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Don't be aftraid to use triple class characters, even in parties. Especially with SoD on the horizon

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  • Skatan said:

    Fighter -> Thief -> Mage *droool*

    Oh, you mean "bard" ? ;)

    ThacoBell
  • marc5477marc5477 Member Posts: 19
    edited February 2018
    sarevok57 said:

    Skatan said:

    marc5477 said:


    On top of all that, he can match fighter AC. In retrospect I should have done a 1 hand weapon with shields since damage output has not been a problem but getting hit is somewhat troublesome given his low hit points. I would probably go with long swords or clubs since crushing damage seems to own everything in this game. But I found 3 great longswords so that might bridge the gap with crushing damage. His AC is currently -4 but with the shields I have found I could have brought that down to -7.

    Quarterstaffs are one of the best proficiences since you can use a staffmace +2 onehanded. It has bastard sword base damage (2D4), crushing damage, the reach of a twohander, is usable by rogues and can therefore be used for backstabbing while wearing a shield or dual-weilded together with one more staffmace or another weapon of choice.
    Playing a backstabber in BG1, qstaff is by far the best category IMHO since you have so much to choose from, easily accessable +3 qstaff in Ulgoth's beard (you buy it, why do you still have your +1? :) ) + staff of striking when needed (not really needed ever, but still fun) + staffmace(s) for regular critters or for when you either want to dualweild or need to wear a shield for added AC.

    The staffmace is available in BG2 as well, so it's not just something you can do in BG1.
    don't forget the staff spear, which also does some solid damage ( 1d8+3 ) with a +2 thac0 bonus
    which can be found here:

    the succubus on the top floor of durlag's tower has it, so either pick pocket it from her, or kill her for it
    So i finally finished my playthrough and here are my observations:

    Staffspear sucks because too many things resist pierce. Crushing damage owns in this game.

    Staffmace is awesome but I got it very late in chapter 7. IMHO this is a cheat weapon... Also it rendered my 2-handed specialization moot...

    The class tailed off by the end. The combo of very low hit points combined with high THACO enemies made for a bad tank even with -10 AC and another -3 to slashing. Serevok made mincemeat out of this guy in just a few hits as did some of those harder skeletons in chapter 6/7.

    His mage side is simply too gimp to matter in combat so I just stopped trying to use it altogether in combat. Yes, he is great for setting up buffs and initial spike damage via traps and skulls, but once combat begins, he is basically a weak fighter and obviously you cant set up for every battle (though you can do so for major bosses). The problem however is the thief trap which I relied on a lot started to stink as the game went on since most everything resisted most of its damage. It was barely doing 2-3 damage when I needed them the most. The skull trap spell is far superior but due to low mage levels, even it lost luster as enemies gained hit points.

    I also hate how detect illusion turns off every time I give the character a command. I didnt realize this was happening until about half way into the game. It should just be turned all the time not with the find traps skill.

    So overall I would say that you are better off dual classing.

    - Berserker or Kensai to mage will easily give you double the hit points by end game, better weapon proficiency, and higher thaco. You will also be a better mage. Kensai if you want to cast more in combat, Berserker if you want to be a fighter more often.
    - Thief to fighter/mage works for the skills if you want them but I think I found they are not really needed.
    - Fighter to thief might be ok later once you go to BG2. Thieves arent great in BG1.

    As for making the class better, I think they can do 2 things to make it better while keeping balance. First the mage should be automatically a specialist. Perhaps a abjurer since it makes sense in the context of the class. Its a weak fighter so to make up, he learned defensive spells. It really needs the extra spell slots to make the mage side more viable given its low level. Also, remove the fighter restrictions. They make no sense and really wont make the class overpowered since they are limited to just 2 stars by game end. Not sure how bad this will make things in BG2 but for BG1, it would be ok without unbalancing things.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,659
    @marc5477 Sounds like you tried to use each aspect of the class separately, rather than melding them together. There are SO MANY different ways to wreck your enemies with a triple class.

    -Start in stealth, backstab to start the fight. Then cast invisiblility to continue backstabbing. Repaet as needed.

    -Self buff yourself until you are practically untouchable and wade into combat.

    -Cast disablers to start combat and walk right up to your now helpless enemies and execute them.

    -Go with ranged weapons and rain magical and arrow death across the battlefield from a safe distance.

    -Any combination of the above tactics or even switch between them based on what works best for each encounter.

    These are just the most basic tactics that I can pull up with a second of though. There are so many completely broken and infallible things you can do that I haven't even touched on. Triple classes are extremely powerful, but they more practice to get right than other combinations.

