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Low Level Blade (Bard) Suggestions

I usually play good and thought I'd give an Evil run a try and test out some different NPCs. I decided on a Blade since I wanted something that would scale throughout the saga. Plus, I didn't want to be a purely utility character, I like to be "part of the action". I searched through the forums for some info on playing Blades and most was geared towards stats and weapons and a lot of talk about higher level usefulness.

I am trying to figure out how to best approach in BGEE when levels are low. At a higher level when I have more spells I can play like a F/I, but early on not sure. I am using RR, though without RR HLAs as it had an error every time I tried to install. Also, with Song & Silence and trying Item Revisions and Spell Revisions for the first time. Also, playing with SCS.

Flynn - Lawful Evil Half Elf Blade
*Scimitar *Crossbow (thought about darts with OS) ***TWS (RR)

Most of the threads discussed building proficiencies without RR installed. I have more room to play with so probably Short Sword next.

Viconia: Cleric/Thief
Star-Teel: Fighter (3) -> Thief
Faldorn: Avenger

I figure it will take out awhile until he isn't squishy in melee. So .... early in should I be wearing chain mail and using the Xbow? What spells should I take for BGEE first? Usually suggestions are to buff like a F/M, but that could be a while. Plus, Blade levels fast which will be good for some of the offensive spells. However, with limited spell slots I probably can't be an offensive mage and buffing mage. So, looking for suggestions.


  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,235
    Bards, and especially Blades, are my favorite vanilla class. You can start ranged to play it safe, your high dex will make you a serviceable archer early on. If you want to play more dangerously (like I do), you give your character a buckler to help with AC and go in melee from the start. You won't be a tank, outside of your special stances, you will need good posiitoning and timing. Are there any specific problems you are woried about encountering?
  • shylamanshylaman Member Posts: 163
    edited July 2018
    @ThacoBell not anything particular. I have made my way to Nashkel and I am at level 2. My character isn't hitting too much. I am purely ranged at this point. I screwed up and didn't buy a Scimitar at CK. I didn't have enough money with armor and crossbow. Now I can't find a Scimitar in FAI, Beregost, or Nashkel. Grrr.

    I have one level 1 spell with Magic Missile and Armour in the spell book. Magic Missile doesn't do much at this point. Armour is the same AC as Chain Mail, but no advantage to it at this point since I have no other spells.

    So do you focus on buffing spells even this early? Like Blur at level 2? Or go with something like Web? Any ideas on where to find a scimitar?
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,931
    edited July 2018
    the store in naskiel will sell a ninto-jo, the "storekeep" dude in the durlags tower area has 5 scimitars for sale

    if you do a certain quest line:

    talk to dorn at the friendly arm inn, and then once you do that, make your way to the nashkiel mines area, and you will be ambushed by a small party, one of the bandits will be wielding a wakazashi and a wakazashi +1 which count as "scimitars" weapon prof wise

    or if you are lucky and find ogre mages ( while being ambushed between areas or just find them in the wild ) they also wield scimitars
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,938
    @shylaman As you mentioned trying Spell Revisions (a great mod) I'll mention a few differences that really shine there. With SR's I generally focus on all protection spells with bards. I rarely play blades but it would be the same, just focusing on fighting more with the blade instead of singing like all the other bards I use.

    As many of these spells in SR's are given a 5 turn duration, they are much more useful buffs for a longer period of time. You can buff with these, then put on the chain mail and have 5 turns to explore : pro from evil, shield, blur, mirror Image, luck (offensive &defensive), resist fear, and minor spell deflection just to name a few. Add bless in from an NPC and you have another with a 5 turn duration.
    I also like the first lvl spell dimension door as well, to get out of a dangerous situation if needed (or into one, whatever the case may be).
    A focus on defensive spells with liberal use of bard instruments as needed, and wands for offensive action (with the wand of MSummoning acting as both really), makes a powerful and protected bard.
    With having S&S and RR that you mentioned, you have some really good bard armor down at the Nashkel fair, as well as some good bard only scrolls for emergencies. Not sure if you have BGNPC Project, but it has about the best bard armor in the game through Garrick (better if you don't care about carrying the pantaloons through the whole series and upgrade it).
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,235
    @shylaman I like to pick buff and debuf spells for my bards. I'd put sleep as the main level one spell asap. It works on a very large number of enemies and you are guaranteed to hit sleeping foes. By level 3, it should be safer to melee with a little support and some buffs. I usually go with a buckler until getting 2 pips in two weapon style, and blend my way from there. Armor and sleep are probably my main level one spells. Mirror image at level two is also really good. You are going to level really fast, and spells that scale with level will be great for you. Also, don't forget your stances, they will allow you to do really good burst damage, or as a good panic button if you draw too much fire.
  • shylamanshylaman Member Posts: 163
    edited July 2018
    Trying to figure out proficiencies since I get three pips in dual wielding from RR. I chose Xbow and Scimitar at level 1.

    I am close to leveling up. Should I go short sword (or wait until next level up since Kundane isn’t for a looong time) or I was thinking I could experiment with a two handed weapon like 2H Swords for Spider’s Bane + Web or Halbred since nobody is using it? Or blunt weapon for certain creatures? Or short sword now and katana next level for plenty of dual wielding flexibility?
    Post edited by shylaman on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,090
    If you want a magic scimitar the next best one to Drizzt's is the +2 one on the top of Durlag's Tower (container has a fireball trap). With a mage to cast PfP you also get very nice XP from the basilisks there.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,235
    Daggers are fun. There are some VERY GOOD daggers available.
  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    I don't know about mods, but in BG:EE I would advise you to side with Dorn and complete his quest. You'll get something nice for your bard :)
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,450
    edited August 2018
    Low level bards are very squishy in melee, d6 hit dice and no helmet hurt. A single critical can kill a low level bard. I wouldn't send a lvl 1-3 bard to fight a wolf in melee, even when decked with a spiffy chain mail.

    So, even for a blade kit, ranged combat is the safest and most effective way to go until at least level 7-8 range. Then, with armor/shield spells and/or a bracers of ac/elven chain and mirror image spells, a bard can do some melee if he has some respectable hp and protection from criticals. Defensive spin helps but can be dangerous to use in some situations.

    Offensive spin is very nice, especially with crossbow of speed. With os active you get 3 attacks that do maximum (8) damage. This is important as lvl 1 critters generaly have 8 hp. (Most xvarts, bandits, gibberlings, non-elite hobgobs, wild dogs, etc. Kobolds have ½ hit dice so they may have less.) And you can sure-kill a single 1 hd creature with a single shot, three times per round. Not bad. Add some enchanted bolts and the damage really goes up.
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