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Least Powerful 4 Man Group

What would be the least poweful group of party members possible in BG1 (charname + 3 NPCs), assuming that any given class may at most be represented twice in the group?
StummvonBordwehr
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Comments

  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 922
    For the NPCs I'd say:

    Rasaad
    Garrick
    Eldoth

    Though I could be convinced otherwise. Bards aren't inherently weak, but Garrick and Eldoth have such poor stats that it undermines whatever power bards have. Rasaad is a great character with a great quest, but monks are weak early. He really shines in BG2, though.

    As for CHARNAME, let's go with something without thief skills. None of the NPCs is really a tank, either. Maybe a kensai would be a poor fit. They're a great, fun kit, but there wouldn't be a lot of synergy with the NPCs.
    StummvonBordwehrArtonaLoldrup
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member Posts: 120
    I would add Xan to the list any time. He is really squishy and usually ends up dead in any given archer ambush.

    Rassad can be used as a kite - but nothing more. His quest is good though.

    Garrick makes my list instead of Eldoth - the latter has a special ability.

    Charname has to be a beastmaster og druid.

    Take the party to the Scs bandit camp without elves bane & boots of avoidance and see how long you last.
    Loldrup
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,024
    @tbone1 I would take Garrick off there personally. Yeah his stats aren't great, but unlike Eldoth, he has no penalties to his most important ones, and for a Bard that's really all you need. I'd go so far to say he is probably the strongest NPC in BG1.

    I'd probably go with
    1. Beastmaster charname
    2. Eldoth
    You know what? I can't get past here. None of the npcs or classes really come across as WEAK to me. Some are more powergame appropriate but that about it. I suppose you could technically include any of the none multiclass, none thief, none mage characters as "weaker" in terms of relative "power".
    thespace
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 153
    Shapeshifter, jester, beast master, and wizard slayer strike me as the weakest kits in the game so some combination of them would give you a pretty weak party. In terms of joinable NPCs I'd say the game's singleclass characters tend to be the weakest:

    Alora/Skie/Safana are weaker than Coran
    Khalid/Rasaad are weaker than Kivan/Minsc
    Branwen/Faldorn are weaker than Yeslick/Jaheira
    Xan/Xzar are weaker than Baeloth/Edwin

    I'll pick Skie, Safana, Rasaad, and Khalid for all-around weakest party. (Eldoth gets an honorable mention here but I think bards are an underrated class due to their high caster level, which helps Eldoth's casting power even though his stats are poor.)
    Loldrup
  • thespacethespace Member Posts: 991
    Why do people talk about beastmasters as being weak? They are still a ranger who can use bows and stealth. Make them an elf with 19 DEX and they are still sure to make a large percentage of the kills. I can see why they'd be considered the weakest of the ranger kits, but they still have the ability to have the highest HP of anyone right out of the gate (b/c of bonus points for having a familiar).
    ChnapyThacoBellOrlonKronsteen
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,824
    I agree for most of the game they're not weak at all. There are some encounters in ToB where stealth is no use and the inability to wear heavy armor is a significant drawback. The restriction on weapons also bites hardest in the end-game. Those restrictions and the lack of powerful summons make it difficult for the Beast Master to solo the game, but it can certainly contribute well in a party.
    thespace
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member Posts: 120
    I would still consider the beast master a weaker kit.

    If you gonna roll a 19 dex bow wielding elf as a ranger, I would choose an acher instead (he/she could even wear the ankheg armor). If youre gonna roll a ranger, who is gonna scout, I would choose a stalker (He could one shot you out off a few encounters and wear plate - not at the same time off course).

    The HP bonus is nice, but its only 6 HP, and if youre an elf, it is negated at level 6.

    My primary reason for choosing the beast master to fit into my group of weak characters, is the lack of heavy armor. No one can serve as a tank, and prebuffing will become essential.

    Off course most players will meta play and sleep spam their way out, until they reach level 8-9. Quite a few players in this forum could propably pull it off (including the above - off course without using potions). But most players couldnt - my self included. And I have played for 15 years... I just put the brawling hands and the "belt" on Kagain and rely on AI (I am playing on a iPhone 6s now so micromanaging is tiresome..)
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 334
    edited September 11
    It is a weaker kit than the others, but still not a weak character in BG1, because of how powerful archers are in that game. You don't need your sharpshooter to play the tank. And a 19 dex elf makes a great sharpshooter, even as a beastmaster. In your team, you still have access to wands and arcane spells, and really that's enough to kill the entire bandit camp even with SCS.

