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The perennial question

subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
What to play?

I've finally managed to get a satisfactory set of mods installed on my iPad, which is the only feasible vehicle for playing games right now. And my own mods are in a pretty stable state, and I don't have time to do much more modding anyway. So, for the first time in at least three or four years, I'm actually going to play Baldur's Gate. :open_mouth:

But that raises the question: what profession should Charname be?? I've only played IWD lately, so I'm spoiled by its ability to create 6 characters. If I can only make one, what will it be?

This will necessarily be informed by my list of mods. Scales of Balance is installed, so every stat matters and rogues are a bit more capable offensively. And Might & Guile is installed, so fighters and thieves get fun feats to play with, and bards get all sorts of cool capabilities. Tome & Blood is installed, so single-class wizard specialists are actually pretty unique and powerful, and 1st-level spells are now infinite-cast cantrips. And Faiths & Powers is installed, so there are literal tons of priests and champions and mystics and druids and rangers to choose from.

Finally, most importantly, NPC_EE is installed, so the in-game NPCs can be more varied:
- Imoen is a multi thief/mage
- Jaheria is a single-class druid
- Khalid is a ranger... I'm thinking Mage Hunter would suit him (and his ultimate fate) pretty well
- Minsc is a plain fighter, he'll be a Berserker, natch
- Montaron is a single-class thief... Assassin, surely
- Xan is a fighter/mage... with that sword, I think he needs to be a Bladesinger
- Branwen is a multi fighter/cleric
- Safana will be a Swashbuckler
- Coran is a single-class thief, probably either a Hunter or a Sniper
- Skie can be a Jinxer, which is like a half-bard/half-thief/half-hexblade
- Alora is a cleric/thief... I know that sounds crazy but I'm thinking she will not so much be a real priest, as a 'Chauncey Gardiner' type - like, maybe there is really wisdom underlying her bubbly babbling, but not really, but maybe, but no seriously not, etc.

For mod NPCs, there are Finch (cleric), Vynd (assassin?), Indira (F/M), Valerie (sorcerer), Sirene (paladin), Isra (paladin) and Tenya (cleric).

There are really tons of NPCs in this game, every class is pretty well-represented. Maybe I should try something a bit more out there, like a Psypher (psionicist) or an elemental Mystic Warrior.

Anyway, I've spent so much time with Weidu and modding and completely ignoring these kinds of conversations... I'd appreciate input from all you people who have talked this through and played this through so many times. Cheers!

EDIT - I'll hopefully play through BG2 as well - I've installed a dummy mod so all of my mod kits should match up in kitlist.2da and kit.ids, so hopefully I should be able to import the character into BG2EE without messing that up. So high-level considerations and 2nd-game party makeup can also be taken into account.

loliendunbarJuliusBorisovThacoBelltbone1Contemplative_HamsterBlackravenAerakar
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Comments

  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 434
    Wow, you have so many options I can see why it's a tough decision. Do you have NPCs out of that long list that you really want to use? That may be a starting point - eliminating roles that will already be filled by other characters. Other than that, is there a theme you're interested in exploring, e.g. rogues, undead slayers, etc.? And for higher level considerations, do certain classes scale better throughout the game with your mod setup?

    JuliusBorisovtbone1Aerakar
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 7,967
    If you haven't played with Finch or Indira before, I would strongly recommend both of them. They're extremely charming and fun to have around, and neither of them is overpowered. Tenya is also an interesting character, though she's extremely overpowered if you use her special water spells (Boiling Rain Storm is devastating).

    JuliusBorisovArctodusAerakar
  • Dev6Dev6 Member Posts: 289
    I'm honestly surprised the game even works with so many mods installed.
    Maybe I should try this out next time I play...

    JuliusBorisovThacoBelltbone1
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 2,503

    I've only played IWD lately, so I'm spoiled by its ability to create 6 characters. If I can only make one, what will it be?

    If you enjoy RP then going with NPCs makes sense, but given that you like the IWD set-up then why not create your own personalised party?

    JuliusBorisovAerakar
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    Ooh, forgot about bards! A Skald or Blade can get Mastery with (some) weapons, and they get extra proficiencies for high INT at 1st level, and the Skald gets warrior feats and the Blade gets rogue feats. And they both can get multiple bard songs that allow you to fight and (in some cases) cast spells while singing. Tempting...

