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New to BG1

Hi, BG2 veteran but new to BG1 so I'm seeking some advice for my initial start. My current evil run has berserk9-mage, Dorn, Korgan, Jan, Jaheira and Edwin. My last good run was Cavalier, Kheldorn, Valygar, Anomen, Nalia, Mazzy to give you an idea of my typical setup. I'm taking advice on what my first char's class should be for starting a fresh BG1 play throught, I might not do BG2 with it, just testing the waters. I'm looking for something that will demolish/breeze the game with minimal effort so I can get a feel for BG1. All advice appreciated!
JuliusBorisovAerakarRavenslight
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Comments

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,088
    Somebody who is good using bows.

    BG is very open, lots of space for kiting once you get past Candlekeep. And all sorts of different arrows that are plentiful. And as the game progresses and you collect a lot of gold you will easily be able to afford them.

    Korn, Jaheira and Edwin are all available and strong NPC to take along. Though I suppose you ought to see what Khalid is like considering he's always been a ghost for you up till now.

    Good luck and I wish I was in the same position as you with BG in front of me as a new game.
    ThacoBellAerakartbone1Ravenslight
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,473
    I would recommend Kivan, available early in the High Hedge area. A very strong archer and as has been already mentioned, bows are great weapons in BGI.

    Good luck. I am also jealous that this will be your first time. You are about to have such fun! :)

    lelag200AerakarQuartz
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,011
    edited July 5
    All you need is Kivan and Kagain. Others are just for flavor.

    I recommend using the BG1 NPC Project mod, because of the dialogues between NPCs (it's much less likely to happen in BG1 and as a BG2 veteran I think you'll miss it).

    If you wanna laugh a little bring Tiax and Xzar/Montaron along.

    Oh! That's another thing you need to know: in BG1 some NPCs come in pairs. Minsc/Dynaheir, Khalid/Jaheira, Xzar/Montaron and Eldoth/Skie.

    Good luck!
    lelag200Aerakar
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 773
    A Good Evil Team Members (can't pick all of them obviously, but here's a list)
    1. Viconia-pretty much the only evil cleric. She also has 65 magic resistance, which helps.
    2. Kagain-Con 20 and slap on the Gauntlets of Dexterity that you get near the Gnoll Stronghold and he is nigh unto unstoppable.
    3. Edwin-I'm sure you already know that Edwin is essentially a synonym for power gaming
    4. Baeloth-Powerful Evil Sorceror and great dialogue (Can be found in Larswood at Level 5, so I'd keep Edwin or Xzar around until then)
    5. Xzar/Montaron- Great Combo, Great Dialogue
    6. Safana-Seems like she would work well with Evil partys.
    7. Dorn-Best Evil Damage Output. Has a bit of trouble taking damage at early levels though.

    I also recommend the NPC Project Mod, it won't add dialogue for Dorn, Neera, Rasaad, Baeloth or any SOD Dialogue, but it's great for extra dialogue in BG1.
    Aerakar
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 57
    Thanks for the tips. Any recommendations for starting class?
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 636

    Thanks for the tips. Any recommendations for starting class?

    Warrior types do well and in BG1; archery in particular is very strong early. Tank-y classes like Cavalier and Dwarven Defender do real well, too, as do the barbarian and beserker.
    Aerakar
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,011

    Thanks for the tips. Any recommendations for starting class?

    Archer or Enchanter.

    That's another difference: in BG1 (and SoD), Enchantment spells are a beast. Sleep, Emotion: Hopelessness, Confusion, Chaos, Domination, Charm Person, Dire Charm, Fleebemind, Hold Person, Hold Monster...

    That's why Xan is, by far, the best wizard in the game (too bad you can't bring him into SoD).
    AerakarQuartz
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 773
    @Raduziel

    No but there is a mod for Xan in BG2
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761

    I would recommend Kivan, available early in the High Hedge area. A very strong archer and as has been already mentioned, bows are great weapons in BGI.

