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Best Paladin kit for IWD:EE?

I'm quite sure that if this question was asked in the context of BG2, Inquisitor would win outright, but it seems that there is not much use for it's True Sight and Dispel Magic in IWD, while lack of Priest Spells and Turn Undead leaves it at a complete disadvantage in a game that is literally flooded with Undead hordes.

Blackguard is powerful in it's own right (especially with its Poison Weapon ability), but cannot use a certain very nice weapon.

Cavalier has many nice immunities (including Poison immunity), and inability to use ranged weapons is a small price to pay for that. However, both the Blackguard's and the Cavalier's immunity to fear speciality is made redundant by the Divine Courage ability that Paladins gain by default at Level 3.

Undead Hunter has an immunity to Hold (not considering Level Drain since I haven't found any enemies using it in IWD) and it's bonus against undead creatures is pretty significant from the beginning to the end of this game.

And then there's the vanilla Paladin.

My question is, which one would you recommend for IWD:EE: (1) when playing with a party, (2) when playing solo, and (3) when playing as a good-aligned character?

(Poll choice is just for the best option.)

Best Paladin kit for IWD:EE? 39 votes

Cavalier
35%
sarevok57ThelsAronSorrowSeerbob_vengBalrog99smady3jsavingJCDentonthruddDev6StummvonBordwehrtbone1Voytaz 14 votes
Undead Hunter
48%
deratiseurAedanronaldoBelgarathMTHQuartzmashedtatersThacoBellRaduzielvyvexthornegibby290Scottfree9000inethbrunardoSssiksseilordok0zhivagoSomeSortfar7070IamdorfFyl 19 votes
Blackguard
2%
Torgrimmer 1 vote
Inquisitor
2%
ProfErrata 1 vote
Un-kitted Paladin
10%
SharGuidesMyHandEugVVlJGPAshevajak 4 votes
JuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehrAedan

Comments

  • Dev6Dev6 Member Posts: 673
    Cavalier
    Hell, I'd vote cavalier for BG1/2 too.

    JuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehr
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 3,189
    Cavalier
    Cavalier is hands-down my favorite.

    Solo might be tough in IWD though because they're not allowed to use throwing weapons at all, unlike BG or SOA/TOB. I still think I'd try a cavalier for solo first, but it might turn out that no ranged ability makes it too much of a grind. In that case I'd go with Undead Hunter or vanilla instead...

    sarevok57
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,401
    Un-kitted Paladin

    I actually like the vanilla Paladin the best for IWD, with the Undead Hunter being a very close second (perhaps even tied). IMO, the vanilla's immunity to fear and cleric spells at level 6 (big upgrades from the BGs) make the cavalier a bit redundant in some ways, and the cavalier suffers from losing the ability to use even thrown melee weapons.

    Iamdorf
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,707
    Undead Hunter
    Cavalier is my favorite paladin kit, but I think the Undead Hunter brings more to the table in IWD.

    Iamdorf
  • vyvexthornevyvexthorne Member Posts: 53
    Undead Hunter
    Both Cavalier and Undead Hunter work well.. though I voted for Undead Hunter just because I had to pick one. There's no rule stating that you couldn't have both in your party. I tend to make a divine heavy party in IWD as it is. There's nothing quite as satisfying as clearing a room without having to lift your weapon.

    StummvonBordwehrIamdorf
  • JGPJGP Member Posts: 14
    Un-kitted Paladin
    Coincidentally enough, I have just finished the third of three runs specifically designed for testing a paladin as lead char. Final result: Vanilla paladin. If you can't abide not having a kit or carry other healers in your party, Undead Hunter.

    The basic premise of my party composition is low magic, tactical combat. This means both strong melee and ranged capabilities. My preference is for the longbow, both for their effectiveness and the absolute wealth of good ones available. This eliminates cleric and thus the paladin takes healing duty.

