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New Player, Magic Class Questions

So I'm new to BG, new to D&D and I want to play a magic character. I've already spent about 15 or so hours playing around with a pure fighter, dual wielding longswords being as boring as possible, and I'm ready to restart as a Mage, or Bard, or Sorcerer?

And therein lies my question, whats the notable differences between them and which would be best for a still pretty new player? Also I'm interested in playing an evil character, any advise on party members? I've already encountered several evil ones that seem pretty good, but I don't know where to find an evil thief.

General early game advice is also welcome, even though I've played a bit I've been on easy so far.....,

Comments

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,037
    edited February 26
    A mage learns spells from scrolls found or bought and can memorise a selection of the spells known each day. A sorcerer learns far fewer spells, but is able to select those at level up and can cast any of the spells known up to a daily limit (slightly more spells per day than a mage). Bards learn and cast spells like mages, but have fewer per day - but also have the option of singing to encourage their party.

    Which you choose depends on what you want to do. Sorcerers are easier to play, but their low number of spells known will give you less new knowledge of the game and they're less flexible in how you use them, so you might prefer a mage. If you want a caster specifically I'd avoid the bard at this stage given they have significantly fewer spells per day available.
  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 350
    Elwood said:


    And therein lies my question, whats the notable differences between them and which would be best for a still pretty new player?

    I would argue sorceror is a bit better for new players if you can avoid trap choices in spells. (For example, don't pick familiar as a level 1 spell. Cast it from a scroll.) The flexibility in what spells you actually cast beats out having a wide array of spells you won't know when to use because you're new.

    That said, through most of Baldur's Gate your spell choices are less important than just the fact you can use magic wands and scrolls, which you should use as much as you can as a matter of them being plentiful and powerful. Hording them serves no purpose unless you know a specific spot you want to use them in.
    Elwood said:

    Also I'm interested in playing an evil character, any advise on party members? I've already encountered several evil ones that seem pretty good, but I don't know where to find an evil thief.

    Head east of the Temple in Beregost and find Shar-teel in the northwest corner of that map. She's a fighter, but her stats are high enough you can dual class her to a thief at level 3, which will still let her skill in Longswords get pretty high.

    For evil parties, I usually go Viconia, Kagain, Dorn, Shar-teel, and Edwin, although Xzar and Montaron are fine to be switched up in there at some point. Just watch your reputation because getting below 6 starts causing some really nasty problems.
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 306
    It depends on what you want.

    Here is a basically rundown.

    Mage can cast virtually any kind of spell you want with a few exceptions if you go in for specialist mage. I'd say, if you want to play a magic character this is the way to go, so you don't have to worry about picking what spell you'll have forever, you can just find, memorize, and select a new spell if you want to change things up. The only thing to worry about is your specialization which will completely nix one school (you can't cast them), but will make spells from your chosen school more powerful. There's some debate as to what is better or worse, but almost every school has something that you can really put to good use if you specialize. You cast less spells than the sorc, and don't have any of the combat abilities of the bard, but you can generally have a spell for any given situation or problem.

    Sorcerer casts the same spells as mages, and they don't require the ability scores that mages do, so you can focus your ability points into other stuff - instead of making sure you have a high INT score - it does nothing for sorc. The problem with sorcerer for a new player, I'd argue, is that it's sometimes hard to decide which spell to pick - particular at higher levels, so I would suggest playing a mage so you can play around with the spells first - and then if you decide you can do without all of those spells, or want to play a different caster down the road, then sorc would be a fun go then. They cast more spells than a regular mage can - so you don't have the variety but you do have quantity.

    Bards are a bit of a hodge-podge and can do all sorts of different things. They can kinda fight, kinda cast spells, ID items without the use of spells or paying money to get them ID'd, and can pick-pocket, not to mention that their song provides some nice bonuses, particularly if you use the kits, or if you go blade you can spend more time fighting. I don't know that I'd really suggest them for a new player, because bards in D&D are sort of there are mortar to fill the gaps in the party's skills, and its uses are not always readily apparent at first glance.

    As far as evil goes you have a few options for thief:

    Monteron can make a fine thief + tank. If you don't want to bother with anything other than traps or lock picking, he can keep you covered there, and provide you with either a solid archer (with slings) or a front-line fighter (in heavy armor).