    Good luck. I am also jealous that this will be your first time. You are about to have such fun! :)

    In terms of total firepower over the course of the game, Kivan is arguably the best NPC in the game, (at least, it's an argument I'd make; Coran is a hair better, but Coran is a lot later).

    But I'm not sure I'd recommend him for a first-time playthrough, just because of his quest timer. Or at least, I'd *definitely* not recommend him for a blind, spoiler-free playthrough, because odds are high he's going to get impatient with you and bail at an inopportune time.

    You can always take him and not give him anything too nice gear-wise. As a superb archer, he'll make your life a ton easier while he's around, and if at some point he bails, then he bails. Easy come, easy go, and there are plenty of other NPCs to experience.
    Ravenslight
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    edited July 6

    Thanks for the tips. Any recommendations for starting class?

    Archery is the most OP force in the BG1 universe. An archer will make for the easiest playthrough, probably; if you plan on importing to BG2, put your proficiency points in Shortbows. If you just want to run BG1, do Longbows, instead. Grab one of the good-at-archery NPCs and double-up on archery. The easiest run I ever did actually grabbed two of the good-at-archery NPCs and tripled up on archery.

    If archery isn't the most OP force in the universe, then wands are. Make sure your party uses plenty of wands. Especially Wands of Sleep, Fire, and Monster Summoning. Even Wand of Frost, which was garbage in BG2, is amazing in BG1, (it operates differently).

    If archery and wands aren't the most OP force in the universe, then SoE (save or else) spells are. Enemy saving throws are soooooooo garbage, stuff you'd probably not cast in BG2 like Silence 15', Blindness, Charm Person, Hold Person, and Web will pretty much end fights immediately. (Web, in particular, is crazy-- enemies must save every round at a -2 penalty. They're going to fail that all the time, leaving enemies trapped in a web and primed for... you guessed it... archery.)

    If you ever meet a talking ghoul named Korax, agree to be his friend and then make sure you let him walk in front of you.
    AerakarUnderstandMouseMagicJarrakul
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,088
    I'd contest the idea that longbows versus shortbows is so clear cut when you are looking forward to running through BG2 from the start at Candlekeep.

    The longbow advantage when you are truly dreadful/pathetic/useless at the start of BG outweighs the advantage of having all pips in shortbow for when you are much more competant in BG2 IMO.

    Strength stat comes in here, getting that extra damage from a composite longbow is lifesaving early BG.
    tbone1ThacoBellQuartzDreadKhan
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 57
    edited July 6
    So maybe 3 points in longbow, go composite, 18 str, and then start pumping short in preparation for bg2?

    Also, what will make the beginning of bg1 the easiest? I played about 4 hours years ago and gave up. I was use to toe-to-toe fighting of bg2 and this was years before wow so I didn't know what kiting was or how to abuse it.
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761

    I'd contest the idea that longbows versus shortbows is so clear cut when you are looking forward to running through BG2 from the start at Candlekeep.

    The longbow advantage when you are truly dreadful/pathetic/useless at the start of BG outweighs the advantage of having all pips in shortbow for when you are much more competant in BG2 IMO.

    Strength stat comes in here, getting that extra damage from a composite longbow is lifesaving early BG.

    Ordinarily, I'm on board with the idea that the thing that is most powerful is the thing that is most powerful over the whole game, not just at the end. So a Fighter(7) dual is generally better than a Fighter(13) dual, say.

    Bows for archers is one of the few places I'll differ. Archery is so OP in BG1 that you'll do just fine even with a "suboptimal" bow. Sure, a composite longbow adds +1 damage, but there are so many magical arrows with damage boosts that that bonus isn't all that important.

    Archery is much more finicky in BG2, where having an ideal bow becomes much more important. Getting GM and Tuigan right at the beginning of BG2 offsets any relative disadvantage of being stuck with short bows +1 and the Eagle Bow in BG1, IMO.

