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Imoen + Aerie?

I just rescued Imoen. I'm strongly leaning towards keeping Aerie instead of dropping her for a pure cleric when I get back to Athkatla. That being said, I'm trying to figure out the best way to coordinate a full mage with a half mage with both spell selection and equipment. Anyone have any tips? Thanks.

Comments

  • YamchaYamcha Member Posts: 478
    Keep both. Aerie can handle all your cleric needs and more.

    atcDave
  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 416
    I'm planning on it. I'm just trying to figure out who should have what spells memorized and what I should gear each of them up with.

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    Honestly I can't say I ever worked too hard to differentiate my mages (CHARNAME, Aerie, Imoen and Neera in my last game, with Viconia as overlap cleric to boot). Covering the bases with two mages instead of one is perfectly fine, if not preferable, while you can branch into specific protections if you want to for specific battles.

    My general loadout includes:

    Mixture of Crowd Control Spells for level 2, no real need for Resist Fear since you can have that on Aerie's cleric spells, but there aren't many creatures that are immune to both Web and Stinking Cloud, and they demand saves every round, so you'll have a good chance of disabling at least a few enemies in a group (and web works well with spider forms). Meanwhile Glitterdust is a junior Malaison which also can stop invisibility, so it's worth stacking up with both of them.

    Dispel Magic should generally be skipped on Aerie as a multiclass character (depending on your party composition you can probably use Staff of the Magi and/or Carsomyr for dispelling needs).
    Melf's Meteors - Aerie uses them better, since she's on Cleric THAC0 progression and can buff her Dex up with DUHM, but it's not a huge difference either way and worth having on most mages.

    Polymorph Self for everyone! - You never know when you need to tank a mage or a pit fiend as a jelly (or five poisoning attacks per round as a Spider with Web)
    Greater Malaison - The more the merrier, this doesn't stack with itself, but you can have one cast this, then the other cast Glitterdust straight after for a brutal -8 to saves.
    Stoneskins is mandatory for every mage, since it's just that good.

    Minor Sequencer you only need memorised when you use your last one, but it's worth having a prepped sequencer for everyone as free spell they can get as needed. Aerie can include things like DUHM and Spiritual Hammer for a +3 Hammer Swinging Mega Spider with this, which can be pretty neat if you decide you need her to melee.

    Lower Resistance and Breach on pretty much every mage in the party if you're expecting Magic Resistance enemies or mages, breaching stoneskins or PFMW makes all the difference.
    One or two Cloudkills for tough but low HD enemies like Umber Hulks, I seem to recall even low level trolls can eat instant death from this.
    Chaos can turn tough fights into a breeze, especially if you drop Malaison and Glitterdust first.
    1x Spell Immunity each. SI: Conjuration renders them immune to Power Words, Symbol of X, and other nasty mage killing spells like creeping doom. SI: Abjuration is immunity to imprisonment, which is great for dealing with Elder Orbs and other specific threats.

    Death Spell - one or two slots between them, this will deal with summons and quite a few annoying creatures, like lower level Mind Flayers.
    Improved Haste - How many you want depends on how many mages you have versus how many fighters, but having both of them carry this won't hurt.
    Protection From Magic Weapons also lets them tank mind flayers, as well as survive melee if they're cornered.
    True Sight - If you're not a thief or packing Jan, this is the definitive anti-illusion spell, making it worth one slot between them.

    Limited Wish - Keep it on Aerie, since Imoen doesn't have the wisdom to pull it off. Aerie, on the other hand, can use this to restore spells to every party member up to level 4.

    I can go higher, but generally there's even less variety, since Timestop/Improved Alacrity for everyone.

    luskanSkatantypo_tilly
  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    The general rule is: Stuff that's really dependent on caster level (dispels, direct damage spells) should go on Imoen over Aerie, while stuff that isn't caster level dependent (most debuffs and crowd control) can be used by either.

    I would add that you should probably make sure that Imoen has the larger proportion of Mage buffs like Haste prepared, as Aerie will likely be busy casting Cleric buffs during the pre-buff phase prior to a tough fight.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,952
    Aerie can deal with buffs and spells that don't require level to be more effective (so a spell like Breach would be good for her). Imoen can focus on spells like Horrid Wilting (once she hits that level) that rely on level to be more effective.

    Notabarbiegirllunar
  • YelocessejYelocessej Member Posts: 182
    edited January 2016
    A four-person team of PC fighter/cleric, Minsc (or any other heavy smacker), Yoshi/Imoen, and Aerie make for a really fun game. You effectively have 2F, 2C, 2W, and 1T rolled into just four experience sinks. Aerial Servants, and later Devas, make superb fifth and six slot "replacements".

  • sluckerssluckers Member Posts: 280
    edited January 2016
    Two spellcasters are good. I might recommend two or three strategies.

