resistances). Throw in stoneskin for protection. Get to add on shield bonuses even when shapeshifted and use helms (like helm of the rock) to get near immunities to all elements. They get fighter apr and Thaco were greater werewolf bonuses. Finally, because you don't need to maximize the first three stats (just have enough for dualing), you can instead focus on maxing out wisdom/charisma...even have decent intelligence.

    Because of the naturally great stats, you can give those tomes/lum to other party members, letting the entire party get stronger.

    Fight and tear things up. Then when low on health turn into a pretty darn good healer. Return to normal werewolf form if you must jump into another fight.

    butteredsoul
  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 368
    I've been tossing around the idea of running an Avenger and then dual classing them to a fighter so you get a fighter with moderately lower HP and Strength, but a boat load of useful spells available depending on how far you want to take their druid levels.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    I like the Avenger dual as it can be tricky to pull off. Your max starting strength is 16, so you are relying on picking up at least one permanent STR boost before dualing. You then have a fighter with an interesting set of spells, who is hopefully, by the time you get your druid levels back, more potent than the alternate forms.

    Dualing druid -> fighter is fun as it limits downtime from a higher level dual. I will usually dual at 11th, right out of the Irenicus dungeon, at 200k xp. That earns 6th level spells, and maybe enough wisdom by the end of the game to get a few more as bonus spells.

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
    The main fun of a Druid to fighter dual is the stoneskin! Cast in armor unlike mage duals. It gives your fighter some serious tankiness.

    semiticgod
  • pedrorqpedrorq Member Posts: 54
    Bigfish said:

    I've been tossing around the idea of running an Avenger and then dual classing them to a fighter so you get a fighter with moderately lower HP and Strength, but a boat load of useful spells available depending on how far you want to take their druid levels.

    Won't a Totemic Druid do instead? You get a fighter with some extra "friends"!

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,763
    On february 9 this topic shapeshifted from a talk about suboptimal IWD parties to a topic about suboptimal BG Charname classes.

    SkatanJuliusBorisovEmpyrial
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    sorry - probably my bad. I often lose track of the specific forum when entering from the 'recent discussions' page, and I can never spot the link (next to the 'preview' button, now that I see it!) that reminds me which forum I will be posting in.

    I still think Avenger -> Fighter is neat, but not sure if it is possible to pull that trick off in IWD?

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,763

    I still think Avenger -> Fighter is neat, but not sure if it is possible to pull that trick off in IWD?

    No, it was mostly that idea that triggered my comment: there's no stat-increasing tomes in IWD, the starting stats for your party, that's what your stuck with.

    For BG an Avenger-> Fighter is a nice idea though, maybe the posts about uses that are suggested to make use of tomes, Lum and items in BG/BG2 could be split to a 'Finding Uses for "Non-Optimum Kits" in BG" topic in the appropriate forum.

    *Son_of_Imoen casts summon random moderator:

    @Dee, @Elminster: i splitting the topic an option?

  • pedrorqpedrorq Member Posts: 54
    Totemic Druid 10/11 --> Fighter

    Gets the 10HD animal (if dualling at 10) and also level 6 spells (if dualling at 11).

    Grum
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,746
    I don't think that the split is needed so far - I've detected only several non-IWD posts. If the thread carries on about IWD, it'll be fine.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,084
    @pedrorq: Add one more druid level and you get an extra casting of Summon Spirit Animal.

  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 368


    No, it was mostly that idea that triggered my comment: there's no stat-increasing tomes in IWD, the starting stats for your party, that's what your stuck with.

    It's not like you can't fudge the numbers, or the more reasonable explanation being someone just forgot/didn't realize there are no stat increases in IWD.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    Grum said:

    Shapeshifter (13)->fighter

    Get greater werewolf form (21/20/25 for str/Dex/con, along with great magic and elemental resistances). Throw in stoneskin for protection. Get to add on shield bonuses even when shapeshifted and use helms (like helm of the rock) to get near immunities to all elements. They get fighter apr and Thaco were greater werewolf bonuses. Finally, because you don't need to maximize the first three stats (just have enough for dualing), you can instead focus on maxing out wisdom/charisma...even have decent intelligence.

    Because of the naturally great stats, you can give those tomes/lum to other party members, letting the entire party get stronger.

    Fight and tear things up. Then when low on health turn into a pretty darn good healer. Return to normal werewolf form if you must jump into another fight.

    Anyone knows if the Greater Werewolf stats stacks with the bonus from DUHM?

  • pedrorqpedrorq Member Posts: 54
    Does a Shapeshifter (13)->fighter really get fighter thac0 and apr?

    What should its weapon proficiences be? scimitar + sword & shield style? Or would the werewolf get bonuses from 2 scimitars in TWF?

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099

    @Raduziel Druids don't get DUHM.

    But a good bhaalspawn gets in until the underdark

    semiticgod
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