    Another thing worth noting is there are several NPCs already built for longbows, (Kivan, Coran, and Khalid come with pips pre-placed, and Shar-Teel is capable of getting to three points if you dual-class her right), but there are no NPCs already built for shortbows and Shar-Teel is the only one who is able to reach 3 pips there.

    This means unless you're building a shortbow user yourself, (or bringing Shar-Teel specifically for the purpose), the Eagle Bow is going to go unused or underused, which is a shame because it's the third-best launcher in the game. If you're already bringing one of Coran/Kivan/Khalid, short bows become more attractive. If you're planning on bringing two of them, a shortbow archer is downright superior to a long bow one.

    (If you're really concerned about the early game, there's nothing to prevent you from putting two of your starter pips into shortbows *AND* two into long bows and using a composite until you hit level 3. You don't really need a melee switch when you have companions, though it'll be potentially annoying against the skeletons around High Hedge.)
    Jarrakul
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,701
    edited July 11
    @SomeSort I think you're really overstating this. It's not that I don't see your point, but I don't think it's a focus @Wrathofrecca needs to have on their first playthrough of BG1. The OP even said they might not take the character into BGII.

    The only real consideration the OP needs to make regarding weaponry in BG1 is that katanas are super rare and there's only one magical one. Pro-tip: Don't place pips in katanas on your first playthrough.

    Long Bows are great in BG1, and fine in BGII. Yeah, in BGII they're not as awesome as Short Bows, but they're just fine. I've never felt gimped by using them.

    All OP really needs is a good class and an understanding that archery is very powerful in BG1, which I think we've provided.

    --

    Although I think it's good you advise some caution when using him, I find your point about Kivan kind of weird. In all my years of playing this game, I have never once lost Kivan to the dreaded timer. And I played this game when I was five and didn't really read half of the dialogues. I rarely breezed through the game either.

    Just don't rest every two seconds and you're good. Cheesy as hell anyway.
    DreadKhanAerakar
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,159
    There is a sling that'll be better than that shortbow for most characters, depending on ammo.

    For ranged in BG1, you can get by with any option, be it dart, axe, any bow, sling, any crossbows, or dagger, but by leaps and bounds you have an easier start with composite. The most suboptimal ranged weapon in bg1 is the throwing axe, but that shares proficiency with axe and can deal impressive damage evrn with poor strength (you'll need a mule to carry your ammo!). Shortbows early in bg1 feel gimpy if you aren't specialized for the record.

    If you aren't for sure going to bg2, just take longbow and have a blast. If you do export to bg2, as noted longbows aren't bad, just don't neglect your strength and you'll again do fine with comp longbows. ;)
    AerakarThacoBell
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 1,983
    My 2 cents on the longbow/shortbow debate are as follows: An archer (the kit) is a god in BG1 even with a shortbow. Longbows are technically better, but they simply aren't necessary. It's extra strength at a time when you're plenty strong already. Any other warrior class is probably going to transition into melee eventually, and so should stick with longbows for BG1.

    That said, if you're sure you aren't going to import to BG2, you might as well use longbows on an archer.
    Quartz
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    Quartz said:

    Although I think it's good you advise some caution when using him, I find your point about Kivan kind of weird. In all my years of playing this game, I have never once lost Kivan to the dreaded timer. And I played this game when I was five and didn't really read half of the dialogues. I rarely breezed through the game either.

    Just don't rest every two seconds and you're good. Cheesy as hell anyway.

    This is because the timer was broken in vanilla BG1 and never activated.
    QuartzAerakar
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    Jarrakul said:

    My 2 cents on the longbow/shortbow debate are as follows: An archer (the kit) is a god in BG1 even with a shortbow. Longbows are technically better, but they simply aren't necessary. It's extra strength at a time when you're plenty strong already. Any other warrior class is probably going to transition into melee eventually, and so should stick with longbows for BG1.

    That said, if you're sure you aren't going to import to BG2, you might as well use longbows on an archer.

