I just recently got this game and after a little experimenting, I find that I want to do an archer.
It was easy enough to decide on being an elf, and I've found oddly that Elf Archers roll extremely high on stats, holding my record rolls in both Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 at 97 and 95, the 97 having been hilariously my very first character. Where I'm unsure is everything else, because every time I start, the archer just feels underwhelming. I spec to grandmaster in longbows right off the bat, but then have to dredge to the assassin near the end of the tutorial just to get one, and that usually involves a lot of not fun gameplay watching my character miss again, and again, and again. I considered going for shortbows, but that Comp Longbow has that nice damage bonus and I feel an archer should hit hard and relatively fast. I saw something mentioning that late game the only viable option is crossbows, is that true? If so I'll just scrap any plans of playing an archer and maybe try that Dwarven Defender I made that got a 00 strength roll.
Also I returned Baldur's Gate 1, so no I can't start there and work forward, I tried to play it twice, both times got effortlessly killed by the guy outside that inn who casts Horror on you every time, and decided if the games not going to do anything to inform me of wtf I'm expected to do, it's not worth my time or money. So everything should be purely based on starting from BG2.