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Fighter/Mage - best weapon profs & styles?

I'm now thinking of running an evil elf fighter/mage multi-class through BG:EE (and hopefully into BG2:EE) and was wondering what weapon proficiencies and styles to focus on. I'll be picking up the new Blackguard NPC, who I guess will be wielding two-handed swords, and will probably use Kagain as a tank (axes).

For my elf I was thinking of starting with two pips in long swords (for Varscona etc.) and two pips in long bows (or would short bow be better? Though I'll probably have a thief using the best shortbow). Then putting pips into a weapon styles next - either single weapon (AC buff, more attacks, better crit, no swapping out shield to use the bow) or sword and shield (better missile AC and better AC generally from use of shield, but annoying to swap out for bow use). Most of the time I probably won't be using armour after the first few levels, so will likely need all the help I can get to enhance my AC!

Also, at some point is it worth taking any proficiencies in staves (perhaps in BG2?)

What are your views on the best proficiencies for an elf fighter/mage multi?

Also - which evil alignment has the best familiar?
ginger_hammer
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Comments

  • ginger_hammerginger_hammer Member Posts: 160
    Are you sure you want to run multi and not be a dual class? It seems duals are more popular for this combination, although if you want to run as an elf I suppose it is the only choice.
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    The problem with a dual in BG1 is that you spend pretty much the whole of the game as a fighter only, unless you dual at Level 3, but then you're stuck with. Low THAC0 and number of attacks, though its okay if you just want some extra weapon profs, use of helmet and shield and some extra HPs. Also a multi, whilst not being as strong a mage long-term, *does* get HLAs for both classes...
    Quartz
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    ...and you get to be an elf, so get the +1 bonuses for swords and bows (not sure if that applies to crossbows) and 90% resistance to charm etc., and the Dex bonus
    Quartz
  • BrudeBrude Member Posts: 560
    I'd always assumed that F/M eventually went for dual wielding because of the self buffs and passive weapon benefits available in BG2?

    For BG1, I think your answer is going to depend heavily on your play style -- whether you see mage skills as an avenue toward mostly self buffing your melee fighter *or* the fighter side giving your mage better ranged thac0 and HP.
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    As will have Edwin in my party as my main mage (both BG1 and 2), I saw my F/M more as a self-buffing fighter
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    Single Weapon style works quite well in conjunction with bow use. You get +2 AC, a 5% boost to potential critical hits and you don't have to go to the inventory screen every time you want to change to a ranged weapon.
    Brude
  • BrudeBrude Member Posts: 560
    @decado agree, but only downside is that ranged weapons become much less useful in BG2.

    Either way tough choices as I'd assume a nascent fighter would want to go for Mastery in a specific weapon profiency before anything else.
    moody_mage
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    @Brude - though a Multi can only specialise, so more pips are available for other weapons
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Also, weapon styles aside, does long sword and long bow make sense for this class? What secondary weapons (e.g. blunt) would be good? Needs to complement what my cleric (Viconia) will be using.
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    edited October 2012
    @Brude
    Agreed, such a character would probably want a TWF focus in BG2 where ranged weapons become afterthoughts to other tactics.

    As @Oxford_Guy says unless you mod the game somehow F/T characters are limited to two pips in any weapon so can't really aim for mastery.

    Warhammer is always a good choice as there are a couple of good ones floating around. Maces or Flails are also good, though more for BG2 than BG1.
    Brude
  • PhælinPhælin Member Posts: 316
    Elven Bladesinger FTW.
  • MikeMastersMikeMasters Member Posts: 141
    Scimitar, so when you kill Drizzt you can dual wield his weapons.
    Quartz
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376

    Scimitar, so when you kill Drizzt you can dual wield his weapons.

    This also goes well into BG2 since there is are several useful scimitars, including the best off-hand weapon in the game (IMO).

    If I was planning on taking this character through all of the BG series, I wouldn't bother with any pips in bow. I would just use the bow from a distance and switch to melee when close. A an elven F/M will still hit pretty well with a bow.

    I just never use ranged weapons in BG2 so I hate having spent pips on them when I would rather have the ability to wield a broader range of melee weapons.
  • JaxsbudgieJaxsbudgie Member Posts: 600
    Don't forget that weapon 'sets' will be available in BG:EE. When the original release date was approaching, they said it would definitely be a post-ship release ... but now the release date has been pushed back by several months, there's always a chance that weapon set switching will be in game when it ships!
    Oxford_Guy
  • MikeMastersMikeMasters Member Posts: 141
    @Jaxsbudgie whats this weapon sets about? i didn't see anything about that
  • bigdogchrisbigdogchris Member Posts: 1,336
    I was planning on doing a fighter/mage also, and focusing spells on buffs, leaving my single class mage focused on damage spells.