    My vote would go to Rasaad and Faldorn as the weakest companions, followed by Skie, because you can't dual-class her. If you go with a non-caster PC (another monk, perhaps), the team could suffer a bit for the lack of arcane and priest magic, as well as inability to use wands. Even then, entagle plus slings goes a long way, and Skie is not bad with a shortbow with her high dex.
    OrlonKronsteen
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 334
    edited September 11
    please delete, double post agian, sorry!

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 4,387
    If used properly, there really isn't a "weak" NPC. Skie and Alora could be considered weak since they are two of the last NPC you can pick up and already have their thief stats distributed, but that was kinda fixed.

    Rasaad, as already mentioned, tends to be squishy early on, but just equip him with darts are you're golden.

    Mages are squishy so one of those could round out the worst NPC (and I am leaning towards Dyna for this selection), but can crowd control extremely well.

    So worst 4 man party:
    75 stat Wizard Slayer
    Rasaad
    Skie
    Dyna

  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 922
    A while back I talked about making speed runs to Chapters 4 and 5 to try some NPCs that I hade used never, rarely, or not for a long time. https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/62822/in-praise-of-bg1-npcs

    I now think Alora is the best thief in the game and I thought Skie to be darn solid. I don't think there is a bad NPC in BG1 or BG2, though Eldoth and Cernd are probably closest. I also find them to be completely unlikable so that may tint my judgement. I know they all have strengths and weaknesses; there is no way I am sending in Minsc to tank against ... certain creatures in the Underdark. I found Faldorn to be great with ankheg plate, darts, and a spear. Now, if you don't have enough ankheg plate to go around, she sn't as versatile. But no one else really uses spears, so there's no competition there.

    And as always, it depends on your CHARNAME.
    ThacoBellOrlonKronsteen
  • GrumGrum Member Posts: 1,983
    Garick is extremely powerful. I am using him in an 'on pause' Cavalier run, and he is one of the party MVPs. Elven Chain, the Army Scythe, and lots of wands. I have no other arcane caster in my party, but he is more than enough.

    I'd say that even when making the 'weakest' in the game, it is important not to make it unplayable. Because what is the fun of that?

    So I'd say...

    Charname: Swashbuckler (no backstabbing...can sorta kinda fight on the front lines though)
    Imoen (Thief...she's a great thief, but with this party setup she is redundant)
    Alora (Thief...she's a great thief, but with this party setup she is redundant)
    Tiax (Cleric/Thief...needed for healing. But only has Dex16 and Wis13)


    Everyone can stealth. So you can avoid some hard fights. You can have a backstab surprise round, but everyone except maybe Charname has Str8-9, and Charname can't backstab. You can set traps, but that will take designing Imoen and Charname to set traps from Lvl1. Which is doable, but traps run out pretty fast at these low levels. You can try and play ranged, but nobody hits that hard and has pretty back Thaco.

    What will probably end up happening is that Charname will be your tank/target. Imoen will have the army scythe, Alora will have the +2 shortbow, Tiax will have a sling. Charname will run around like a chicken with his head cut off while the other 3 ineffectually shoot missiles in the general direction of the enemy. And against enemies like doom guards, you will all run away and hide. Something which Charname and Imoen might not be very good at it they focus on setting traps.


    All in all, it might be a fun run, but a very difficult one.
    tbone1LoldrupOrlonKronsteenAerakar
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 304
    edited September 13
    Maybe we need to think about giving them cursed items. The worst party is: "Such and such with the Ring of Clumsiness, such and such with the Bracers of Binding..." etc.
    ThacoBellLoldrup
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 922
    edited September 13
    I think the worst CHARNAME would be a fallen ranger who dualed to cleric at level 2, particularly a beast master or archer. In vanilla, you couldn't get your Ranger skills back, which included cleric spells and (oddly) turn undead, IIRC. With an archer, all you can ever have is proficiency in any weapon. A beast master will limit your weapons to club and staff, maybe sling, and your armor selection will be pretty limited.

    I haven't tried this in the EEs to see if all this holds; maybe I should
    OrlonKronsteenLoldrupArctodus
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,024
    @Quartz "x may have y, but z is powerful as heck used correctly."

