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Haer'Dalis any good? What's your verdict?

To me he seems like bad fighter and bad mage. Even at high level with like 20 str and 2x +3 weapons he'll still hover around 2-1 Thac0 (while real fighters are like -5 -10). Meanwhile mages are getting Dragon's breath, Spellstrike and Timestop and he's stuck with lvl 6 spells (Tenser's Transformation disables his spins as well).

What's your take on him?
He seems like a cool dude, but from a powergaming perspective (Insane or Legacy of Bhaal difficulty).


smeagolheart
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Comments

  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919
    He works fine for me, he is a decent second or third mage and can be a decent fighter for a short time with good buffs.

  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    Bards are supposed to be a good jack-of-all-trades. Blades are just more oriented towards fighting than any normal bard. Comparing them with pure Fighters or pure Mages is a bit unfair. They are supposed to fill in any weaknesses that your other characters have. As they are a Rogue-type, they share the hight level abilities with the Thieves, which means Spike Trap, Use-Any-Item and Time Stop Trap.
    (Using Time Stop Trap, popping Offensive Spin and going nuts with your bard is one very effective tactic.)

    TL;DR - Haer' Dalis is good, just don't use him as your primary Fighter/Mage, but more as a secondary, versatile party member.

    ThacoBell
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 784
    edited July 2016
    There's a rule of thumb in BG: anyone with arcane spells is better than those without. HD can cast spells, hence he can't be bad. Level 6 is enough for Improved Haste and Protection against Magical Weapons, not to mention he eventually gets UAI and traps. Another thing is that Bards level very quickly, meaning he gets a powerful Remove Magic quite early. He has bad HP rolls and crap Constitution though, so he requires micromanagement -- like pretty much every spellcaster do anyway.

    HD biggest problem is that being a plane-hopping demonic Doomguard thespian he racks enough special snowflake points to make him utterly insufferable.

    Edit: Forgot to mention, Blades tend to be a popular choice for soloing, even on insane with Ascension installed. Don't forget they can use scrolls for when they need to cast spells higher than level 6.

    Post edited by Kurona on
    semiticgodAethernautborntodieMortianna
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    While Haer'Dalis may not be a top powergaming choice the likes of Sarevok or Keldorn, he is at the upper end of the power spectrum among stock NPCs.

    Aside from everything already mentioned here, he also comes with innate resistances unique to him, as well as (iirc) extra proficiency points not normally available to his class.

    FinneousPJMandragoraborntodie
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,571
    edited July 2016
    Bards, blades especially, are somewhat close to FMT. Their spellcasting is better in that they reach max caster level for skulltraps etc... and most importantly remove magic. The access to level 7 and 8 is not that significant for a FMT, as the most overpowered spells on these levels would be Project Image and ADHW which you do not want to use as a FMT. Most of the useful support and combat-oriented spells are level 6-.
    They get less melee power (no backstab, less APR, no whirlwind) however.
    But you get the idea. Bards are very underestimated in BG2, and actually quite strong, nearly on par with FMT. And among them, blade is the best kit, and Haer'Dalis is a good one, for an NPC. Their versatility is what makes them very good, though it is as well what can make players that are not experimented with bards think bards are underwhelming.

    ThacoBell
  • MMMMKMMMMK Member Posts: 30
    For what it's worth, he's my favorite NPC in the series. He's arguably the best tank in SoA (extremely low AC, mirror image, stoneskin, PfMW ect. ect. makes him basically unkillable with standard attacks without a dispel- and he can protect himself from that too!) and because he levels quickly as others have said, he's also better than a mage at using spells that have level as a factor (remove magic, skull trap ect.). The Lore bonus is also a nice convenience to have, imo.

    He only really begins to fall off in ToB when mages hit their highest level spells and fighters get access to their uber-strong HLAs, then I use him more as an assistant mage (throwing out the dispels and the party buffs mostly) and for Improved Bard Song, though he can help out in melee too.

    As for his personality, I used to dislike him until I used him for an extended period of time. He actually has some really interesting banters with Yoshimo, Viconia and others (can't remember off the top of my head). He's a great NPC overall.

    MandragoraFinnTheHumanThrasymachuslegotaksin
  • MandragoraMandragora Member Posts: 79
    For me he was weaker fighter/mage version, but i enjoy the ravens personality a lot. He fits well in evil party tho he is of natural alignment

  • IhatememesIhatememes Member Posts: 27
    edited July 2016
    I think you made the sale. I really liked his character/voice-acting, it was just the issue of efficiency.

    Not much of a fighter until mid-game, but he'll make for a nice secondary mage because bards level up fast. He can do the essential stuff like greater malison/breach/lower resistance which is all I really need.

    With this setup i can try out Yoshimo as well, two characters I've never had a full playthrough with. At last a full party with the legitimately cool partymembers only. This'll be a joy!

    Thanks guys.

    ThacoBell
  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919
    edited July 2016

    I think you made the sale. I really liked his character/voice-acting, it was just the issue of efficiency.

    Not much of a fighter until mid-game, but he'll make for a nice secondary mage because bards level up fast. He can do the essential stuff like greater malison/breach/lower resistance which is all I really need.

    With this setup i can try out Yoshimo as well, two characters I've never had a full playthrough with. At last a full party with the legitimately cool partymembers only. This'll be a joy!

    Thanks guys.

    You can also use him for dispel/remove magic since he levels up fast as a rogue and is frequently higher relative to other characters. A quick Remove Magic can help pre-determine some of the tougher fights. Buffs that depend on level for duration are also good choices.