    BlackravenThacoBellAerakar
  • Contemplative_HamsterContemplative_Hamster Member Posts: 468
    edited November 2017
    Alora is totally a cleric/thief of Tymora with the FnP kit. She fits the role so well. Have done this in my own game as well.

    Do not succumb to restartitis. Go with the warrior mystic. He is dead 'ard. As Viconia might say: Victory will be yours. You know this.

    Edit: you're a scion of Bhaal, Lord of Murder and, by extension, Involuntary and Premature Inhumation. I think the warrior mystic with powers over earth and soil is a good fit. Several BG gods of death or the dead (though not murder) are also gods of the soil, the harvest, etc. Urogalan, halfling god of death and the ground, even has a splinter sect that buries people alive .....

    Post edited by Contemplative_Hamster on
    semiticgodsubtledoctorAerakar
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254

    Do not succumb to restartitis.

    Heh heh, I've already rolled 4 characters and played them to the FAI. In addition to the Mystic Warrior I've rolled a Skald and Blade, as well as a Herald - one of my self-styled "demi-bard" kits, it's a little bit medieval courtier, and a little bit 007 spy. It's a thief kit with very limited thief skills (locks, traps, see illusions) but enhanced fighting skills, and the ability to learn inspirational bard songs, and the ability to do magic from scrolls and wands, and the ability to learn a selection of rogue and warrior feats.

    I've also already found 4 bugs with various mods, including a nasty interaction between NPC_EE and Faiths & Powers.

    The main problem with the Mystic Warrior is being a multiclass, which is painful at 1st level. Especially since I have cut all kill-based XP in half. On the road to Beregost, I'm not even halfway to 2nd level. Need to do some minor quests... I guess Beregost has a good number of those, hopefully I can level-up before reaching Nashkel.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    Incidentally these mods make the game pretty interesting. In addition to more content (I just met a dying mail carrier who asked me to deliver a bunch of letters around the area... cool justification to go out and explore!), there are some good tactical changes.

    For instance, with SR and kreso's variant SCS, Tarnesh at the FAI pre-casts Monster Summoning II, creating two Green Slimes to back him up! (And they don't give me XP for killing them! :rage: )

    And, thanks to the "Level 1 Cantrips" component of Tome & Blood, Tarnesh can spam Sleep at me without limit, every other round. :open_mouth: (Thankfully, it is nerfed to be a single-target spell.)

    He is a very dangerous opponent for a party of two 1st-level characters. :smiley:

    ThacoBellLuke93ZaghoulAerakar
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    edited November 2017
    Made it down to Beregost. Imoen (multiclassed mage/thief) and Charname (multiclass fighter/mystic) are STILL level 1 after doing over half a dozen little quests around town. I went into the Red Sheaf and was assaulted by Karlat. He's always tough at this stage of the game, but now I'm hearing an odd sound and seeing saving throw messages in the feedback window. Then Jaheira gets mysteriously stunned! What's going on?

    Ah ha: I think he has specialization with shield-fighting, which means every time I hit him in melee, my attacker is subject to a shield bash in return.

    Awesome!

    EDIT - not leveling up for 5+ hours of game time is a bit ridiculous, though. In my mind the first level-up should happen quick - like, right after beating Tarnesh. Level 1 should basically just be for the tutorial stage. IWDEE does this very well, bumpingbyou to level 2 by the time you set out to Kuldahar.

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
    Contemplative_HamsterThacoBelldunbarAerakar
  • Oh, how the tables have turned!

  • Luke93Luke93 Member Posts: 582

    And, thanks to the "Level 1 Cantrips" component of Tome & Blood, Tarnesh can spam Sleep at me without limit, every other round. :open_mouth: (Thankfully, it is nerfed to be a single-target spell.)

    Summoned creatures behave in a very strange way: for example, ogre mages from SR monster summoning V will keep casting "Shield" every round when idle (even though the duration of that spell is 5 turns......)

