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Help me setup my party!

Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
Between cool character portraits and build ideas, I've been messing with characters for about 4 days now, without actually starting the game. I'd appreciate if you guys could help me giving some information on the points below (as well as your opinions). So here we go.

1) I had the impression that a party of 2 tanks, a pure cleric and 3 bow users could wreck everything, hard. How accurate is that?

2) what are the pro/cons of playing 4 instead of 6 party members?

3) lots of talk about bards. Are they that awesome/mandatory?

4) pure cleric and pure wizard - worth it at all?

5) what is in your opinion , the most optimal party setup? Please bear in mind that I'll just play the regular game + expansion, so I'm not really interested on max level. I'd probably favor an all around good group over a late blooming juggernaut. So no triple-classing.

Thanks in advance, can't wait for your ideas.


  • kozkoz Member Posts: 11
    1. - the big issue I can see is the logistics of Ammo consumption, secondary to that is if you go all in on any 1 weapon type (melee or missile) you could run into issues of just not having enough good weapons to go around.

    2. - 4 person party will level faster, but I've not really tried to give it a full go.

    3. - bards are pretty awesome, the high lore makes identifying items in the field much simpler, they are good secondary casters / archers, war chant (11th level song) really takes the pressure off your healers as far as keeping your health topped off.

    4. - I don't like pure Cleric *and* pure Wizard in the same group, overall not a fan of pure Clerics in any capacity.

    5. - optimal will vary on your individual play-style and preferences, but what works for me:

    - Bard. (vanilla, no kit)
    - Paladin. (Undead Hunter / Inquisitor)
    - Other single class warrior type (dwarven defender, other paladin, whatever)
    - Fighter / Thief multiclass (Elf shines here with 19 dex and a bonus with long / short swords and bows)
    - Multi-class Cleric, (ranger cleric or fighter cleric)
    - Wizard. (Sorcerer is probably the overall best but I would recommend a Specialist Wizard for a first run through)

  • Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
    koz said:

    - Wizard. (Sorcerer is probably the overall best but I would recommend a Specialist Wizard for a first run through)

    Thanks on all the comments. Now, why Sorc ober Wiz; why specialized over generalist and which school?

  • nuthernuther Member Posts: 6
    edited February 2017
    I played back in the day and I've been playing this since X-Mas, almost done. Here is what works well:

    1 plate warrior (Fighter or Pally etc) Go in first, draw aggro.
    1 other plate guy for the front (Straight Cleric or F/C) Keeps mobs from getting behind the front rank.

    1 guy with a bow (Archer/Ranger of F/T)
    1 guy for melee DPS (SHAPE SHIFTER DRUID!) this guy cleans up while the mobs are focused on the tank.

    1 Mage type
    1 Bard Talks and identifies.

    You get lots of mileage out of a Bard and a Druid in IWD. I highly recommend them.

    So you basically pull with your 'tank'. He has a low AC. The mobs engage and you focus fire them down. The tank and the bowman will get most kills. Everyone else is for assist.

    For weapons: You have a good chance to find most of the major types so you really cant go wrong if you pick long sword, axe, mace, dagger. There is also a store bought quiver that can take care of ammo storage.

    Post edited by nuther on
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 489
    edited February 2017
    You don't need to start with a thief if you know where all the traps are. There's maybe two or three that you HAVE to hit, virtually everything else can be navigated around via the priest spell Find Traps (and that spell is better for the Belhifet battle than having your thief spot them since those generally can't be disarmed). If you want a tanky thief who can bang out five APR with the Repeater, keep that in mind.

    Alternatively, start your thief as a thief. Less safe since your DC downtime is right when most of the avoidable traps are, but you can get thief kits this way (rages are less important in unmodded IWDEE as fear spells are rare and most of your enemy arcane casters prefer the traditional evocation spells over crowd control such as web or hold person or slow... you still have to deal with divine casters holding you but you don't want your thief eating hostile divine spells anyway)

  • pixie359pixie359 Member Posts: 245
    Sorcerers have a different spell memorisation process which makes them stronger if you know what to do with them. However, they choose their spells each level up and are stuck with them - if you don't know what spells you want you risk getting it wrong permanently. With a mage you can forget and relearn every rest cycle, so if you realise you're missing a particular kind of spell you can fix it.