    1. Consider which spells you typically open battles with. Not everyone does this, but for most engagements in the game some player have a selection of 'go-to' spells that they typically use to set the scene. I use greater malison, grease, stinking cloud, web, chaos, confusion, glitterdust, hold monster, and sometimes feeblemind as a cherry on top to knock out the strongest opponent (or try to).

    If you have more than one spell you like to fire off at the beginning, consider giving half your usual repertoire to one mage, and half to the other, so you can cut the time required by half without the need for sequencers, which you can save for damage spells if you like. Double the mages means you can fire two of your 'usuals' each round.

    2. Consider stocking Aerie with utility mage spells and treat her as an enhanced cleric. As a cleric/mage all kinds of sequencers, divinations and contingencies suit her well, allowing you to raise an army of summons and buff them in no time flat (if that's your thing). Combining spells like bless, chant, aid, haste, true sight, strength of one, defnsive harmony and resist fear go over really well, and utilize both of her classes. Have Imoen focus on the bread and butter of magery, while Aerie works on buffing your party and causing distactions/mayhem.

    3. Design each mage for a different role. Have one mage be a disabler, and the other a damage dealer. Aerie can also make a decent fighter, as well, particularly with those cleric spells. She can be a one-hit-killer and a serious problem for strong opponents if equipped with the right mace or morningstar and a few damage spells from her cleric spell selection, like slay living or harm. both of which are enhanced by spells like improved invisibility, haste, improved haste, bless, chant, aid, righteous magic, holy power, draw upon holy might, tenser's transformation and champion's strength. She can protect herself from literally everything using her cleric and mage buffs together in sequencers or pre-buffing. With the right care, she can be almost impossible to stop in melee, while Imoen rains down everything from death spell to magic missile to symbols of death and horrid wiltings.

    Designing your mages for different roles is also useful because Aerie will lag behind Imoen in the level department. Unless you have done a large number of quests before SPellhold, Imoen will quickly attain higher level mage spells than Aerie, meaning that the level 7-9 mage spells would better suit her and be a more effective use of her time and abilities. Imoen may also get access to high level magic strippers before Aeries, so it might be good to use Imoen as a mage-killer or as someone to strike at single, hard targets, while Aerie takes care of the crowds using her area effect lower-level spells or party buffs to improve your own fighters.

    Or perhaps make one mage a generalist, and the other a specialist. If you have a particular type of enemy in mind, like mages, Imoen is fine to use her bow and ammo for regular foes until you meet what you've made her good at destroying, then set her loose. Aerie can take care of spam and area effect spells, etc.

    metaentity
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,396
    edited January 2016
    Mirror image, stoneskin, improved invisibility, haste, slow, greater malison, chaos, spell immunity, breach.
    These are the most important spells so both of them should have these in their slots.

    Only Imoen should cast dispel/remove magic, flame arrow, skull trap, improved haste, etc. Her high caster level works well with these. Aerie should never cast dispel/remove magic, as her levels are pitiful, but she can counter some dispellable bad effects via priestly buffs such as remove paralysis, remove fear, chaotic commands, etc.

    For 6th and higher slots, protection from magic weapons is great for both, Imoen can backstab with mislead while Aerie can heal others while misled, mordy sword is a great summon in nearly every situation, etc. Not much difference in 6-7th level slots. Horrid wilting scroll is rare to find and should go to Imoen, Aerie can cast one or two wiltings nearly at the end of the game only. Same goes for 9th lvl spells. Aerie will probably never get a casting of 9th level until too late, but she can unleash storms of vengeance (disrupts enemy casters superbly) and implosions (ignores mr, holds without save) from her priest spells.

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 416

    A four-person team of PC fighter/cleric, Minsc (or any other heavy smacker), Yoshi/Imoen, and Aerie make for a really fun game. You effectively have 2F, 2C, 2W, and 1T rolled into just four experience sinks. Aerial Servants, and later Devas, make superb fifth and six slot "replacements".

    It's funny you should mention that. I was thinking of a similar party for a run: Fighter/Cleric, Minsc, Jah, and Yoshi->Imoen. I'd have to take another mage until I got Imoen back, but it would be a smaller party, all my class bases would be covered and we would level a bit faster than a 5-6 person party.

  • YelocessejYelocessej Member Posts: 182
    edited January 2016
    Kneller said:

    A four-person team of PC fighter/cleric, Minsc (or any other heavy smacker), Yoshi/Imoen, and Aerie make for a really fun game. You effectively have 2F, 2C, 2W, and 1T rolled into just four experience sinks. Aerial Servants, and later Devas, make superb fifth and six slot "replacements".