    Basically this. Yes, longbows are better in BG1, but the difference between a Longbow Archer and a Shortbow Archer in BG1 is the difference between a nuclear bomb and an atomic bomb. It's a very real difference, but either is probably so much ludicrous overkill that it's not really necessary. The longbow archer will deal maybe 20% more damage than the short bow archer, but both will roll over enemies so quickly that you won't feel a huge difference, anyway.

    By the time BG2 rolls around, though, ranged attackers need to start hunting for every edge they can get. Short bow archers will deal maybe 20% more damage than longbow archers, and especially by later in SoA, that difference is definitely going to be noticeable.

    A longbow archer will play just fine in BG2, still. But you'll feel the power loss a lot more than you would feel the power loss in BG1. Just in my opinion and experience playing archers.
    JarrakulAerakar
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,159
    Well, depending on your build/gear, Strongarm is better than decent early game. Better accuracy and damage for 1 less apr can be a good trade early. Until you're firing nothing but magic arrows, if you cap at 2 pips, its not a problem to use longbows. I suppose its a problem that longbows never really improve on that, while shortbows get better.

    If you're an Archer its more one sided I suppose.
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 636
    IIRC, the true advantage of a longbow in PnP is that it has greater range, so you can get in an extra shot or three before the enemy closes. This is such a huge advantage, particularly at level <= 4, that it makes the choic a no-brained. In these games, however, a target is within range once you see it for any missile weapon except darts
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 1,983
    This is true. I certainly wouldn't advocate shortbows for non-(kit)-archers, and even for them, Strong Arm out-damages Tuigan on average for a surprisingly long time. The problem is that Strong Arm is as good as it gets for longbows, whereas Tuigan is just the lesser of two good shortbows in BG2. And seriously, it is worth emphasizing just how much better Gesen is than every other launcher weapon in the game (yes, even Firetooth and slings, at least for (kit) archers).
    tbone1
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 57
    edited July 14
    Forgot I needed 18 str for composite longbows :x.

    How should I allocate thief points? What's enough points for move silently, find traps, etc.

    Also, who's a solid early healer that isn't Jaheira, cause I don't want her.
    Post edited by Wrathofrecca on
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 1,983
    For thief points, you generally want about 85 total in find traps and open locks. Having *someone* in the party with those is usually a priority, although you can manage with potions of perception if you're not quite there. Set traps and detect illusions both benefit from going up to 100, and no higher, as they're simple percent chances to succeed. They're both really good, but better in BG2 than in BG1. Hide in shadows, move silently, and pick pockets benefit from going... pretty much as high as you could reasonably get them to, but they're usually low priority. Pick pockets saves you money, but you get rich pretty fast in this game. Hide in shadows and move silently are nice, but unless you're playing a shadowdancer, you're not going to use them in combat anyway, so you can just keep trying until they work. Or drink a potion of invisibility and call it a day.

    The main non-Jaheira early healers are Branwen and Viconia. Of the two, Viconia is definitely stronger, but they're both single-classes clerics, so whatever. A striking amount of the game's healers are only available later, so those are pretty much your options in the beginning.
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,526
    edited July 14
    Jarrakul said:

    And seriously, it is worth emphasizing just how much better Gesen is than every other launcher weapon in the game (yes, even Firetooth and slings, at least for (kit) archers).

    @Jarrakul Gesen is great, but it's not clearly superior to other weapons. The following comparison assumes that enemies have no resistance to either electrical or missile damage and assumes a level 16 archer with grand mastery (specialisation in sling) and strength of 22 (fire giant strength girdle).