    GusindaProontLoxiney
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 782
    Yeah, FMT is a powerhouse in BG1. I ran one solo in a no-reload SCS run: it's significantly easier than a F/T, probably safer than a F/M and has more versatility (I think) than a M/T. Important spells are Invisibility, Protection from petrification, Mirror Image, and Web.

    The way I played it was max nothing but stealth on the thief side, and then relying on back stabs galore to win fights. Or Wand of Fire spam as the case may be. Sarevok end fight went something like Protection from Magic scroll on self, buff with potions, engages Sarevok and company, Arrow of Dispelling to remove Sarevok's haste, then using movement advantage to continually move behind pillars, hide, backstab, move to another pillar, repeat.

    The Mage on the other hand gave me three really important things: 100% safe traveling, Mirror Image, and Invisibility during the Ducal Palace fight to guarantee Liia's survival. Wanda didn't hurt either, and you gain as many HP back from a familiar as you lose by having a Mage class.

    GusindaProont
  • marc5477marc5477 Member Posts: 19
    ThacoBell said:

    @marc5477 Sounds like you tried to use each aspect of the class separately, rather than melding them together. There are SO MANY different ways to wreck your enemies with a triple class.

    -Start in stealth, backstab to start the fight. Then cast invisiblility to continue backstabbing. Repaet as needed.

    -Self buff yourself until you are practically untouchable and wade into combat.

    -Cast disablers to start combat and walk right up to your now helpless enemies and execute them.

    -Go with ranged weapons and rain magical and arrow death across the battlefield from a safe distance.

    -Any combination of the above tactics or even switch between them based on what works best for each encounter.

    These are just the most basic tactics that I can pull up with a second of though. There are so many completely broken and infallible things you can do that I haven't even touched on. Triple classes are extremely powerful, but they more practice to get right than other combinations.

    Na, you just basically echoed how I mostly played the class. The problem becomes apparent when you replay the game with another class which I did midway through the game just to see what its like. Points 1 - 4 can actually be viewed as weaknesses compared to a dual class or fighter/mage. The weak link is low levels and too much cheese.

    Obviously to do any of the above effectively you would need to be a 2 class character of some sort. Pick any other 2 class and they can do it better than a FMT for obvious reasons. The only real melding happens when you use all 3 classes but how often does this happen (without major cheese)? In my game, I can count the number of time. It was exactly 2. Seravok + Demon Knight since I knew those fights were coming before going into battle. At all other times, I either didnt get the chance to do the above (without major cheese or meta gaming) or the fight didnt need it.

    For #1 to happen you need to cast while you are in melee range. Which means no armor... you do the math. You will get interrupted a lot, and with low hit points, you wont last long against a enemy that actually requires said tactic.

    For #2 to happen, you need to rest a lot because you simply dont have enough spell slots to do it often and honestly, you dont need it 99% of the time if you just keep your armor on. Also you cant really be untouchable in BG1. At best you get 2 mirror images + 1 if you use the special item. Its a good spell, but it does not make you untouchable.

    #3 - yea right. youre a level 6 mage. You aint disabling squat lol. Okay I could disable yard trash but those couldnt hit me anyway. You can forget landing anything on a tough opponent. In fact, I must have tried hold about 10 times in the game and never landed a single one. Remember you can only cast up to level 3 in BG1. I did land sleep a few time early on when I needed it against gnolls but thats it.

    #4 - Ok but there are no major buffs coming from mage or thief. If you are casting, then you are not shooting and the problem with a level 6 mage at end game is mentioned in #3 above. Direct damage does work but your low number of slots really limits your output. You are not a good combat mage.

    Like I said, the only real time the FMT shined was when all skills actually worked on a worthy enemy. This only happened on Demon Knight. At all other times, they didnt. On that one fight, the snare traps hit hard, the skull trap hit hard, the backstab hit hard, and everything was great and I laughed all the way to the tavern. I used all the classes. But as the game went on, snare traps became near useless due to resistances (I dont think they scale) and since I was stuck at mage 6, my direct damage was also not keeping up with enemy hit points.

    Anyway, I had a good time regardless. But I think the class needs some love especially in BG1.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,659
    You never need armor on your F/M/T. You have the spells armor, shield, blur, mirror image, haste. That is very significant buffing. You can also cast any spell from scrolls, further increasing potential buffs. It is entirely possible to make yourself nigh unhittable in BG1.

    Disablers: SLEEP (you've just won 99% of encounters), blindness, charm person. color spray, grease, spook, WEB (effectively a mass stun), glitterdust, horror, STINKING CLOUD, ray of enfeeblement, dire charm, HOLD PERSON, SLOW (heck haste + slow is super good through the whole series). And these ONLY COUNT UP TO LEVEL 3 SPELLS. A large chunk of these you can use throughout BG2 effectively, let alone BG1.