  • kozkoz Member Posts: 11
    Lipe82 said:

    koz said:

    - Wizard. (Sorcerer is probably the overall best but I would recommend a Specialist Wizard for a first run through)

    Thanks on all the comments. Now, why Sorc ober Wiz; why specialized over generalist and which school?
    Like Pixie359 said, Sorcs have a greater upside but have a limited selection of spells, so it is best to "test drive" mage spells with a Mage / Bard first - even if you have experience with other infinity engine (or d&d) games - IWD is a little bit different.

    I don't have a strong preference on chosen school, as long as it isn't self target (or really high level) your bard can learn spells from the banned wizard schools.

  • Luke93Luke93 Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 771
    edited February 2017
    My current run:
    • Human Swashbuckler (dagger +, two-weapon style +)
    • Dwarven Barbarian (axe ++, sword & shield style ++)
    • Human Berserker (two-handed sword ++, two-handed weapon style ++)
    • Half-orc Priest of Helm (mace +, sling +)
    • Human Jester (short sword +, long bow +)
    • Human Dragon Disciple (dart +)
    As a general rule, don't setup a powergaming party: unless you roll a 100 or something like that, try discarding rolls greater than 85 (in my opinion, powergaming is not that fun.......)

    Post edited by Luke93 on
  • Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
    Thanks for the ideas, you all.

    I often saw clerics as MMO priests - sit back and cast - but I may try the more front line approach suggested. Is a F/C too far behind a pure Fighter in terms of tanking? Managing casting + fighting isn't a bit messy?

    I assume I need to cast all buffs before combat and only then "pull" with tank + F/C. Ranger and F/T shoot from afar while bard sings. Wiz nuke as needed (thinking on F/M either loaded with throwing daggers or a spear for keep distance of enemies). What you all think of this?

    Another question both for cleric and bard - I was thinking of having both with no shield and a single weapon pip for the extra defense. Yay or nay?

  • nuthernuther Member Posts: 6
    You wont cast that much, but there will be time to cast before mobs can close on you. I have a F/C in one of my play through, he is a solid killer and can reach a low AC.

    I dont think a spear or throwing weapons will give good results. Bows and slings are best I think. If F/M, I would use a bow.

    A bard wont get hit much if you stay back. They almost always sing and they could use a cross bow if you want. A Cleric in front should have a shield against any enemy archers.

  • Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
    Good point.

    However the whole reason I decided to think my party through was because on a previous play I had a knife throwing F/M that vandalized the while thing and was my top killer. I may try different setups though.

    Another newbie curiosity - a pure thief has any saving grace at all? I feel like the class was just poorly designed/adapted to the game. Either ruleset for backstabs can't seem to put it on par with even mediocre fighters.

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 880
    edited February 2017
    Thieves are awesome. It all depends on how you use them.

    Before a fight, you send your thief to scout. He spots the enemy : what creature are there, how many they are, etc... He comes back and sets a few traps. Your cleric buff the thief. He then goes behind an enemy (caster, preferably) and deals good damage to it, if not outright kills it. The thief comes back. The other enemies start to follow him only to get wrecked by the traps. Your fighters come in and clean up the rest. With this type of strategy, a thief can be one of your kill leader.

    Going pure thief let you fill this type of role, because you'll have a utility character (traps and locks) AND a scouter/backstabber/trapper, because you'll have enough skill points to do so.

    It all depends on your playing style really, because thieves require micromanagement. If you just want to go head on toward fights (which is entirely possible and legitimate), then multiclass is your best bet : you'll have utility and efficiency in straight up brawl.

  • Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
    Sounds interesting! I'd be willing to try that out. If the micromanagement is too much I can always dual and switch to 3E Sneak Attack rules.

    I assume for BS, I'd be better off with single weapons, probably a long or short sword, maybe an axe. Right?