    Gesen damage per unloaded shot is 2 + 1-8 electrical + 5 + 5 = 13-20 or 16.5 on average.
    APR of base 2 + 1 for level 13 + 1 for GM = 4
    DPR = 66 (if all shots hit)
    {with acid arrows equipped does 1-6+1 + 1-3 acid + 2 + 1-8 electrical + 5 + 5 = 16-30 or 23 on average}

    Firetooth +5 damage per shot is 2 fire + 1-8+5 + 5 + 5 = 18-25 or 21.5 on average.
    APR of base 1 + 1 for level 13 + 1 for GM = 3
    DPR = 64.5
    {with bolts of lightning equipped does 2 fire + 1-8+5 + 1-8 + 2d4 electrical (assuming save made) + 5 + 5 = 21-41 or 31 on average}

    Everard sling +5 damage per shot is 1-4+2 + 5 + 2 + 10 = 20-23 or 21.5 on average.
    APR of base 1 + 1 for level 13 + 0.5 for specialisation = 2.5
    DPR = 53.75
    {with +4 bullets equipped does 1-4+2 + 1-4+5 + 5 + 2 + 10 = 26-32 or 29 on average}

    Whether ammunition is equipped or not Firetooth and Gesen are pretty similar in output for an archer at mid levels, though Everard lags behind. The APR advantage of Gesen does mean though it can benefit more from the use of buffs such as improved haste, called shot and chant. The analysis above though assumes that every shot will hit. In reality that's not the case which makes the other weapons more attractive. That's partly because critical misses reduce the APR advantage of Gesen directly. In addition the bonus to THAC0 is only +4 for Gesen, but +6 for Firetooth and +5 for Everard (the THAC0 adjustment from ammunition will also tend to benefit slings more), which will make a big difference when fighting tougher enemies.

    In terms of game timing both Firetooth and Everard are available far earlier (in the unmodded game) than Gesen (though Tuigan is a good substitute for shortbow users). Once HLAs are available GWWs mean that both Firetooth and Everard will comfortably out-perform Gesen even for an archer, thus there's actually a relatively small part of the game where Gesen would be the best weapon even for an archer that's regularly fully buffed.

    For non-archers the other weapons will generally be as good or better than Gesen throughout the game, but the main point is that even for archers there's no need to go for Gesen every time (daggers and axes are also viable alternatives for archers as well as the long bows discussed above and even darts can become competitive if lots of buffs are regularly used).
    Post edited by Grond0 on
    AndreaColomboDreadKhanAerakarThacoBell
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,159
    I was heartbroken the first time I tried to stick with jaheira... So much XP to get 2nd level Druid spells, and in vanilla, 2nd level Druid was utter rubbish, to be polite.

    It could be seen as a feature that longbows are so good early, and so bad later; forces you to chose if you want it easy early, or easier later.

    btw, I don't think an Archer can get GM in slings, can they? aren't they restricted to specialization?
    Aerakar
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,526
    edited July 14
    DreadKhan said:

    btw, I don't think an Archer can get GM in slings, can they? aren't they restricted to specialization?

    @DreadKhan yep - thanks for the nudge :). I put that in my comparison above, but see I'd got caught out by copying and pasting the information on APR used for the other weapons - now corrected. I've also added a bit more information to the post to spell out the additional damage done if ammunition is equipped on top of launchers (note by the way that the character record does not correctly display expected damage in this situation, so if you want to test it you actually need to shoot something).
    Post edited by Grond0 on
    Aerakar
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,526
    In terms of healers Aerie is also available early. She's potentially an extremely strong character, but does need micro-management to get the best out of her which won't be to everyone's taste.
    AerakarThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,088

    Forgot I needed 18 str for composite longbows :x.

    How should I allocate thief points? What's enough points for move silently, find traps, etc.

    Also, who's a solid early healer that isn't Jaheira, cause I don't want her.

    Based on your OP that you want a straightforward easy run through BG only so you can really get into the game.

    Thief skills, prioritise pick locks and find traps and then lay traps for easy kills a bit later.
    If you are going for the Nashkel mines early, find traps is important, if you are planning on visiting Durlags Tower later, evenmoreso.
    And open locks, it's a great way to get a feel of the game to be able to run around and open all the doors and chests.

    Healers, I love Vic but I rather like Branwen as well. So as you know Vic from BG2, why not give Branwen a try? An advantage is she is stronger and in BG you don't get any strength enhancing items till much later. Or take both, I do.

    Aerakar
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