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When to Dual a Barbarian

I just began in BGEE2 to play a human barbarian and I want to dual him into a Barb-Mage. What level would be best to mage to use him to the max?

Comments

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,085
    I don't think unmodded Barbarians CAN dual, can they? Or was that a new feature.

    Anyway, generally warrior-types (and Barbarian is a Fighter kit as far as the game mechanics are concerned) are best dualed at level 9. It's a sweet spot between APR (gained at 7), weapon proficiency points (gained at 9, with Grand Mastery possible for those who can have it), hit dice (last hit die for warrior-types is at 9), and kit abilities (most kits are every 4 levels, so an extra one at lvl 8), while keeping the XP requirement to regain the class reasonable enough to regain it very quickly in SoA. A higher level dual (13 would be the next significant breakpoint) tend to take so long that it's questionable whether the fairly minor gains from the process are worth the substantial downtime.

    As always, however, it depends on a large variety of factors, not the least of which is your own personal preference.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,531
    Dual later than 9 if you intend to be a warrior imho, as you need the THAC0 in ToB. If you dual to cleric though 9 is probably just fine, as they have good THAC0.

    Remember if you dual to a mage, you have a new set of tools. Web can catch actually enemies despite being a lvl 2 spell, but Clerics are less gifted. Thieves that take trap setting though can contribute right away, keep that in mind if you dual to thief.

    In truth, dualing from warrior isn't so bad. You're going from a likely 1 trick pony to something with tools. Dualing to fighter is not much fun imho.

  • ZeltArruinZeltArruin Member Posts: 10
    He's a barbarian, always dual at multiples of 5. 9 is squandering physical resist, so is 13. Dualling at 15 (assuming you're going to TOB and don't mind the huge down time) will leave you the 'most' powerful at the end of the game, but 10 is much more palatable.

  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 540
    edited September 25
    Mostly out of curiosity I rolled a Barbarian and was surprised to find it could Dual-Class. I am playing BG2:The Collection [SoA] unmodded except for a few basic fix-packages and G3Tweaks, which I now understand is probably where the Dual-Class option for Barbarian has come from.

    BUT...My Charname, Yankee Dog, is beginning Chateau Irenicus with 305 HP !!!. Is that a glitch?? If so I will take it as a good sign in this crazy world!! If 300+HP is normal for a Lvl7 Barbarian I am wondering why the Berserker ->Mage Dual Class is so generally preferred??

    Currently planning to Dual Class at Level 8, mostly because I want to get my Melee back ASAP. Barbrn Level 8 gets 1) extra Barb Rage, 2)THACO benefit, 3)HP benefit and 4) can regain Barbrn abilities very soon after exiting from Dungeon in Waukeen Promenade.

    Dual-classing at an early point in BG2, during the escape from Chateau Irenicus or shortly after the startling events leading to Imoen's peril, has always seemed a bit more sensible RP-wise than later on when Charname's party is gearing-up to prepare for an assault of Spellhold.

    The last point is readily negotiable insofar as one is prepared to quash a 'purist' agenda and combine High XP Solo forays [plus a few other Imoen-only episodes] with a more general strategy of making a full party escape from the dungeon with Jaheira, Minsc and Yoshimo. [Note: Not planning to take Jaheira or Minsc to endgame]

    However, I just rediscovered that Lvl 9 Barbarian also brings a nice boost in Saving Throws. 10/12/11/12/13 schedule becomes 8/10/9/9/11. This rather tips the balance towards Dual Class at Level 9 [250,000xp] which will still allow me to get Mage 17 [2,625,000xp] under SoA experience cap plus extra THACO and HP benefit and I will just have to suck it up a bit longer before getting Mage Lvl 10.

    The extra Proficiency * could also be useful. So far I am planning:
    ~~Barbarian
    Long Sword**
    Scimitar*
    Dagger*
    2Wpn**

    ~~Mage
    Sling*
    Staff*
    2HndWpn*

    Since I will not have the best AC for end-game, I am thinking the LVL9 pip should go to Halberd. But the extra damage from 2 pips in Dagger [Firetooth] might be just as good without cluttering up the character. I am also not sure that my vanilla game will get Strength damage from Throwing Daggers.