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member Posts: 1,943

    Incidentally these mods make the game pretty interesting. In addition to more content (I just met a dying mail carrier who asked me to deliver a bunch of letters around the area... cool justification to go out and explore!),

    I love that mod, little surprises all the way through the game just about. B)

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    edited November 2017
    Luke93 said:

    for example, ogre mages from SR monster summoning V will keep casting "Shield" every round when idle

    That's annoying. Shouldn't their script recognize the fact that they are already shielded?? The EEs include Detectable Spells features for just such a reason.

    Hypothesis: sounds like maybe the script isn't using Detectable Spells functions, but is instead relying on a shortcut... since SCS fills the spellbook of creatures, and knows it will only include one instance of Shield, so the script doesn't bother to include a check for whether the character is already shielded.

    That's annoying, since it seems like it should be pretty easy to include such a check in the script, and it seems like making the most robust scripts possible would be best practice.

    Um, you are using SCS, right? Just so I know whether to start a conversation with DavidW about this.

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
  • Luke93Luke93 Member Posts: 582
    edited November 2017
    @subtledoctor I was not using SCS, just SR and TnB in order to see if summoned creatures would receive cantrips..... Anyway, I found another bug: it seems that with TnB installed, mages can use short bows, long swords, katanas, 2-handed swords, crossbows,.... -> this is clearly not intended....

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    Luke93 said:

    @subtledoctor I was not using SCS, just SR and TnB in order to see if summoned creatures would receive cantrips.....

    Ah, so it's just an SR issue. My advice:

    1) Drop a note in the SR forums at G3, kreso or Mike or someone should be able to fix it.

    2) For Heaven's sake, install SCS! The game's really kind of not worth playing without it.

    (I'll keep an eye out in my game for how the SCS AI handles the various tweak mods I have installed.)

  • Luke93Luke93 Member Posts: 582

    2) For Heaven's sake, install SCS! The game's really kind of not worth playing without it.

    Yes, I know and I'll do it :) I am currently testing some of your mods in order to see their contents.

    However, I sent you several messages regarding your mods and I'd like you to have a look at them -> I am sure I did find some bugs......

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    edited November 2017
    Imoen FINALLY leveled up! Jeepers. I did all quests at the FAI, all quests at Beregost (including several added by mods), a few different quests from Nashkel, plus I defeated 3 assassins and ~110 xvarts, hobgoblins, and half-ogres, and got all the way to rescuing Dynaheir. And she *finally* got enough XP to reach level 2 as a mage.

    The issue was, the mod that changed Imoen into a multiclass mage/thief does not change her spell slots; that fixes itself naturally when you level up. Which is fine, except I didn't realize it would take like 10 hours of gameplay just to reach level 2...!

    But now that she did, she is a wholly more capable character. I made her an Illusionist/Thief, which means she gets an extra spell per level. And the TnB stat bonuses mean she gets some extra low-level slots for having high INT. The TnB "Level 1 Cantrips" component nerfs some level 1 spells but lets you cast them without limit; and finally, I'm using @kjeron's excellent mod from the UI modding subforum that forces specialists to memorize at least two spells from their chosen school, at each spell level.

    The upshot is, in addition to being a competent archer, Imoen now has 4 slots for unlimited-cast cantrips (Lore Boost, Shocking Grasp, Spook, Reflected Image) and 4 2nd-level slots (Glitterdust, Blur, Invisibility, Web). She is now an incredibly valuable party member.

    Now, into the mines. I hope Imoen's Find Traps skill is good enough to get me through, 'cause Lord knows when she'll reach level 3...

    Party of 5: Charname (mystic warrior) + Jaheira (druid), Khalid (ranger), Sirene (paladin), and Imoen (mage/thief).

    I've already passed by Xzar, Montaron, Eldoth, Neera, Finch, Vynd, Garrick, Valerie, Minsc, & Dynaheir. There's seriously almost too many NPCs available! :lol: After the mines I think Jaheira & Khalid will go their own way investigating some other aspect of the Iron Crisis, and maybe I'll drop Sirene too (she seems a bit boring so far, and I don't love paladins). If I pick up Xan that means I'll have 3 open slots. I'll definitely need a priest... and it looks like Finch is the only one around! So I guess I'll pick her up on the way back north. She has some nice content, collecting books for a library, and when the going starts getting tough in chapters 4/5, I can replace her with Branwen or Yeslick.

