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Is it worth giving up backstabs for a swashie?

I'm thinking ahead to my solo gnome C/T run and am considering keepering it to a Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler. It fits with the concept (the cleric side reveres Tymora), but I'm hesitant to give up backstabs. Technically, it won't change the tactics much. I can still pop in and out of shadows to make "sneak attacks", I just won't get the backstab bonus. And while a good argument is that backstabs are pretty irrelevant by ToB, they are all pretty handy all along the way. What do you think?

Is it worth giving up backstabs for a swashie? 15 votes

Gnome Cleric/Thief
60%
StefanOPermidion_Starktypo_tillyJuliusBorisovsemiticgodDhariushockmah2Zaghoulborntodie 9 votes
Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
40%
ThacoBell_Nightfall_DordledumAerakarStummvonBordwehrBorek 6 votes

Comments

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 468
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    The Swashie is very nice, the bonus to hit, dam and AC are amazing, the ability to learn Whirlwind (sadly not greater) is also fantastic, gives you a way to bypass the normal APR issues on the class combo.

    Durmir46semiticgod
  • borntodieborntodie Member Posts: 103
    edited September 8
    Gnome Cleric/Thief
    It is a matter of playing style. Sneak attacks hardly help without a backstab bonus. Swashbuckler is only a good choice if you don't care about sneaking and you want to be an in-your-face fighter with trap detection/placement skills. I suspect you might have more fun with your original plan. If you want more melee power, I recommend C/F/T.

    It also has the drawback of being illegal. o:)

    sarevok57
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,716
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    I voted Swashie simply because its my personal favorite thief build. But it really depends on what you want to do. SNeaky backstab with spell support, or unstopppable melee fighter.

  • CvijetaCvijeta Member Posts: 301
    could you even do halfing dual class?

  • _Nightfall__Nightfall_ Member Posts: 99
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    Well, that sounds like a wonderful combination. It would be a powerful mele character that I would love to try. I have done that as a dual but multi word be waaaaaay better. Think of all the HLAs. I seem to recall that swashbuckler doesn’t get assassination, that would be be just crazy.

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 390
    I started thinking about sacrificing backstab for a kit that fit the concept and character with a little more melee power. I started playing this gnome C/T, am level 4/4 (spread all of my skill points between HS and MS) with 18 strength, and am getting a little tired of missing 4 out of 5 backstabs, then having to run away, re-stealth, get behind the mobs only to probably miss again. And, when I do backstab, more often than not, the damage I do is within the damage range of the weapon for a normal attack. Most of my backstabs have been 5-7 damage. I'm not looking to be OP, but the gameplay is getting repetitive. I figure, it will pay off a little more when I can regularly use traps, but now that my stealth is at a respectable level, my next priority is find traps and open locks.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 613
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    Love the concept and RP potential of your Halfling, so go for the swashbuckler!

    ThacoBell
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 5,900
    edited September 9
    Cvijeta said:

    could you even do halfing dual class?

    no

    You can multiclass as Halfling Cleric-Thief or use an "illegal*" character to get the kit probably.

    *hey it's your game, play how ya want.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,716
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    Cvijeta said:

    could you even do halfing dual class?

    That's what mods are for! :D

  • StefanOStefanO Member Posts: 305
    Gnome Cleric/Thief
    ThacoBell said:

    Cvijeta said:

    could you even do halfing dual class?

    That's what mods are for! :D
    Or EEKeeper. o:)

    ThacoBell
  • _Nightfall__Nightfall_ Member Posts: 99
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    I know this sounds stupid but isn’t that why dual and multi class are separate and different? How much is enough? If we console in everything does it matter in the least what we do? I enjoyed the romance mods, and I I understand SCS, but why take away every chalange in the game? For me power gaming got incredibly old incredibly quick, and boring. I am not a gamer, except for this game, is being uber powerful normal in all games? I guess that what I am asking is why play if the outcome is preordained? Why be godlike when it takes away from the challenge of being human? Probably a pathetic question.

  • borntodieborntodie Member Posts: 103
    Gnome Cleric/Thief

    For me power gaming got incredibly old incredibly quick, and boring. I am not a gamer, except for this game, is being uber powerful normal in all games?

    In every online community of gamers I have seen, they were divided about this.

    On the one hand are ultra hardcore gamers who insist you didn't really win unless you were permantly blinded, doomed and walking on one toe.
    On the other hand, you have the gamers who keep asking the game developers to remove the restriction that you can't cast in heavy armor while dual wielding twohanded weapons, because hey, if you don't like it you don't have to do it, right?

    And all sorts of positions in the middle.