    Going on to Lvl10 will get 10%Dmg Resist and THACO benefit but will not reach Mage Lvl 17 in SoA. If I want Dmg Rst, which is probably a good idea, perhaps Flail would be a good choice for Defender of Easthaven. On the other hand, Damage Reduction works without the Proficiency!

    So Halberd it is even though I have always found it a bit comical to suddenly produce a Pole-axe out of thin air

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703



    BUT...My Charname, Yankee Dog, is beginning Chateau Irenicus with 305 HP !!!. Is that a glitch?? If so I will take it as a good sign in this crazy world!! If 300+HP is normal for a Lvl7 Barbarian I am wondering why the Berserker ->Mage Dual Class is so generally preferred??


    a lev 7 barbarian should have 7d12 hp so on average 45.5 hp and a maximum 84 hp (there is nothing wrong in playing easy difficulty :) ).
    a lev 40 barbarian has a maximum hp of 201 (9d12+93).
    probably there is something wrong with your game.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,516
    It's a bug between the Tweaks NWN-style hp component and the pre-EE Barbarian (which had dome weird hard-coded stuff going on with its hit points).

  • StefanOStefanO Member Posts: 308
    A barbarian will get at L11 10% resistance against crushing, slashing, piercing, and missile. Resistancies are always nice to have.

  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 540
    Re-rolled to double-check and switch proficiencies. I do not get Strength bonus with Throwing Daggers so taking single pips in Flail [DoE] and Halberd to go with Scimitar and 2 pips in Long Sword and 2 Wpn style before Dual-Class to Mage at Level 9.

    This time got 310HP and a different set of Bhaal skills even though keeping the same True Neutral alignment. Not playing SCS so I should just chill and enjoy the extra leeway for foolishness. Might be some drunken barbarian oopsies!!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703

    I do not get Strength bonus with Throwing Daggers so.......

    throwing daggers don't, but returning daggers do, and they also give +1 apr and roll 2d4 dmg, the same of bastard sword. you can steal the +2 one right at the beginning of soa chap 2 and buy the +3 one that has also elemental damage, in the underdark. they can also be used mlee (only main hand, but in EE you can dual weld an other weapon in the off hand).
    returning daggers are among the best weapons of soa.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    edited September 27
    i want to add that imho the original game was much more balanced in term of returning weapons.
    now in EE both the returning daggers get STR bonus (on top of +1 apr and bastard sword damage roll) and both the soa returning axes don't get it.

    in original game only 1x class get the STR bonus, the less powerful one. the dagger from limited wish quest and the axe without undead killing capability.

    now there is no reason to go for axe as returning ranged weapon as daggers are better in every aspect, and in original after choosing dagger or axe you had to make a choice according to the situation, the best one or the one with STR bonus. also in original the t. daggers could not be used mlee while DW, thing that overpowers them even more, combinations like firetooth + SNT or earlier Boomerang dagger + belm/kundane overpower even more the throwing daggers.
    in EE you can have early in soa 2 people DW with +2 apr and later haer dalis on top as soon as he reaches 3M xp DW with +1 apr.

  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 540
    Now I am going to have to load a saved game with several POMT and a decent FMT Pickpocket. Never really paid much attention to +2 returning dagger as an early pickpocket target. Could be decisive and fits well with Barbarian Mage role-play [after recovering Brbrn abilities]. Doing such research is one of my favorite parts of the game.

    Then forget Halberd and Scimitar. Barbrn pips: Long Sword** 2Wpn** Dagger** Flail[DOE]* plus Mage pips in Sling, Staff and 2HndWpns. Halberd is not a Barbarian weapon anyway.

    Also need to be sure Barbarian will be able to wear Robe of Vecna. Another thread has a note from @Artemius_I to the effect that Mage Robes are among a number of items that have an unusual code tag that specifically bars them from being used by Barbarian Class. Could seriously nerf the Dual Class 'fix' from G3 Tweaks package.

