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Improve my HoF lvl 1 party.

Hello fellow IWD fans,

I want to give a HoF run from level one a shot, and I am very curious about your professional opinion on my party.

To add some context; im fairly expirienced on the infinity engine games. I have played loads of BG, and BGII+TOB. I also have played about 60 hours of IWD and I am about to finish a 6-man run through on insane. I know my way around spells and most mechanics.

However, I never tried HoF before. So thats why I would like some advice.

What I came up with myself:

Swashbuckler 7 -> F with longswords.

F / C multi with blunt weapons.

Berserker 7 -> Druid with GM daggers (mostly because daggers have fun effects)

F -> M with either GM longbows or crossbows

Archer with GM longbows

Sorceror

I would have liked to add a Skald or vanilla Bard to the lot, but im not sure if that would result in more damage, since I'd have to scrap a damage dealer for that.

What is your professional opinion on this composition?

Cheers

Comments

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 1,391
    Bard. War Chant of Sith makes healing spells unnecessary. Free regeneration for all once the bard gets to 11th level (should be long before Dragon's Eye).

    Mathsorcerer
  • ShynShyn Member Posts: 70
    Balrog99 said:

    Bard. War Chant of Sith makes healing spells unnecessary. Free regeneration for all once the bard gets to 11th level (should be long before Dragon's Eye).

    And what, in your opinion, should I scrap to make room for the bard? (I do agree, I love not having to heal. Even if simply for QoL)

  • justsayrayjustsayray Member Posts: 5
    You definitely need a Totemic Druid so your spirit animals can tank the goblins and orcs

    Balrog99semiticgod
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 187
    edited August 11
    Due to the large number of foes who can only be hurt by blunt weapons, and the small number of decent clubs in the game, I wouldn't recommend going with a druid even though there are some decent druid spells in the game. I'd recommend F/C and R/C for your second and third slots.

    Due to the small number of mage scrolls in the game, and the small number of spells per level that are useful in IWD, sorcerers are a great choice. You want at least one and possibly two of these in the party.

    Two key things to know about HoF mode are 1) your summoned monsters get the same boost enemies receive and 2) enemy hit point pools are so large that immobilization becomes more important than DPS.

    Overall, I'd do something like this with your party:

    Elven F/M/T who generally uses longswords and casts melee buffs like mirror image and stoneskin

    Half-orc F/C with 19 strength who uses flails

    Half-elf R/C who uses maces, war hammers, and eventually flails

    Additional melee character with the flavor you want: cavalier, F/M/C, or archer (but keep in mind that blunt weapons are king in this game so arrows will be ineffective against a fair number of enemies)

    Sorcerer who mainly casts stun/immobilize spells (chromatic orb, emotion hopelessness) and summons (animate dead when he can, monster summoning VII later)

    Berserker/mage dual, a second sorcerer, or a bard





    Post edited by jsaving on
    Noobacca
  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 403
    edited August 11
    Fighter/thief
    Fighter/druid
    Fighter/mage
    Bard
    Dwarven defender
    Fighter/cleric

    Pretty standard stuff.

    Buff spells for the bard and offensive/CC spells for the mage then it's plenty of spells to go around.
    Main role of the druid is the meat shields via summons and lots of CC available CC is the most important part of HoF mode as you will not be able to go head to head with everything.

    Post edited by Wesboi on
  • ShynShyn Member Posts: 70
    edited August 11
    jsaving said:

    I wouldn't recommend going with a druid even though there are some decent druid spells in the game.

    Additional melee character with the flavor you want: cavalier, F/M/C, or archer (but keep in mind that blunt weapons are king in this game so arrows will be ineffective against a fair number of enemies)

    I wasnt keen on keeping a druid around for just the summons at the start, imo a pure druid doesnt contribute enough in the long run.

    Is archery worse in HoF than it is in a normal run then? Because currently in my 4 man insane run, my archer wrecks a lot of mobs, and holds about 40% of the kills (vs the other 2 chars are melee)

    Im not sure about a F/M/T, it gets spells that are usefull fairly late. A swash (or any kit, really) dualled to a fighter seems much more effective and a bigger damage contribution in the long run? That way he doesnt lose out on grandmastery. Its just sans the spellcasting, but its not like scrolls are abundant.

    I like the idea of creating chokepoints so the rest of the party can pummel them with 2-handers or arrows from a relative distance. Is it worth thinking about a dwarven defender? Or is that a waste of potential in HoF?

    Post edited by Shyn on
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,086
    the thing you need to remember about HoF mode, is that you will be gaining huge XP every baddie gives you ( their standard xp reward x2 + 1000 XP ) so those little beetles in the cellar in the first inn you start in will be giving you 1070 XP each, so leveling up will be quite quick ( especially if you start at level 1)

    second, enemies' HP are through the roof, all their HP are x3 +50 ( so even a lowly ogre has 140 HP ), hence the reason why blunt weapons are going to be your friend, because lots of those undead have around 80 or so HP ( even more) and take half damage from everything except blunt weapons, and have 90% resistance to missile, so if your missile weapons are dealing 20-30 damage ( somehow ) you will only be dealing 2-3 damage against 80+ HP undead baddies ( at least to the skeletal undead)

    on top of this madness I believe enemies also get a + 6 to hit/ to damage/ saving throw bonus AND an extra attack per round, so baddies will be hitting hard and fast

    this is why crowd control is king in HoF, enemies have SO many HP you will not simply be slicing and dicing through them like a hot knife through butter, enemies take a nice while to kill, so get all those crowd controls ready ( chaos is a great spell with it's killer -4 penalty) and greater malison is almost mandatory for the bigger boss enemies who have the better saves

    also, enemies get a boost in their HD ( I almost want to say +15 or so? or maybe its +10 ) so don't waste or use spells that only work on lower HD monsters, even the goblins in the first are you start off in wont be affected by spells like that ( spells like sleep for example)

    the last time I did a HoF run, I had 3 melee'ers and 3 ranged dudes, and when it came to ranged combat I had to completely fill my inventories to the brim ( for my ranged characters) and they would run dry just from a half dozen areas or so ( no doubt from the fact that lots of enemies have resistance to missile weapons and it takes A LOT of arrows/bullets/bolts to get through those ludicrous amount of HP enemies will have )