    As for weapon proficiencies, I was going to do two weapon fighting with dagger and short sword.
    DragonspearAnton
  • GygaxianProseGygaxianProse Member Posts: 201
    Spear and bow would just plain look cool. Yes, I suppose the only way to get that archetype in BG1 is via multiclass elf or Bard. I'd go dual-wielding for highest damage potential, but the other options are solid.
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Okay, am now thinking to go melee weapons all the way for my F/M, and eventually to go dual-wielding. So for my initial 4 points how about?:

    Longswords - 2 pips (Varscona in BG1, lots of options in BG2)
    Flails - 2 pips (plenty of +1 flails in BG1, even a +2 I think, and lots of good flails in BG2) - a blunt weapon option is always handy

    Then putting the next 3 pips into dual wield, then axes after that in BG2 (Azuredge would give me a decent ranged weapon if I needed it)

    Does this sound plausible, or would it be better to go for long swords and dual wield first, then flails?
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    Personally, I would put two or three pips in dual wielding before starting on pips in my second weapon. If you specialize in longswords and flails without dual wielding, you won't be able to competently dual wield anything which will leave you with a useless second melee proficiency. For BG2, there are clay golems and other enemies immune to anything but blunt damage but that isn't really an issue for BG1 so you will just end up probably wielding the +2 longsword with cold damage for most of the game. If you put some points into dual wielding, you have the option to add a second long sword with no downside risk to your first hand (i.e., it is only making your character better).

    Also remember that you don't speed through the pips.

    For a multi-class F/M:
    0 XP - LVL 1 F - 4 pips (for example, 2 in dual wield and 2 in long swords)
    64K XP = LVL 6 F - 6 pips (for example, 3 in dual wield, 2 in long swords, 1 in flails)
    500K XP = LVL 9 F - 7 pips (3 DW / 2 LS / 2 FL)
    3.5M XP = LVL 15 F - 9 pips (now you can add a specialization in third weapon)
    6.5M XP = LVL 21 F - 11 pips (now can have a 3rd weapon specialized)

    You can see there are some big gaps in that build. You can basically have 1 weapon dual wielded for BG1; 2 weapons dual wielded for BG2; and a third weapon for TOB. If you are going to be doing whirlwind attacks, you might want to have a 2 handed weapon in there (2H sword, halberd, spear and staff are all viable with top-end TOB weapons for the end game).
    ginger_hammer
  • SenashSenash Member Posts: 405
    @Jaxsbudgie haven't heard from this either. Could someone show us where was this mentioned?

    On the topic: I know calculating the best possible setup is a good and popular thing (I do it myself on some occasions too...). But I would like to stand for the role players here :)
    I would definetly go with long swords and single weapon style (Gandalf-style :D). The reason is that it could be freakin hard to put cast a spell in a fight when you are holding weapons with both hands. The bow I would also consider with an elf (and my PCs are usually also elves).
    ANother option could be to stick with a staff and go two handed weapon style. I think there are quarter staff +3-s in the game, +4 in SoA, and I don't have to write anything to sell you the Staff of Ram in ToB, do I?

  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729

    I was planning on doing a fighter/mage also, and focusing spells on buffs, leaving my single class mage focused on damage spells.

    As for weapon proficiencies, I was going to do two weapon fighting with dagger and short sword.

    Why dagger? Seems a week second weapon, unless just for the dagger of venom in BG1, and I guess does allow you to have throwing daggers, though there aren't any good ones in BG1 I think

    And short sword?? Good for backstabbing, but nothing else really! Are you planning on being a Gnome fighter/illusionist and RPing?

  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    AHF said:

    Personally, I would put two or three pips in dual wielding before starting on pips in my second weapon. If you specialize in longswords and flails without dual wielding, you won't be able to competently dual wield anything which will leave you with a useless second melee proficiency. For BG2, there are clay golems and other enemies immune to anything but blunt damage but that isn't really an issue for BG1

    There are some slimes/oozes which I think are immune in BG1 or is that just to piercing/missile? Also skeletons get a damage reduction, though they are easy in BG1
    AHF said:


    so you will just end up probably wielding the +2 longsword with cold damage for most of the game. If you put some points into dual wielding, you have the option to add a second long sword with no downside risk to your first hand (i.e., it is only making your character better)

    True, no downside risk to the main hand after 2 pips in dual wield, though -4 in the off-hand isn't great
    AHF said:


    Also remember that you don't speed through the pips.

    For a multi-class F/M:
    0 XP - LVL 1 F - 4 pips (for example, 2 in dual wield and 2 in long swords)
    64K XP = LVL 6 F - 6 pips (for example, 3 in dual wield, 2 in long swords, 1 in flails)
    500K XP = LVL 9 F - 7 pips (3 DW / 2 LS / 2 FL)
    3.5M XP = LVL 15 F - 9 pips (now you can add a specialization in third weapon)
    6.5M XP = LVL 21 F - 11 pips (now can have a 3rd weapon specialized)

    Is that how the proficiencies really work for a multi-class F/M - i.e. no extra proficiency after start until Lvl 6 Fighter (why not one pip at Level 3?)?? Is this really the case?
    AHF said:



    You can see there are some big gaps in that build. You can basically have 1 weapon dual wielded for BG1; 2 weapons dual wielded for BG2; and a third weapon for TOB. If you are going to be doing whirlwind attacks, you might want to have a 2 handed weapon in there (2H sword, halberd, spear and staff are all viable with top-end TOB weapons for the end game).

