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What's the best party I can build from these conditions?

There are quite a few party members I haven't used in BG2+ToB. I'd like the get as many as possible in a single playthrough, maybe some swaps for specific interactions. I'd also like a CHARNAME class suggestion to fill what's needed.

Rasaad and Neera are must-includes since they're totally new to me.

Remaining party members:
  • Valygar
  • Mazzy
  • Nalia
  • Cernd
  • Haer'Dalis
I know some of these make for less than ideal party members, and some don't really add much to the plot beyond their personal questline.

I would prefer to have companions with interesting plot impact or insights (like Viconia). Use that guideline to measure which ones to make core members and which ones to make temporary. I'm not opposed to 'reusing' someone to round out a decent team.

Two things seem to be lacking: Cleric spellcaster and tanky character

mashedtatersgorgonzola

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,831
    Mazzy is one of the best npcs in terms of usefulness and personality. Love her to death.

    sarevok57gorgonzolaJuliusBorisovShYariv
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,086
    I support @mashedtaters team make up:

    Mazzy
    rasaad
    valygar
    Cernd
    You dude/dudette
    Neera

    and I would also suggest the theif/cleric ( gnome could work if you plan on being in the back line, since they have great saves, but if you want to be a little bit more front line than half-orc is also a great choice)

    and if you go with this build, cernd can be great for healing and animal/elemental summoning, while your cleric deals with the party buffing/ offensive spell casting

    mashedtatersgorgonzolaJuliusBorisov
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,417
    To have only one arcane caster, and a Wild Mage one, seems to me quite risky.
    The suggestions I read about wild mages are to use them to cast targeting the enemies and never the party members, as some wild surges can be beneficial if applied to enemies but very bad if applied to a party member that you are trying to buff.
    Unless reload is abused, reloading at each annoying surge and not only at the very bad ones, (but then why to play a Wild Mage?) this is going to be a problem in the long run, on average a spell every 20 will be a wild surge. Nalia or Haer Dalis can help in minimizing the risk, she can use 2 rings that let her deal with almost any trap and lock, few knock will be needed, but with 2 casters are not a problem.
    Her dalis can tank, deal damage and buff the party, not as good as Nalia in it, as has less spells, but with him and a fighter thief charname what you loose in buffs you compensate with raw mlee power.

    Cernd is a very good divine caster, but druidic magic is more offensive/summoning oriented, Viconia has better spells to protect the party, chose according to your play style.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,086

    To have only one arcane caster, and a Wild Mage one, seems to me quite risky.
    The suggestions I read about wild mages are to use them to cast targeting the enemies and never the party members, as some wild surges can be beneficial if applied to enemies but very bad if applied to a party member that you are trying to buff.
    Unless reload is abused, reloading at each annoying surge and not only at the very bad ones, (but then why to play a Wild Mage?) this is going to be a problem in the long run, on average a spell every 20 will be a wild surge. Nalia or Haer Dalis can help in minimizing the risk, she can use 2 rings that let her deal with almost any trap and lock, few knock will be needed, but with 2 casters are not a problem.
    Her dalis can tank, deal damage and buff the party, not as good as Nalia in it, as has less spells, but with him and a fighter thief charname what you loose in buffs you compensate with raw mlee power.

    Cernd is a very good divine caster, but druidic magic is more offensive/summoning oriented, Viconia has better spells to protect the party, chose according to your play style.

    if @Arishal doesn't mind pressin' the "Q" and "L" keys, then I think one wild mage should be fine, I've beat bg1 with neera being my only mage, and even then, I don't recall it being so bad

    ThacoBellgorgonzola
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,831
    I usually roll with a single arcane caster, one is all thats really necessary.

    sarevok57gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,417
    Q and L are useful keys, and there is nothing wrong in using them. This is not a no reload tread.
    I was just talking of the fact that a Wild Mage has on average a certain number of wild surges, if he is the only arcane caster even more, as every party cast arcane spell will have a chance to be so.
    The choice to use Q and L only for really bad surges, every time a bad outcome happens, or something in between, reloading if someone is killed permanently, but maybe accepting to go to battle with your tank slowed instead of hasted, is player choice.

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 2,589
    edited October 2016
    Arishal said:

    There are quite a few party members I haven't used in BG2+ToB. I'd like the get as many as possible in a single playthrough, maybe some swaps for specific interactions. I'd also like a CHARNAME class suggestion to fill what's needed.

    Rasaad and Neera are must-includes since they're totally new to me.

    Remaining party members:

    • Valygar
    • Mazzy
    • Nalia
    • Cernd
    • Haer'Dalis
    I know some of these make for less than ideal party members, and some don't really add much to the plot beyond their personal questline.

    I would prefer to have companions with interesting plot impact or insights (like Viconia). Use that guideline to measure which ones to make core members and which ones to make temporary. I'm not opposed to 'reusing' someone to round out a decent team.

    Two things seem to be lacking: Cleric spellcaster and tanky character
    Actually, all of them make for ideal party members. It's understandable to think otherwise if you've read all the hate that ie Cernd gets every now and then, but all of the above adds alot to a party.