    This pretty much sums up all the "bad" NPCs in the game. Most of the time these "bad" NPCs end up being the strongest.
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,102
    First up - I think the weakest chapters in BG(1) are monks, as they don't get into their stride by the end of the game. Their unarmed combat doesn't catch up to fighters with decent weapons, they don't get +1 fists for when magic damage is needed, and drop back to single attack when using weapons. They don't get fighter Con bonuses with their smaller hit dice, and don't get any standout abilities, other than immunity to slow/haste, which is more of a penalty. Without the ability to wear armor and helmets, they are a distinctly underpowered fighter. Within the original challenge, Rasaad and a monk PC are a great way to start.

    However, if we want to avoid duplicating a monk PC, how do shadow dancers work out? They get some interesting special abilities for sure, but regular scouting is nerfed badly. Do they get to the point those abilities start to pay off? If they do, dual-class to cleric just before that point ;)

    Other than Rasaad, I have always struggled with Xan as an NPC due to his bad Con and low hit points. I know other rave about him as one of the better NPCs, but I have never managed to make him work for me. One potential up-side for Xan is that he can use wands, which might mitigate against all bards and mages.

    Khalid is often a poor character for me due to his regular morale failures, but can still become quite the combat beast with fighter specializations and kit.

    Alora was often received badly as a late-game thief whose level 6 incarnation had underwhelming HP, and one item-slot locked out with a broken item. In the EE though, that item is fixed and she becomes on of the best thieves in the game.

    Looking for a bad synergy to create a weak party, I would probably go for 4 bad fighter-types, so that you cannot wand your way out of trouble, and locks/traps remain a problem all game long, and IIRC, breaking locks on chests has a chance of destroying some of the contents? Note, no fighters than can dual-class either!

    So:

    PC: Halfling kensai specializing in flails
    Rasaad
    Khalid
    Kagain

    The last pick will be most controversial due to regeneration being useful, but I think, on balance, his remaining stats make him the least useful fighter. We are looking for a party lacking synergy, where they will all be competing for the same items.
    ArtonaAerakarGrum
  • LoldrupLoldrup Member Posts: 164
    I would say:

    Safana,
    Skie,
    Rassad

    = absolutely no magic & absolutely no tanking ability.

    I'm still not sure about Charname.
    StummvonBordwehr
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,824
    If you're going down that line then how about a wizard slayer protagonist dualled to thief? The inability to use magic items means the PC will be substantially worse at tanking than a standard fighter type without having any magic to compensate.
    tbone1GreenWarlock
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 895
    How about a 4th level druid dualled to fighter as charname? You lose quite few hitpoints for the ability to cast those awesome 2nd level druid spells! I guess you can sort of make up for it by eating a few goodberries!

    Would you also lose grandmastery opportunities? I've never dualed INTO fighter before so I don't know...
    tbone1
  • GrumGrum Member Posts: 1,983
    edited September 15
    That'd be pretty bad. Though you'd still get grand mastery. Making the druid an avenger would hit really hard, because even with 'ideal stats' youd be stuck at Str16 and Con16.

    That said, waiting for lvl 9 so you can get a lvl5 spell slot for ironskin and then dualing into a fighter would make for a pretty darn good Charname. Str19 with tome, grandmastery with dual wielding scimitars, heavy armor use from being a fighter...be a totemic druid because shapeshifting is horrible. You basically trade some HP for the ability to cast stoneskin. That's a pretty good trade. Then load up on defensive harmony for your lvl4 slots, summon insects for lvl3, your own innefective tears for lvl2, and armor of faith for lvl1.
    Grond0 said:

    If you're going down that line then how about a wizard slayer protagonist dualled to thief? The inability to use magic items means the PC will be substantially worse at tanking than a standard fighter type without having any magic to compensate.

    That would be horrible until you get Use Any Item.

    Dual at lvl9, for 9% magic resistance, and spell failure on hit.
    Then as a thief get use any item...and you just become awesome. See through illusions as a thief. Backstab the enemy mage. Go to town on them with as many attacks per round as you can manage. With 9% MR, 5% from Lum, 10% from Hell, 10% amulet, 10% from ring of gaxx...and you have 44% magic resistance. Throw on the Purifier as you can use any item, and you now have 74% magic resistance.