    I am thinking that a fun handicap would be a hare-brained conviction that Vocalize must always be the first-choice for spell-casting when Enemy Sighted. Could just imagine how irksome to have a great brute that is absolutely indispensable as well as Party Leader but insists on something ridiculous that no one can convince him otherwise about!!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    about proficiency if you can delay the last mage one, leveling when you also activate the original class (learning scrolls and saving quest xp should not be a problem) you can avoid the sling proficiency and use the last mage pip as 3rd dw one. the returning daggers are as good weapons as the slings if not better and as mage only some sling shots will connect. it is not really necessary, your plan is good anyway.

    i can not answer you about the robe, but you can probably test it with ctrl K to exit fast from the dungeon and console to give you money to buy the robe. or you can console in the robe at the beginning of the dungeon. is not cheating, is testing, then you reload and you go in a fair way.

  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 540
    I have seen other threads in which Barbarian->Mage Dual-class has been critiqued as wildly out-of-bounds from an RP perspective, as if Barbarians in tabletop game must be played as close-kin to Neolithic hunter-gatherers with an assumption of no more than minimal literacy and a marked tendency towards drunken binges. Improbable class, at best, given 20 years in Candlekeep. And besides, any Barbarian with "Talents" beyond the physical is almost certainly more likely to become a Druid or Ranger.

    Surely an artificial constraint. No reason at all why Barbarian Charname could not have had a feisty Earth-mother that was attractive in her own right to Baal, possibly a mere romp-in-the-hay ~ not an intended part of the Baalspawn project, implying an interesting story-line as to why it took so long for Sarevok to track him/her down.

    Factor in 20 yrs in Candlekeep gradually shaping the raw intelligence of a Conan-esque Baalspawn, exposed over the last few years to powerful thaumaturgic manifestations. Add to this several months of Jon Irenicus carefully experimenting and the traumatic abduction of Imoen ~ that could easily explain something quite unusual.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703

    I have seen other threads in which Barbarian->Mage Dual-class has been critiqued as wildly out-of-bounds from an RP perspective, as if Barbarians in tabletop game must be played as close-kin to Neolithic hunter-gatherers with an assumption of no more than minimal literacy and a marked tendency towards drunken binges.

    yep, this reflects a common mistake that also in RL most civilizations did, flagging other peoples (the barbarians) as rough semi human, even when the other peoples had a much older and evolute civilization.
    you can find examples of that trough the whole history of mankind.
    further more if a people can be less civilized, beyond the gross errors i just told about, afaik the IQ of about all the peoples is on average quite similar, so your candlekeep grown barbarian has no reason to have minimal literacy and a marked tendency towards drunken.

    get rid of those racist assumptions and feel free to play your barbarian and dual it to mage.
    a barbarian can have 18 INT, a proof that barbarian is not equal to idiot, so every barbarian with good INT stat can be a mage.

  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 540
    @gorgonzola Your suggestions for checking whether Robe of Vecna and certain other items might be hard-coded as unuseable by Barbarian Class even under Dual-Class enabling BG2Tweaks by simply consoling for test purposes, even at start of game might not quite do the job.

    Of course I would have to Dual-Class to Mage before checking Robe of Vecna for wearability. But I think one would also have to have achieved Brbrn7Mage8, when Brbrn abilities are regained, to really settle the issue.

    That being said, it really does not take all that long to dominate Chateau Irenicus, cherry-picking the High-payoff XP episodes such as Reiltar's release, freeing the Genie and fireballing the Vampire. Then polishing off XP with binge-writing spells, Spam Steal-Sell with Jaye after dark and within a few hours playing time all checked out 'Ship-shape and Bristol fashion'.

    Just a few additional thoughts about the Barbarian Class which many have noted seems a bit of an orphan that never really was fully fleshed-out. Of course the huge HP in my game is a glitch which I will probably choose to correct somewhat in console. But I really think Barbarian Class ought to have 20% resistance to Poison and Disease, 10% Magic Resistance and Stealth abilities only somewhat inferior to Rangers.

    As a balancing weakness, in keeping with its penalty to Charisma, perhaps a 10% Morale Weakness. The sort of additions that would make it a truly different Class Choice. On the whole I think more could be done in ADD RPGs with Morale Weakness and Morale Boosting items. Certainly an important factor in RL Adventuring.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,746

    Of course I would have to Dual-Class to Mage before checking Robe of Vecna for wearability. But I think one would also have to have achieved Brbrn7Mage8, when Brbrn abilities are regained, to really settle the issue.

    @Eadwyn_G8keeper class restrictions on items apply even when the class is inactive after dualling - so a cleric dualled to ranger can still not use edged weapons for instance.

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