    I might start up a 2nd game to run alongside the 1st, with a Skald or Blade or Psion. That way I can take different NPCs with each party and face the game's various situations with different groups.

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 4,139
    @subtledoctor Sirene is slow to trust. She opens up A LOT after clearing the Nashkel mines. In fact, I don't think any banters of hers trigger until you clear the mines.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,612
    @subtledoctor Did you installed all those mods manually?

    (And I always thought that Divine Remix and F&P were not compatible)

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    Raduziel said:

    @subtledoctor Did you installed all those mods manually?

    (And I always thought that Divine Remix and F&P were not compatible)

    Yeah manual install, I use a Mac so that's all I can do. (And anyway I'm doubtful that BWS would recognize or successfully work with these .ipa files.)

    The DR sphere system is not compatible with FnP. The DR kits are compatible, as long as they are installed before FnP.

    Raduziel
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    So my Earth Mystic Warrior has completed all the FAI & Beregost small quests. (Not Silke because I want to wait to recruit Garrick later, and not Bassilus because I was only level 2.) Then done some small quests around Nashkel, saved *two* people from a fort full of gnolls, beat the fastest dart-thrower in the west, saved a dryad, saved a hellhound, failed to save a cat, oversaw an archaeological dig gone wrong, saved Captain Brage (inasmuch as he can be saved), cleared the mines of yipping demons, exposed and defeated Mulahey ([i]barely[/i] - man that fight is tough if you role-play it!), and killed a party of amazon bounty hunters.

    Now I'm level 3 and back in Nashkel. Jaheira and Khalid are going their own way, reaching out to the Harpers to follow up on a lead off-screen, while I take samples of affected iron and the chemical used on it to Taerom Fuirum and Thalantyr. Imoen and I have proved our toughness and the area around here should be relatively safe to travel in... right? ;) The party is now Charname, Sirene, and Imoen. I'm having a bit of a tough time figuring out who to pick up. I only have half a healer, and we have a knack for getting bruised, so I need a cleric... and the only one around is Finch. As for the other two spots, not sure. It kind of depends on what content I'm willing to miss, right?

    And so, the Restartitis kicks in.

    If I roll another character with different t capabilities, I won't need to worry as much about missing anything. Between two parties I should experience a fair few NPCs, and more easily figure out which ones I want in which party. Like, maybe one of them will join Kivan to track down the bandits, but the other won't. So I'll roll another Charname with another class, and play the two games in tandem. I like doing this, I did it last time I played IWDEE with several "all-one-class" parties.

    So: a bard, perhaps? Makes sense for my Candlekeep background: Intelligent, talented, trained in some weapons. I'll get to play around with some Rogue Feats and Revised Bard Songs from the Might & Guile mod. And man: if you combine the Song & Silence core component with Rogue Rebalancing Bard class revisions with Might & Guile feats and revised bards, bards are baller!

    - Trueclass bards get multiple bard songs to switch between, and they can fight and cast while singing.
    - Skalds get weapon mastery and a selection of warrior feats.
    - Blades get weapon mastery with light blades, and a selection of rogue feats.
    - Jesters are not super buffed, they don't get their Confusion Song until 6th level... but when they do get it, they can attack while singing.

    I was tempted by a Skald, but I rolled a half-elf Blade because I want to play with Rogue feats. 16 INT means I get an extra feat (so 7 total feats before level 20, 4 feats within BG1). 19 CHA means save bonuses and +1 Luck. Specialization with daggers and full dual-wielding means 3 APR at thac0 18, at level 1 (albeit with very low damage per hit). Alternatively I can use a long sword with SWS for better AC and better thac0, at 1.5 APR.

    I chose 'Song of Interference' with my bonus feat, which will allow me to charge in and try to slice up spellcasters while they have a chance of casting failure. That gets me by Tarnesh, and then my daggers slice up his pet Green Slimes.

    Given that at some point I'll get a bit of arcane spellcasting, I'll probably station Imoen safely with Firebead Elvenhair once I find a serviceable thief. I'll probably keep Jaheira around longer in this party since she and Finch are the only single-class healers in the early game. (Though I suppose I can turn Valerie into a Favored Soul... hmmm...)