    ThacoBellEadwyn_G8keeper
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,932
    The main reason I almost never bring Haer'dalis into the party is because you have to fight through the Planar Prison to get him. The loot is great (Kundane and Boots of Speed), but in SCS you're dealing with multiple well-buffed, high-level Yuan-ti Mages with lots of disablers and multiple debuffing spells per round. The Warden, too, is brutal, a Fighter/Mage with level 9 mage spells.

    By the time I can safely take down the Planar Prison in a no-reload run, my party is already mostly built.

  • pvddrpvddr Member Posts: 29

    The main reason I almost never bring Haer'dalis into the party is because you have to fight through the Planar Prison to get him. The loot is great (Kundane and Boots of Speed), but in SCS you're dealing with multiple well-buffed, high-level Yuan-ti Mages with lots of disablers and multiple debuffing spells per round. The Warden, too, is brutal, a Fighter/Mage with level 9 mage spells.

    By the time I can safely take down the Planar Prison in a no-reload run, my party is already mostly built.

    Is it possible to get Haer'dalis and then immediately go to Spellhold before you enter the Planar Prison? Or does he leave your party even if you're not in Athkatla?

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 400
    edited July 2016
    You can get HD as soon as you beat Mekrath/finish his quest. While he likes to remind you that you need to bring the gem back to Raelis, I don't he think he ever leaves (YOU have the gem, after all). He complains a lot, but that's it.

    I suppose you could also kill Mekrath, have HD join you and then just leave the gem alone.

    Edit:
    I did a search and apparently it only becomes an issue if you kick him out of the party before giving the gem back to Raelis. He takes the gem with him and disappears forever (possible bug).

    ArunsunKuronasemiticgodJuliusBorisov
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,571
    Nuin said:

    You can get HD as soon as you beat Mekrath/finish his quest. While he likes to remind you that you need to bring the gem back to Raelis, I don't he think he ever leaves (YOU have the gem, after all). He complains a lot, but that's it.

    I suppose you could also kill Mekrath, have HD join you and then just leave the gem alone.

    Edit:
    I did a search and apparently it only becomes an issue if you kick him out of the party before giving the gem back to Raelis. He takes the gem with him and disappears forever (possible bug).

    That's a piece of information I'll certainly use in my next SCS runs. Thank you for the insight :smiley:

    mf2112JuliusBorisov
  • LoveViconiaLoveViconia Member Posts: 196
    He is not so bad to fight, but also he gets involved in many romances. I never pick him because i don't care that much about romances and there are many better fighting NPCs you can join.

  • Clumsy_DwarfClumsy_Dwarf Member Posts: 112
    I put him in a category of NPCs that talk a lot of effort to make shine. Some, like Keldorn you hand them a sword and that is about it. If you put the time into it, he can be a solid choice.

    Also, Use Any Item lets him use the holy avenger.

    semiticgod
  • ThrasymachusThrasymachus Member Posts: 590
    There's a mod that gives bards the same spell chart that they have in IWD (access to level 7 & 8 spells) if you want HD to have a bit more arcane 'firepower' (not that he really needs it IMO).

    FinneousPJArunsun
  • VitorVitor Member Posts: 273
    If you have a party with a lot of warriors, just his bard song makes him worth it be there. Also, you can use mislead to play bard's song with the illusion. Also you can equip him with Vhailor's Helm to cast Simulacrum with him. So, you'll have 3 Haer'Dalis on the field: 1. Mislead illusion singing, and two destroy an enemy with Entropy and Chaos (as they're spellcaster, you can buff the both Skirmihers Haer'Dalis with Mirror Image, Stoneskin, Blur, Fire Shield, etc.)

    JuliusBorisov
  • beargryllzbeargryllz Member Posts: 6
    edited July 2016
    Good story, worth interacting with. Can be awkward if you're trying to optimize. He is usually less valuable than having a smaller party or alternate NPC for greater exp gains/capabilities. I would take him for some Aerie romance drama in a full party. Imoen and/or Valygar make him redundant and comparatively poor for combat. I tend to include Imoen and Valygar is also a great pick.

    I wouldn't waste vhailor's helm on him, but singing bard song through an image is a sweet idea.

  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,571
    @beargryllz Vhailor's helm is much more consistent through the game if used by someone able to use spell immunity, and HD can do this. However Mislead will be a better choice if you want to sing bard song, since mislead cannot do anything else.

  • IhatememesIhatememes Member Posts: 27
    Whaat his mislead can sing? Never thought of that because of the description (no attacking/spellcasting), I'm still in BG1, but this gonna be nuts in bg2 with improved bard song, it's like grand mastery for the whole squad.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    Mislead is one of the big cheese spells, not only can you abuse the clone for singing, it will also result in your character remaining invisible forever as long as the clone is alive - park it in a nice safe corner somewhere and enjoy unbreakable invisibility (including infinite backstabs if you are a thief).

    JuliusBorisovMagpieRandoms
  • ThrasymachusThrasymachus Member Posts: 590
    In addition to the mislead trick, there's also the bard's hat (a new SoD item that imports to BG2) that causes the effects of a bard's song to continue for 2 rounds (iirc) after s/he stops singing.

    So HD can stop singing, engage OS, and enjoy all the benefits of his song on top of the OS bonuses...

    Because of the Improved Bard Song HLA alone, I usually have HD in my party if I'm not playing a bard myself.

    mf2112JuliusBorisov
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 400
    edited July 2016
    Most high level image spells are weird in that it seems old D&D rules purposely left how "real" they can be to the DM's discretion. They might as well be actual clones in some cases (one or two even gained sentience in some of the old novels).

    Mislead is supposed to act like more like Invisibility + spontaneous image creation though, the perma invis while the the clone exists-thing is a unique take on the spell.

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