    It's funny you should mention that. I was thinking of a similar party for a run: Fighter/Cleric, Minsc, Jah, and Yoshi->Imoen. I'd have to take another mage until I got Imoen back, but it would be a smaller party, all my class bases would be covered and we would level a bit faster than a 5-6 person party.
    I did all the subquests before heading to Spellhold with Aerie as my only arcane caster. Yoshimo's traps, the Ring of Acuity, and high level cleric spells (your PC, if dual classed, should have Finger of Death well before Spellhold) make hard encounters not so bad... This was my first time playing through with only four folks and I don't think I'll ever go back. There was a short time in BG1 when Imoen had dualled and I took Alora to pickpocket a certain cloak from a certain prostitute (I missed the correct dialogue option from a certain douchebag elf), and I hated managing more than four. Then there was the brief period with Valygar and it was the same deal...

  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 405
    edited January 2016
    The real question is "who is wearing robe of vecna?" Imo Aerie should. Spells like breach, lower resistance are perfect coupled with Robe of Vecna since they require no casting time. Aerie and robe of vecna is the perfect support for healing, dispel, buff and disabler. Imoen should focus on offensive spells and protecting herself.

    YelocessejKaigen
  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 405
    edited January 2016
  • YelocessejYelocessej Member Posts: 182

    The real question is "who is wearing robe of vecna?" Imo Aerie should. Spells like breach, lower resistance are perfect coupled with Robe of Vecna since they require no casting time. Aerie and robe of vecna is the perfect support for healing, dispel, buff and disabler. Imoen should focus on offensive spells and protecting herself.

    I had Aerie bring the Staff of the Cheese Magi along as a "Welcome Back" present for Imoen. That frees up a few protection spells.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,839
    "who is wearing robe of vecna?"

    Easy answer for me. the one who have the most benefit in the particular tactical situation.
    Usually the highter level mage, Imoen, and it is very important after HLA, I alwais choose IA as first HLA for my mages ( for the sorcerers is the second after wish), and whit RoV and the amulet is devasting, much more powerfull then time stop, planetar or dragon breath.
    But there are situations where casting divine spells fast is important and you dont really need to cast fast arcane spells or immy has depleted her daily reserve of spells then Aerie has the main benefit from it.
    They can not change during the battle but also whitout metagaming in many situations is easy to guess who will benefit more and change before the battle.
    Like when you know that you are entering a dungeon full of vampires and fast restorations and negative plane protections are a must.
    there are some situations where that is not so clear whitout metagaming, like in the dungeon where you find a room flooded whit vampires whitout any clue before in a quest that is not related to undead but if you have a proper rogue and you use him the proper way and not only a npc that can open locks you scout, prepare yourself and you decide when, where and how start the battle. You have a tactical superiority over the enemy so you have alrady won half of the battle.
    I have chosen 2 examples that actually happen before you rescue Immy (one can be delayed) but I want only suggest that the mental flexibility of the player give advantage, you don't have to assign the X item to Y NPC, and don't have to assign Y NPC to the Z function and NEVER change.
    You can use the resources you have (NPCs, weapons, armours, artifacts and magical items) in the best combination possible in the particular tactical situation.
    in that is the REAL POWER, not only in 1000APR, and for me in that is also the REAL FUN, tactical superiority, planning, creativity, exploring new possibilities and new routes I never explored before.
    After 15 years of bg2 I find quite boring to click over the bad guy and let my 6 maxed uberfighters destroy him whith their uberweapons. that is only one of the possible routes, and there is fun in explore it, I think that every experienced player have done it, it become boring only after you have explored it enough (and enough is a very subgective thing....).

    Am I pissing a little off topic? May be not.
    "the best way to coordinate a full mage with a half mage with both spell selection and equipment" (topic's creator's words) don't exist. there are many good ways to coordinate a full mage with a half mage with both spell selection and equipment, and some excellent ways to do it.
    And good and excellent are strongly relalted to the personal stile of the player and to his knowledge, something that works very good for me can work not so good for you. My Aerie is often in mlee and for me is very effective, massive damage at 4APR, others make other very effective uses of her (massive damage whit contingencies and sequencers, mega buffs for the party) but never send her in mlee.
    and others waste her using her only for 1APR whith a sling and some healing spell after the battle....


    So Kneller my answer is EXPERIMENT YOURSELF, use the suggestions in this topic and the knowledge spreaded in the many topics of the board only as a starting point, try the same battle whith different tactics, equipments and spells and find your own way, the one that suits for you. Don't be afraid to reaload just after a battle that you have alredy won to do it again, cause you have only tasted one of the many possible flavours of that battle, there is so much you can apprend from it.
    This add a lot to the game, and if a game that is still played after all this years surely have a lot of depth, and if someday you will try it whith difficoult mods you will have a lot more instruments to beat it.
    And may be you will not be the stronghest player in bg2's history, as I am not, you will be a player whith his own style, not the "underlevelled clone" of some of the best players.
    And you will have a lot of fun in the process because you can play bg2 as a pacman game, but playng it like pacman is really only scratch his surface, actually is a lot closer to a chess game. And like chess the real fun starts only when you have reached a certain level of experience and knowledge.


    metaentity
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