    ShikaoAerakar
  • ShynShyn Member Posts: 70
    edited August 11
    sarevok57 said:

    have 90% resistance to missile, so if your missile weapons are dealing 20-30 damage ( somehow ) you will only be dealing 2-3 damage against 80+ HP undead baddies ( at least to the skeletal undead)

    Fair point.

    I wanted to see how the archer's favored enemy bring set to skeletal undead might mitigate that slightly tho.

    Also, if everyone in the party is using blunt weapons in one form or the other... Will equipment not be stretched rather thin? Seems wasteful not to utilise thiongs like the longsword of action for example.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,086
    well if you use characters that can only specialize in melee weapons, than you can have 2 points in longswords and 2 points in blunt weapons, there are lots of good axes and longswords in the game, so perhaps just make it so each melee character has at least 1 blunt weapon for when you need it, and then when you don't need it you can use all the cool longsword/axes you find

  • justsayrayjustsayray Member Posts: 5
    Totemic Druids is a must if you want to play HoF from the beginning trust. This is my first time playing the game and found it too easy and switched to HoF mode which made the game more challenging and you have to come up with different stategies to beat your enemy. People here say druid sucks but they are way wrong. Most of the time you would want summoned monsters to tank for you and that's where Totemic Druid shine because they can summon alot of things. Your warriors or tanks in general won't handle the onslaught and beatings of waves upon waves of monsters coming at you and not only that thry carry more HP than you so that's when you have to use summons often.

    But if you want to take the easy way and don't like druids just turn off HoF in the very beginning and turn it back on when you're comfortable handling the strong opponents.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 1,391
    Shyn said:

    Balrog99 said:

    Bard. War Chant of Sith makes healing spells unnecessary. Free regeneration for all once the bard gets to 11th level (should be long before Dragon's Eye).

    And what, in your opinion, should I scrap to make room for the bard? (I do agree, I love not having to heal. Even if simply for QoL)
    I don't think you'll need the fighter dual mage at all. I haven't found mage spells to be quite as powerful as in BG2. In HOF mode sleep is useless, ditto the damage spells. Your bard can handle many of the crowd control spells and a sorcerer is more than enough arcane firepower. Sorcerer also gives you a means of learning the high level spells since those scrolls don't come early. I find my mages in HOF have lots of unused spell slots due to not finding scrolls in a timely fashion.

    BTW: I agree with the comments about Totemic Druids. They are pretty awesome in HOF mode. I would definitely consider swapping in one for your fighter dual druid. That still leaves you two tanks and the archer for some major damage dealing. You'll find summoning is your friend in HOF. The cleric/fighter can summon skellies and zombies, Totemic gets insects and his signature summons and the sorcerer can cast the Monster Summoning spells. Perfect!

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 187
    Totemic druids are solid contributors in HoF mode, for sure, but sorcerers can do all the summoning you need and offer a lot more spellcasting versatility for the party. You do have to change your spell selection, though, to move toward immobilization (chromatic orb, emotion hopelessness, etc) and eventually instakill spells like wail of the banshee, along with animate dead and eventually monster summoning VII.


  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 403
    Thing with druids is entangle is simply amazing for the start of HoF with the orc cave it allows you to body block the multiple ogres with the orcs so they can't one shot your party. Entangle/thorns combo can devastate the group's. If u plan to start at level 1 you'll see how underated entangle is.

    semiticgod
  • KetsubanKetsuban Member Posts: 5
    entangle into curse is a really good early combo, having a bard with Chromatic Orb is also really strong since a bard easily reaches lv5 for the stun.
    My current lv1 HoF party is this:

    - Dorfus - dwarven defender
    - Daniel - gnome fighter/cleric
    - Sarina - elf totemic druid
    - Bailey - halfelf bard
    - Miran - halfling fighter/thief

    Just finished Kuldahar Pass, on my way towards Vale of Shadows. My strategy consists of summoning spirit animals depending on the situation (fast snake to interrupt spellcasters, bear to tank or wolf for the fancy frost animation), flanking with the fighter/thief for sneak attacks, tanking with the dwarf defender and using the druid to cast entangle and curse. The bard just sings or uses chromatic orb to get enemies of my squishy partymembers.

    I'm doing everything I can to not rely on loads of summons since they make the HoF experience a bit trivial, so I don't use any of the summoning spells except my spirit animals or summoning spells that summon only 1 creature (call woodland being, etc.)

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,086
    I noticed that in HoF mode, some summons don't get the sweet HP boost like the aerial servant or conjure animals spells

  • AltairAltair Member Posts: 118
    A while ago I managed to beat the game with a solo character (F/M/C) on HOF mode starting from level 1. So you should be fine with your party.

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