    I always see people talking about Mazzy's lacking STR but she has a STR spell that lasts long and give her adequate strength. Sooner or later you will have more STR enhancing items anyways, so that's really a non-issue. Mazzy is a SUPERB character, on par with a charname in terms of combat prowess. She can both tank and range and will fit into both roles equally well. She's a solid choice for your first slot.
    Role: primary tank and optional range
    My suggestion: keep her for the full playthrough

    Valygar is an excellent "backup" fighter, meaning he won't have the highest survivability but he can do really solid damage. You can get a couple of really good non-metal armors he can use that will close the AC gap versus a solid fighter, but not close it completely.
    Role: Secondary "tank", flank fighter and backstabber
    My suggestion: Rotate him in or keep him for the full playthrough depending on CHARNAME class

    Nalia is a singleclass mage and in BG2 single class mages rule. Can't go wrong with that. Her thief skills are a bit udnerdeveloped and personally I'm usually too lazy to make her the party's only thief, but it can be done ofc. You'll get way more potions of thievery than you need to rob every shopkeeper blind anyways, so you might as well use them.
    Role: Mage and/or party thief
    My suggestion: Rotate her in and out, but develop Neera as your primary mage.

    Cernd is excellent. I know many people don't like him, but he's a singleclass druid with the highest WIS score granting him loads of spell slots. He can summon a shitload of critters or spray out a plethora of insect plagues. And if that's not enough, he can transform to kill off the trash mobs without wasting spells on them. He's not the most talkative but his personal quest is kinda interresting, methinks. I am a staunch defender of Cernd's usefullness.
    Role: Summoner, anti-mage, ass-kicker
    My suggestion: Rotate him in or keep him for the full playthrough depending on CHARNAME class

    Haer'Dalis is also excellent, and funny. I love bards and blades in particular, and Haer'dalis is one of those very few NPC's who is actually to some extent stronger than a CHARNAME. His specialization in swords (get him really late, level 15+ IIRC, to have him have 2 pips in LS as well) is better than you can get yourself, though his stats are ofc weaker. Stats, however, matters little when there's items increasing every stat needed. With STR enhancing item, belt of fortitude and buffed up, Haer'dalis kicks ass. Though the downside with bards are their, relatively, few spell slots meaning you will have to either conserve those surges of power or rest often. I prefer the former and try to avoid resting. After a couple of levels though, he get enough spins to have one for almost every fight, keeping the IH/TT etc for the more crucial ones.
    Haer'dalis can be a secondary arcane caster, but his "best" (IMHO) when he spends most of his spell slots on himself.
    Role: Secondary arcane or tank or flank fighter, best to choose one or two IMHO. You can always change the spells in between rests, like stocking up with skulltraps for one fight and focusing more on buffs in another.

    Rasaad/Neera: Never used any of them in BG2 so can't really say how they level up but since you have already decided to use them, it doesn't matter either. Rasaad will become a tank later on once his monk skills start to kick in and Neera will get some items to make her spellcasting even safer than just from leveling.

    So, my suggestion:

    If going with cleric Charname but not thief part:
    Charname - tank
    Mazzy - tank
    Rasaad
    Nalia (only thief)
    Cernd/haer'dalis, doesn't matter though I would go with Cernd since Mazzy can use the best short swords instead of haer'dalis
    Neera

    Weak in thieving skills, lots of tankyness and fairly good killing speed with Mazzy and Rasaad. You could ie go dwarf F/C, berzerk -> cleric or cleric of lathander charname to increase your killing speed overall.

    If going with Charname that is at least part thief:
    Charname - if F/T etc you can tank of course, or you could go swashbuckler, or thief/mage (thief/illu)
    Mazzy - tank
    Rasaad
    Cernd - summons can help tank
    Haer'dalis/Valygar - doesn't matter which really. You could use both and switch them out after their personal quests. Personally I prefer Haer'dalis. He can also be seconday arcane in this line-up.
    Neera

    If going with Charname that is a clerci/thief:
    Charname - you can tank as a cleric/thief. You have access to all the highest possible AC gear but ofc need to slip out of that plate mail when lockpicking etc. Tedious but not that tedious. Don't be lured into taking halforc. The starting boost in STR means little to nothing to a cleric. The better saving throws for being shortie race is much better. In the end, everyone has the same STR anyways and 18 CON is all you need to get max save throw bonuses.
    Mazzy - ranged and secondary tank
    Rasaad
    Neera
    Valygar - you won't need more tanks with this setup, so just pick whatever NPC you like. I'd maybe choose Valy for this setup, but it can just as well be Cernd, Nalia or Haer'dalis. Picking both Nalia and Haer'dalis would not be as value-adding IMHO since they would all fight over the scrolls, so take one. I'd prolly pick Haer'dalis (as usual) since I don't really see the point of having two SC mages, and his higher level can make lower level-dependent spells quite potent.

    JuliusBorisovgorgonzola
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,831
    I will also vouch for Cernd's usefullness, but he is still a terrible person.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,417

    How about this? A no reload run with 6 wild mage from start to finish...how far can you get before your party self-destructs? Can you get to the friendly arm inn?
    Or if we want to handicap ourselves, start in BG2 so you can at least have some spells before you blow yourself up.
    Edit: corrected typo

    The chance of success of that party are close to 0, indeed.
    But this tread is not about a no reload with 6 wild mages.
    Still what you say is not OT if we consider the option of having only a wild mage as arcane caster in a party.
    You just brought the thing at an extreme, but wild surges will happen, a lot of them will, some of them will be really bad ones. And as is not a no reload run reloading if charname dies on consequence of a wild surge is fine, even less extreme reloads are fine.
    To completely ignore the problem of wild surges because reload can be used is a different thing, is like to say that to worry about sawing throws has no sense as we can reload untill every st check is successful.
    Is a legit, but lame and cheap way to play (the whole spell system in case of ST, the kit in case of wild surges).
    This is to take only the bonus spells of a wild mage in account, and not what the whole kit is. Some of the spells will be ineffective or potentially detrimental, on average 1 over 20. To ignore this at party creation, just because we can reload when it happens, imo is borderline to plain cheating. Even if is not cheating, to reload is a feature of the game.

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