    Also, I assume dual weapons is pointless for backstabs (unless you actually hit with BOTH weapons at one in which case it is absolutely killer).

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 880
    edited February 2017
    Yep, go single weapon style for improved chance at critical. I recommend longswords on an elven thief (they have bonus to thac0 with this weapon type). With cleric's buff, their backstab can be quite nasty. Obviously, if you want to have the possibility to dual, you'll have to go human. It's probably the safe choice to try a pure class thief and won't make much of a difference, really.

    Dual wield is not such a good idea. First, you can only land one backstab before going visible; the second attack, if it lands, won't count as a backstab.

    Second, thieves already have subpar thac0, and, since they can only be proficient with 2 weapons style, it's gonna cripple their chance to hit even more. Plus, a thief don't need to go melee. After it's shenanigans, the thief should switch to range attack, or (my favorite option) go far away from battle, hide, come back and backstab some more !

  • Ignatius_ReillyIgnatius_Reilly Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2017
    For a ranged character I highly recommend Archer kit. They're freaking insane. Repeated long range nukes. It's satisfying. Barely even use my other characters. My Archer's got 60% of the kills in Chapter 4.

    I just lure monsters one by one and they get pin cushioned before they even get near my tank. It's kinda nuts. All my other party members getting bored.

    They're also great for interrupting spell casters because at a certain point my Archer hits 95% of the time. And you can get a bow that fires 3x per round, so you get more than enough chances to interrupt a spell cast.

  • Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
    Well, we have some field reports!

    Thief - bit of a deadweight, but maybe it's an early levels thing. Basically he struggles to stealth, and when he does he misses his backstab lol. I want to think that as levels come by, the extra skill points and items will pay off. Went bounty hunter as traps seemed appealing.

    Dagger Throwing F/M is just awesome. I wonder if it loses appeal as game progress, but off the bat it competes with Archer in kills.

    Fighter, Archer and F/C - really need more gaming to evaluate properly. Seems ok now.

    Bard - while useful, I'm tempted to drop it. I like being able to select everyone and then clicking on target (especially since I'm playing on tablet). Having to deselect the bard all the time so the song won't stop is annoying. Putting a front line Dwarven Defender instead.

    General Party idea:
    Bounty Hunter traps field and waits stealthed
    DD, Fighter, F/C form a line
    Mage and archer shoot
    Thief finishes priority target after traps
    Wrap up and profit.

    Sounds doable, even on late levels?

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 880
    Your general setup is very much doable. This team with this type of strategy should take you far into the game.

    Yeah, obviously, at lower levels, thieves tend to be underwhelming, because they don't do what they're supposed to very well. At first, that is : they level up so fast that it should resolves itself in no time. Also, just don't forget to boost up the thief (and the whole team, really) with the cleric spells (chant, bless, strength of one, etc...) : he will be much better at touching things and dealing solid damage.

  • Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
    I've come across a problem.

    I tried HoF for the first time and really liked it. Using it with the option not to take obscene damage from monsters , it was mich more challenging and engaging than "simply" max difficulty. I wonder if it is too awful to do HoF as my first full play through. Guess I'm about to discover - your suggestions again are welcome.

    However, taking ranged characters to HoF seems a waste - enemies got so much HP that munitions management becomes a hassle.

    I'm going for "third time is the charm" party.
    -HoF on
    -Pally, F/C, F/T, F/M, Bard, (unsure if a 6th is needed/good)
    -Warriors pull
    -F/T sneak attack + Cleric Buff + Songs should get me decent hit chance early on, and survivability later on.

    Suggestions on (or if) 6th member?

  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 880
    edited February 2017
    Totemic druid. Their summons will have the HoF buffs too.

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,329
    Use one of the tweak mods that add in everfull quivers and you won't have to worry about ammunition management.

  • Lipe82Lipe82 Member Posts: 16
    Im playing on android,so no.

    Also in Android you can't deselect, so I actually have to issue orders one by one if I have a bard in party. I hate it with a passion.

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