    Everything I listed above are great basic strategies that WILL carry you through the game with minimal fuss, and combining them as needed makes them even stronger. I get that you didn't have the best time, but that does not mean that the class is in any way underpowered. It takes a lot of practice to master a triple class and learn all the amazing synergies they offer.

    ronaldoProont
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,157
    When playing any kind of mage in BG1, all of my level 2 slots are usually Web (who needs defensive spells if all enemies are disabled?). It's the numero uno spell I abuse the crap out since it stacks itself, has a penalty to saves and is very long-lasting. A potion or ring of freedom is your best friend. Wand of fire blasts everything to pieces once they are stuck in your web.

    But I gotta say I think the FMT is over-rated in BG1, having quite recently played one solo through BG1-SoD and about half of BG2 (then restartitis hit me). Just to test I ran a solo berzerker through BG1 a few days ago in about 6 hours and the only time I felt that a FMT would have done better was in the Candlekeep tombs at the end since I couldn't break open the tomb to get the STR tome without lockpicking.

    Relatively speaking, I'm not such a good player. I usually tend to either cheese with multiclass characters (ie stacking Web/traps from outside enemy PoV before triggering battles) or spend most/all of the spellslots to buff up so that my ie T/M, F/M, Blade are as good as a fighter in melee, which obviously a plain fighter would just be from the very start. So for me, even though I love to play such classes, singleclasses are usually just plain better.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,157

    Skatan said:

    Fighter -> Thief -> Mage *droool*

    Oh, you mean "bard" ? ;)
    I wish, but bards, even though I personally love them, are inferior to what a fighter->thief->mage would have been if it had been possible.

    Pantalion
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,996
    Actually, original bards were something along those line, in V1 of PnP. You got so many levels as a fighter, switched to thief for so many levels, then became a bard. Very very odd, but they were quite powerful in the end.

    mlnevesePantalionThacoBellZaghoul
  • marc5477marc5477 Member Posts: 19
    edited February 2018
    ThacoBell said:

    You never need armor on your F/M/T. You have the spells armor, shield, blur, mirror image, haste. That is very significant buffing. You can also cast any spell from scrolls, further increasing potential buffs. It is entirely possible to make yourself nigh unhittable in BG1.

    Disablers: SLEEP (you've just won 99% of encounters), blindness, charm person. color spray, grease, spook, WEB (effectively a mass stun), glitterdust, horror, STINKING CLOUD, ray of enfeeblement, dire charm, HOLD PERSON, SLOW (heck haste + slow is super good through the whole series). And these ONLY COUNT UP TO LEVEL 3 SPELLS. A large chunk of these you can use throughout BG2 effectively, let alone BG1.

    Everything I listed above are great basic strategies that WILL carry you through the game with minimal fuss, and combining them as needed makes them even stronger. I get that you didn't have the best time, but that does not mean that the class is in any way underpowered. It takes a lot of practice to master a triple class and learn all the amazing synergies they offer.

    Yea I will have to disagree with you there. The armor makes all the stuff you list moot. Why? Because the things you can disable are completely trivial if you are a fighter in armor. In other words, you are just wasting time and items by throwing scrolls and wand at weak enemies. Strong enemies will not get disabled. Not even with a malison debuff from Neera. Believe me I tried though not every combination.

    I think you also forget how few casts you have and how low your caster level is. By game end, you only have 4/2/2 casts at level 6. You can boost this to 8/3/2 with 2 items but like I said above, its a waste of time to try to be something you are not good at. With the level limit of 6, you are not going to be a great combat mage but surprisingly enough, 6 levels of fighter is plenty to be a decent tank though you need to watch those hit points. 99% of enemies are trivial for a fighter so why not use your fighter levels to your advantage? The only time to switch should be when you know a boss is coming which in my case, was only twice since I forgot everything.

    You do have a point about using scrolls/wands. I generally avoided using them. By end game, I was drowning in them (and gold) but honestly I didnt know that would happen. In a 2nd run, i would use them more often but managing inventory and multi-menus might get annoying... it is probably easier to just switch armor and go to town with my staffmace and board.

    Now all that said, I think that this particular class might get better in later games. I have been playing Dragonspear and I am up to level 8/8/9 and things have changed a bit. For one thing, stoneskin is a game changer in that I can now run around in my archmagi robe.

    The sequencer has really helped allowing me to free up a couple of level 2 slots for something other than mirror and invis.

    I am still a bit underwhelmed with damage output in fights that matter. I fought the green dragon and this guy was the runt of the litter.

    Post edited by marc5477 on
    Skatan
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,659
    Honestly, it sounds more like you need to refine your strategies, than the class being underpowered. But if you don't like the feel of it, tripleclasses may just not be for you.

    Gotural
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