    Hmm... have some thinking to do...

  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
    image
    For BG1 pure? Honestly it doesn't even matter. The best weapon of any type is +3. Hard to top the Spider's Bane, IMO. Free Action on a fighter/mage means more web spam, which is already one of the best spells for you to utilize. Plus you're an elf so you gain a bonus thac0 with it because they got +1 with anything qualified as a "Large Sword."


    If we're talking the entire saga...
    image
    image

    Katanas and Scimitars. Hard to top Dak'kon's Zerth Blade for a fighter/mage. Yeah okay it's got a low enchantment value so there are a lot of things immune to damage from it. But you're a mage. That's what spells are for. Spectral Brand's usable abilities sync really well with Mages. Nice thing about comboing it with Katanas is you can use Hindo's Doom in your other main hand slot for when you decide to use Spectral Brand's floating sword property.
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376

    why not one pip at Level 3?)?? Is this really the case?

    You get one pip for every 3 fighter levels. So you do get 1 pip at level 3 which brings you to 5 total pips, i.e. full dual wielding plus one specialized weapon. To get a second specialized weapons requires you to get to level 9. After that, you need 2 pips to meaningfully advance beyond that point which is I was only really looking in 2 pip increments. Sure, if you have 3 pips in dual wield and you are specialized say in flail and scrimitar by level 9, you will get another pip to spend at level 12 but that doesn't buy you much so I only looked at level 15 because that gets you specialized in another weapon.

    Opinions vary, but I don't like longswords at all. For a dual wield build, I like scimitars (you can get good ones in BG1 if you take out Drizzt for both hands and the best off-hand weapon for BG2 is a scimitar (belm) so then you are looking at your next weapon for BG2 and katana, flail, and axe all make good choices to add to scrimitar for a dual wield build.

    I am looking at this from a BG2/BGEE perspective. I would look at it as deciding on what your off-hand weapon is going to be (for me that is going to be either a short sword or a scimitar since those are the weapons that get you the bonus attack per round with belm or khudane) and go from there to decide what your main weapon(s) choice(s) will be. As sandman points out, there is a nice katana that gets you a bonus to AC and bonus spells and there is obviously a great katana for the main hand. I don't love anything for my off hand, however, that doesn't give a bonus to my attacks per round.

    Scimitar is great because it gives you a good main and off-hand weapons for BG1 and gives you a weapon you can use in your off hand through the end of the game. As sandman correctly points out, it also gives you a solid choice for the end game with spectral brand for your main hand and you have a fine d8 weapon right off the bat in BG1 and great weapons for BG1 end game. Short sword does give you a second useful off hand weapon (in BG2 you can have free action ability with a short sword in your off hand slot in addition to the added attack per round off hand choice for short sword) but there isn't a single short sword I like for the main hand.
    Oxford_Guy
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    The problem with Scimitars in BG1 is that, if I remember correctly, there are *no* magic ones apart from Drizzt's, and he's not exactly easy to take out. In fact In I don't even remember seeing many non-magic ones for sale outside of Candlekeep...
  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
    edited October 2012
    There's one at the top of Durlag's Tower. Bring some protection against petrification and it's an easy snag. It's +2 to boot.
    Quartz
  • MungriMungri Member Posts: 1,645
    There's a +2 Scimitar in BG1 at the top of Durlags tower. I did a solo run through both games some time ago with a 10 swashbuckler / mage and used Scimitars throughout with some points in katanas and quarterstaffs too. The staff of striking kills sarevok and the tanarri demon very quickly so you should have one point for that, and in BG2 you also get the staff of the magi.

    Scimitars / Quarterstaffs / Katanas are solid for fighter / mages. Even better if you use a dual class instead for a kensai / wizard - Kai + staff of striking or anything else = Trololololol.
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729

    There's one at the top of Durlag's Tower. Bring some protection against petrification and it's an easy snag. It's +2 to boot.

    But Durlag's tower is not exactly easy to do at low levels, no?

  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    edited October 2012

    There's one at the top of Durlag's Tower. Bring some protection against petrification and it's an easy snag. It's +2 to boot.

    But Durlag's tower is not exactly easy to do at low levels, no?

    The upper towers are pretty manageable - especially if you are just going to breeze through to get to the scimitar without trying to fully explore. The lower levels would be death on wheels for low level characters.
    Quartz
  • MungriMungri Member Posts: 1,645
    edited October 2012

    There's one at the top of Durlag's Tower. Bring some protection against petrification and it's an easy snag. It's +2 to boot.

    But Durlag's tower is not exactly easy to do at low levels, no?

    Not the lower levels, the upper levels. I did them asap with my Swashbuckler levels, just buy potions of mirrored eyes and haste, and range the greater basilisks with your best arrows:

    Heres a video of my grabbing the +2 Scimitar early on, its simple to do but the video is dark because it was night time:



    (removed EXP cap, farmed to level 10 Swashbuckler / Level 11 Mage pretty quickly).

    With the XP cap you probably have to dual around level 5 or 6 which is crappy because you miss out on the level 10 swashbuckler bonuses.
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