    In effect, this combo makes for an actual wizard slayer, without any downsides at all.
    tbone1
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,824
    Grum said:

    That would be horrible until you get Use Any Item.

    Which, given the thread is about BG1, you're not likely to get :p.
    Arctodus
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,102
    @Grum note that with 16 STR you cannot dual into a fighter, as you need 17 in the primary stats of the class you dual into. Of course, with the magic of stat-boosting items, this is still possible, but I doubt you will be level 4 when it happens.

    I tend to dual my Avengers early in BG2, immediately after the XP curve tails off around level 11/12, which is very early in the game. I don't have access to SoD to know how that impacts the level math though - the magic numbers are 200k for level 11, and 300k for level 12.
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 334
    edited September 16
    @sarevok57
    Garrick can still use wands however, and wands have always been overpowered in BG1. It's not a matter of using this or that singular item to make an NPC shine in his case; wands don't depend on stats and let you spam powerful spells with no chance of disruption. And sure, you can have mages wave their wands too, but Garrick can buff himself with spells and then put his armor on; the only NPC who can do that better is Quayle. (Btw, at 17 int the chance to learn a spell is 75%, which is why I use potions on mages too.)

    Of course you can powergame every NPC, but even if you do, there will be clear power diferences between them. E. g. Rasaad wearing all bells & whistles doesn't even come close to Garrick. In this case a party that has no arcane power is going to be weaker than a party has an arcane user.
    ThacoBellChnapyGrumArctodus
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,003
    chimaera said:

    @sarevok57
    Garrick can still use wands however, and wands have always been overpowered in BG1. It's not a matter of using this or that singular item to make an NPC shine in his case; wands don't depend on stats and let you spam powerful spells with no chance of disruption. And sure, you can have mages wave their wands too, but Garrick can buff himself with spells and then put his armor on; the only NPC who can do that better is Quayle. (Btw, at 17 int the chance to learn a spell is 75%, which is why I use potions on mages too.)

    Of course you can powergame every NPC, but even if you do, there will be clear power diferences between them. E. g. Rasaad wearing all bells & whistles doesn't even come close to Garrick. In this case a party that has no arcane power is going to be weaker than a party has an arcane user.

    so based on this, the only real advantage Garrick has over a mage is that he can cast some buff spells and put some armor on over top, what armor do you give him? because if it isn't drizzt's chain mail, then it really doesn't matter, mages wear robes of the arch magi and an item of protection +1 which comes with a no hassle base AC of 4, for Garrick to wear chainmail +1 or lower, you have to take your armor off, cast your spells, put it back on, for the same AC effect as a mage would have, if you are wearing the chainmail +2, you are only getting ahead by +1 AC, and remember Garrick gains mage spells VERY slowly compared to the mages in BG1 since they are all specialists mages ( even neera gains an extra spell per level ) so mages start pumping out x2 level 4 spells at 60 000 XP while Garrick has to wait until all the way until 160 000 XP just to get one, and mages get level 5 spells in BG1 and the level 5 spells you get are very good, while in theory Garrick can cast off a scroll, mages can actually memorize them, and better yet, mages get their level 5 spells before Garrick even gets his level 4 spell

    so to be honest, anything that Garrick can do arcane wise, a mage can just straight up do better in every way, especially if you use Garrick as a ranged character, AC is almost irrelevant for ranged characters, the only time really when it becomes a problem is when you are ambushed by the 10 bandits when transversing areas, but even dynaheir survives this no sweat with a robe of the arch magi boots of avoidance and a +1 protection item

    Garrick may be a cool niche character, but remember my "weakest team" was based on the power gaming aspect, and Garrick just does not really power game that well

    and again everyone's opinion is going to be different on what they consider what the "weakest team" is everyone can debate until the sun explodes and there will never be a full definitive census agreed upon who is truly the weakest 3 joinable NPCs because there will always be a way to defend a character's faults

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,024
    Garrick is the strongest npc in BG1, no contest.
    ChnapyPermidion_Stark
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 4,387
    Elven chain from Dorn's quest is good for bards too. You dont need to remove it to cast spells.

    And if we are talking about a 4 man party as the OP stated, sure everyone can do something Garrick does better, however no one can do everything that Garrick does (save Eldoth). Jack of all trades, master of none.

    In a four man party, I'd personally be utilizing a bard more than a wizard as it can fill almost every secondary role in the party.
    ThacoBellArctodus
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