    @Kneller Sorry to hear that your backstabs are dealing so little damage, I don't know why you're getting that. Stealth attacks are difficult for a low level character, in any case. Stealth skills take time to build up to useful levels. One option is to rely on a potion of invisibility against tougher enemies. And ranged attacks, always good in BG1.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 198
    edited September 9
    Gnome Cleric/Thief
    Well, I voted for the gnome for 2 reasons:
    * Backstab can solve the problem of a nasty enemy spellcaster lurking ahead, before it's even begun, and
    * Keepering a halfling cleric/swashy is cheating, m'kay... :)

  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 198
    edited September 9
    Gnome Cleric/Thief
    Also, 1/2 orc cleric/thieves are brilliant - personally I'd rather have a C/T with high strength than, say, intelligence, and I think 1/2 orcs can start with 18 wisdom, which gnomes can't.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,572
    as @borntodie told backstab skill takes time to build up, and also thaco do.
    if the C/T is missing 4 backstabs every 5 probably you are not playing him in the right way, a cleric has spells to rise his stats, so his thaco and str, as well as spells to lower enemy's ac. now you are at a low level but there will be a point where you will be able to hit with fighter's thaco, 25str that gives other 7 thaco bonus points, and will have a decent backstab multiplier.
    as solo you will gain levels really fast and from a certain point up to the end of soa you will be a backstab king, backstab can be also useful in tob even if many creatures are immune.

    the Cleric/Swashbuckler will be stronger in early bg1 and also in tob, mainly for the ww attacks.

    it really boils on your playstyle and preference, i like backstabbing and don't mind if i have to buff my clerics to have them mlee ready so i would go C/T, but both the choices are equally viable and equally strong if played in the right way. this is the reason i don't vote, my C/T vote would be perfect for my playstyle and preference but maybe sub optimal for yours...

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 390
    I would think that backstabs will only get worse (in terms of hit %). As levels progress the THAC0 gap gets greater, even more so for a mulitclass.

    Playstyle-wise, I love backstabs. With an oil of speed, my Stalker/Cleric took out the two mages outside of cloakwood without taking a scratch and without a reload. But a situation with a squishier character whiffing backstabs is not a fun prospect.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,716
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    @_Nightfall_ People enjoy games in different ways. I'm not a fan of super hard games in particular. I don't really have the time to put in the practice to clear them. I like to have race restrictions removed, as it leads to interesting characters, and not just overpowered ones.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 613
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    I like some of the race restrictions from P&P AD&D on which the game is based, e.g. paladins or monks only human, but some of the restrictions are BG only for some reason, i.e. only gnome or 1/2 orc cleric thieves. I'm not sure why C/Ts were not made available to all demi-human races like F/Ts are.

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 390
    As a total aside, this play is becoming progressively less fun. Not so much for the backstabbing, but I think ditching Imoen really sucked the fun out of a solo. I've never done it before. The most stripped down party prior has been a siblings only run. I brought her as far as the FAI (to leave her safely with K&J), and the guilt trip she drops when you boot her from the party has haunted me ever since. I don't think this character is going to make it to BG2, if only from the guilt.

    Permidion_Stark
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 198
    Gnome Cleric/Thief
    I find it very hard to turn my back on Imoen too when I play, usually I don't. That's partly because she has excellent stats and class choices and works with all types of party. :)

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 390
    Yeah, I tried the swash/cleric, but I found that I missed that first backstab kicking off a battle feeling, even if I miss the backstab itself. So, I'm splitting the difference and going with a halfling cleric/thief (all vanilla). Halfling works better for me regarding a Tymora follower, though the nerfed strength and wisdom max stings a little. So it goes.

    gorgonzola_Nightfall_AerakarJuliusBorisov
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 68
    Halfling Cleric/Swashbuckler
    I voted for the swashy, because I like em, but then I realized it was an illegal build, so please change my vote.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,517
    In my experience, its awful to backstab without gear at low levels, unless you're a half-orc.

    Note, getting a +2 weapon (or better, +3), and gauntlets of specialization help a ton. Either sws or ths is a big buff too. If you can stand the loss of the shield, quarterstaff and ths is very strong together for backstab. With the +3 staff, gauntlets and ths, thats +6 damage that gets multiplied, and +4 to hit. Very deadly with x3 vs mages anyways.

    Regarding swashbuckler, I love using shortbows or darts with them, but they melee very well compared to a fighter, and a Keepered cleric multi eventually has a very good THAC0, and good buffs to melee pretty well. Kinda sucky weapon choices though for a swashie/cleric.

    gorgonzolaAerakar
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