    Safana is CN and as such won't complain about your being evil unless you just start murdering people in the streets- and can be dual classed to mage if you want extra casting.

    Shar-teel can be multi-classed to thief, but I don't really like using her as my locks/traps thief and instead focus her on backstabbing, which leaves little room for locks/traps.

    Imoen will never abandon you, no matter how evil you are - she can also be dual classed to mage if you want extra casting.

    Tiax comes much later in the game and is a highlight of playing evil.

    Skie comes last of all, and she's a competent thief.


    But really evil has some great options.

    Dorn has the best ability scores of any NPC in baldurs gate by the number of his roll (90 I think it is).
    Edwin is, traditionally, the best mage in the game.
    Baeloth is the best caster in the game bar none thanks to EE - even better than a player character caster.
    Tiax has one of the most useful innate abilities of any NPC.
    Viconia, in EE, is the best cleric because of her innate magic resistance.
    Kagain is the best tank in BG - only a player playing dwarf or Half-orc can hope to compete with his tankiness.


    OrlonKronsteen
  • JumboWheat01JumboWheat01 Member Posts: 949
    If Fighter's what you're used to, and you want to try out a caster, I always recommend going to a Cleric, as they're a good way to ease yourself into the caster life. Solid defense, decent non-casting ability, and a full list of powerful spells that you can swap out to your heart's content.

    If you want more caster-y, consider a Druid, perhaps an Avenger Druid. Nothing stops you from being a total jerk even with the Neutral alignment. Druids are a bit less solid of defense, though they get some tasty weapons, and Avengers in particular get some tasty spells.

    Though in the end, if having a decent Thief is your worry, there's always the good ol' Thief/Mage multi-class. Provide thieving skills and weaponry backed up by powerful arcane spellcasting.
    OrlonKronsteen
  • thespacethespace Member Posts: 946
    edited February 28
    It's best to save playing a sorcerer until you know the spells better, or at least after you've consulted recommended sorcerer spells lists like you can find on the forum, as you are locked into your spell choices and it's good to know which ones hold their weight as you progress and which ones become obsolete.

    I'd recommend playing a Fighter/Mage multiclass (elf archer type), so that your character won't be too squishy early game, and will end up being uber tough as you progress.
    CrevsDaakThacoBell
  • AtarbAtarb Member Posts: 13
    Specialist mages are neat because of the Saving Throw bonus. I prefer them over the Sorcerer any day.

    Note that enchanters get +2 to charm/sleep anybody. That makes them, in my opinion, the best mage class.

    Alternatively, invokers have the same when it comes to frying your enemies.

    I'm not impressed with Wild Mages. The effects are all cute, but silly. You're just guaranteed a bunch of save spamming since crazy things happen and ruin your plan.
  • BigfishBigfish Member Posts: 350
    Atarb said:

    Specialist mages are neat because of the Saving Throw bonus. I prefer them over the Sorcerer any day.

    Note that enchanters get +2 to charm/sleep anybody. That makes them, in my opinion, the best mage class.

    Alternatively, invokers have the same when it comes to frying your enemies.

    I'm not impressed with Wild Mages. The effects are all cute, but silly. You're just guaranteed a bunch of save spamming since crazy things happen and ruin your plan.

    I'm coming to the same conclusion about wild mages. I've never seen them do anything really that fun regarding wild surges. It's mostly "woops, occasionally a spell doesn't go off", and never flaming cows or anything that feels genuinely interesting.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,042
    You're clearly not getting enough wild surges ;)
    thespace
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,037
    I got a wild surge area effect when trying to summon a planetar recently. That bypassed the normal summoning limit on planetars so that half a dozen of them suddenly appeared - only slight drawback was that they were all hostile!
    ArctodusThacoBell
  • AtarbAtarb Member Posts: 13
    Note also that a Gnome can be an illusionist in multi-class.

    Note also how great someone who's invisible, mirrored and blurred can tank...
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 306
    One time while I was doing a playthrough with Neera in ToB, I decided to do the wish ---) full restock of spells trick, and she wild surged and gave the wishes an Area of effect modifier, which spawned in at least 10+ genies who all granted her wishes.
    ArctodusThacoBellthespace
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