    ThacoBell
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    edited December 2017
    So, the Blade has caught up to, and surpassed, the Mystic. The Mystic went through the mines with a 5-man crew: Charname, Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, and Sirene. After defeating Mulahey I picked up Xan, who is a Bladesinger. Awesome, right? A Bladesinger?

    Um, no. Not only does Xan have low CON, and not only is that much worse with the SoB Revised Stats, but now he is also multiclassed, and so a full hit die behind everyone else. Facing the Amazon party, Xan is level 2/2 with 12 hp. Suffice, to say, his adventuring career did not last long. We got sliced up by those women, with Xan biting it and everyone else hurt real bad. We limped back to town immediately - the thought of skeletons and ghouls in these crypt has me worried. Need to turn in some quests for XP before doing much free roaming.

    The Blade is a different story. He cleared the mines with a party of 6 (Minsc & Dynaheir instead of Sirene), handily trashed Mulahey, trounced the Amazons without breaking a sweat, and cleared the crypts map as well as the one to the south. We picked up Samuel and returned him to the FAI, stopping to turn in Joseph's greenstone ring, the report to the Nashkel mayor, the tainted ore to Taerom, and the vial of ore poison to Thalantyr. I left Imoen in the care of Firebead Elvenhair in Beregost, to keep her safe.

    Then I picked up Rasaad and Branwen and wandered west, saving a boy from some worgs, beating a surprisingly difficult group of hobgoblin elites, meeting Safana, and raiding a cave full of golems to seize Black Alaric's treasure, which I used a stat tome! (Don't know which one yet - I'm using Item Randomizer. Also why on earth did Black Alaric bury this stat tome instead of using it??)

    So one party is closing in on level 5, and quite powerful:
    - Blade
    - Minsc (fighter - Gallant (!))
    - Rasaad
    - Branwen (fighter/cleric of Tempus)
    - Safana (thief - Swashbuckler)
    - Dynaheir

    I want to see Rasaad's content, but I hate monks, so I'll try to wander around the countryside for a week and hope to trigger his quest. Then as soon as possible, I'll drop him in favor of Kivan and take down the bandits. I'll probably also drop Safana in favor of Alora, who is a cleric/thief and will add some much-needed healing to this group.

    And the other party is still level 3-4 and not quite as sure of itself:
    - fighter/mystic
    - Sirene (paladin of Ilmater)
    - Garrick
    - Finch
    - Imoen (Illusionist/thief)

    I'll probably head south and add Valerie to this group. Unfortunately the FnP code to give Finch the Deneir kit didn't work, and when I see the Select Deity ability neither Deneir nor Oghma were available. That's annoying. It will need a manual fix.

    While the 1st group is very powerful (5 who can mix it up in melee, and I just have Dynaheir a cloak that lets her turn into a werewolf! :lol: ), the 2nd group is quite fragile. We'll see how this goes.

    Final note: since the SoB stat revisions add an XP penalty for low WIS, Minsc is going to become almost comically under-leveled. I think I'll need to replace him with another tank at some point.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 4,139
    @subtledoctor to save you some time Rasaad's quest ain't starting anytime soon.

    It only triggers in the docks district of Baldur's Gate. So yeah. Getting it to trigger also seems completely random.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,254
    Gah! Later Rasaad, I hardly knew ye. Hello, Kivan!

    ThacoBell
  • Luke93Luke93 Member Posts: 582
    How's it going :) ?

    I mean, it'd be nice if you could give people feedback about playing a heavily modded game on an iPad (stability, noticeable slow downs and so forth.....). My game is going quite well at the moment (with a 2-3 level party, SCS Greywolf was a nasty surprise: I managed to kill him only thanks to the wand of frost....)

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,612
    Luke93 said:

    I managed to kill him only thanks to the wand of frost....)

    I have some bad news for you...

  • Luke93Luke93 Member Posts: 582
    Raduziel said:

    Luke93 said:

    I managed to kill him only thanks to the wand of frost....)

    I have some bad news for you...
    What do you mean? This is my first time with SCS....

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,612
    Luke93 said:

    Raduziel said:

    Luke93 said:

    I managed to kill him only thanks to the wand of frost....)

    I have some bad news for you...
    What do you mean? This is my first time with SCS....
    You probably lost the best sword in the game (excluding items from SoD or added by mods).

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