    The first test was a Cavalier and four other mixed bowmen (bowpeople?). Workable and strong, but as SharGuidesMyHand has stated, suffers from lack of ranged option. The tenor of combats change completely with one character rushing forward to tank. By that I mean change for the worse. If you have never run a ranged party before I recommend giving it a go. It can be eye opening.

    On the second go, I cut down to four chars total because pathfinding shenanigans and made everyone both bow and melee. I remain convinced that this is the optimal party size in all IE games. The independent variable here was the paladin itself; do you even need one? Started out with the lead a vanilla fighter (and the Archer a vanilla bow focused fighter as well), played it a bit and was tactically satisfied, but really wanted a bit more healing so restarted with same party but with Undead Hunter as lead. Eventually got the sparse spells, but missed that Lay on Hands healing. Also, with a bow in hand, he tended to use it over things like trying to hold undead etc.

    The third run I hit the sweet spot. Eliminated my last kit ( dual wield stalker at number 2), and wound up like this: Paladin, Fighter, Fighter, Fighter/Thief. All used bow and a melee/shield combo. I rarely rest my parties in the field, so really liked Lay on Hands of the vanilla, especially later. The Defender Longbow is the perfect weapon early for a char on point who will draw the missile fire and then later Kaylessa's Bow for the non-elf archer.

    Party style is party style. Mine is not for everyone. Interesting that after all these years, I prefer a party that I could have built (and prolly came close to building) lo those many years ago. :)

    ineth
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 484
    JGP said:

    Coincidentally enough, I have just finished the third of three runs specifically designed for testing a paladin as lead char. Final result: Vanilla paladin. If you can't abide not having a kit or carry other healers in your party, Undead Hunter.

    The basic premise of my party composition is low magic, tactical combat. This means both strong melee and ranged capabilities. My preference is for the longbow, both for their effectiveness and the absolute wealth of good ones available. This eliminates cleric and thus the paladin takes healing duty.

    The first test was a Cavalier and four other mixed bowmen (bowpeople?). Workable and strong, but as SharGuidesMyHand has stated, suffers from lack of ranged option. The tenor of combats change completely with one character rushing forward to tank. By that I mean change for the worse. If you have never run a ranged party before I recommend giving it a go. It can be eye opening.

    On the second go, I cut down to four chars total because pathfinding shenanigans and made everyone both bow and melee. I remain convinced that this is the optimal party size in all IE games. The independent variable here was the paladin itself; do you even need one? Started out with the lead a vanilla fighter (and the Archer a vanilla bow focused fighter as well), played it a bit and was tactically satisfied, but really wanted a bit more healing so restarted with same party but with Undead Hunter as lead. Eventually got the sparse spells, but missed that Lay on Hands healing. Also, with a bow in hand, he tended to use it over things like trying to hold undead etc.

    The third run I hit the sweet spot. Eliminated my last kit ( dual wield stalker at number 2), and wound up like this: Paladin, Fighter, Fighter, Fighter/Thief. All used bow and a melee/shield combo. I rarely rest my parties in the field, so really liked Lay on Hands of the vanilla, especially later. The Defender Longbow is the perfect weapon early for a char on point who will draw the missile fire and then later Kaylessa's Bow for the non-elf archer.

    Party style is party style. Mine is not for everyone. Interesting that after all these years, I prefer a party that I could have built (and prolly came close to building) lo those many years ago. :)

    A vanilla ranger is not suitable to replace one fighter ? What do you think about a thief->fighter dual ?

    Souplesse
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,401
    Un-kitted Paladin
    JGP said:



    Party style is party style. Mine is not for everyone. Interesting that after all these years, I prefer a party that I could have built (and prolly came close to building) lo those many years ago. :)

    I actually started a thread one time trying to argue this point - that in many cases, vanilla classes are better suited for IWD than the kits - but it got little love. :( Still, I prefer the greater versatility of most vanilla classes over the more focused/specialized approach of the kits (with clerics being an obvious exception, as their kits don't have any practical drawbacks).

  • TorgrimmerTorgrimmer Member Posts: 218
    Blackguard
    I voted Blackguard bc, hell bc evil pally all the way, played them from BG all the way through. Challenge or not.

    Shandyr
  • JGPJGP Member Posts: 14
    Un-kitted Paladin
    Danacm said:

    A vanilla ranger is not suitable to replace one fighter ? What do you think about a thief->fighter dual ?

    A vanilla ranger IS suitable to replace a fighter, but that discussion is for the "Best Ranger Kit" thread. ;)

    Short answer: IWD doesn't favor stealth or dual wield as much as BG, so third pip fighter with higher AC is generally the better option, though Elven Chain will mitigate a bit of that. I consider dual-classing to be a BG pastime as well.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 484
    JGP said:

    Danacm said:

    A vanilla ranger is not suitable to replace one fighter ? What do you think about a thief->fighter dual ?

    A vanilla ranger IS suitable to replace a fighter, but that discussion is for the "Best Ranger Kit" thread. ;)

    Short answer: IWD doesn't favor stealth or dual wield as much as BG, so third pip fighter with higher AC is generally the better option, though Elven Chain will mitigate a bit of that. I consider dual-classing to be a BG pastime as well.
    The main reason for vanilla ranger instead of fighter is more healing if needed.

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 1,257
    edited May 29
    JGP said:



    I consider dual-classing to be a BG pastime as well.

    Disagree here. I find IWD the best place to experiment with low-level but interesting duals. The Wizard Slayer 3/Wizard bow user. Assassin 5/Fighter. Cleric of Talos 6/Fighter, 2 Lightning Bolts Elemental Immunity and DUHM are worth the levels methinks. Illusionist/Thief was another one I believe @subtledoctor mentioned once.

    Dual class all the things. Except the bard.

  • JGPJGP Member Posts: 14
    Un-kitted Paladin

    Dual class all the things. Except the bard.

    Go ahead and dual class until your face turns blue. My post was to discuss OP's question in the context of a tactical combat (ie, low magic) party in order to qualify those paladin characteristics that make one kit (or lack of it) the best.

    Now, discussing dual classing can be interesting, but within a context that acknowledges party roles and specific objectives. My ideals are the opposite of the power gamer. I strive for the simplest party that is most effective at the task. I believe the task, taken as a whole, in IWD is better served by pure combat tactics than by illusions or wizard slaying effects for example. Occam's razor eliminates, for me, builds as you suggest. You may note that in my original post, the three party builds get weaker on paper, but better in playability.

    This isn't the case in BG ( BG 2 really). I happen to agree with you on interesting low level duals, because there are tasks that those builds may apply. That is all I meant in referring to such as a BG pastime. Well, that and IWD's linear structure. If you have to play without thief skills through a certain part of the game, for example, you are not being most effective at your task. Most powerful at end game is not my goal especially if it plateaus or crashes your fighting effectiveness curve. In BG this can be avoided. And again:

    Party style is party style. Mine is not for everyone. Out of context my points lose their meaning - feel free to treat them as such. :)

    WarChiefZeke
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 1,768
    Undead Hunter
    *casts Animate Thread*

    Undead hunter, by far. Especially seeing as the kit is kind of underwhelming in BG in comparison.

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBell
  • AronAron Member Posts: 61
    Cavalier
    I have always played Paladin Cavalier. I remember i made a fighter character in AD&D 2nd edition in 1994. Then we learned about Cavalier kit from Fighters Manual later, changed to that kit with DMs permission instantly. Loved it from day one!
    I completed BG1 as Paladin Cavalier and working on BG2 now, I think i will always play this class in these games :smile:


    Wish you all a bright light holy day!

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,707
    Undead Hunter
    Oh yeah, Cavalier is my favorite Paladin kit. I think Undead Hunter edges it out a bit in IWD in terms of effectiveness though.

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