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F/M/T full saga run - weapon proficiencies?

DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
I'm quite a bit underways now with my F/M/T in BGEE (no mods) and wondering where to put my next pips.

I really want them to be usefull for the full saga. I've now got:

daggers ++
single weapon style ++
long bow +

Should I add another pip in long bow for more ranged ability? Should I invest in another 1 handed weapon? If so, which?

Have I messed up by choosing single weapon style? Should I restart?

So, tips?

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Comments

  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 156
    Single Weapon Style is largely useless because you can just grab Medium Shield +1 in Beregost which gives you the same -2 AC at no pip cost. Granted you don't get the wider crit range but that's not worth two pips, which are at an extra premium in BG.

    Personally I just run Elf F/M/T with ++ Longsword and ++ Longbow.

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 5
    Single weapon style can be useful for any character that can't equip shields nor intends to dual wield. I believe it's not really appropriate for a F/M/T since you CAN equip shields and dual wield. Unfortunately, the benefits from dual wielding or equipping a shield will be far superior to what single weapon style offers.

    Putting a second pip in long bows is a fair idea, although you might want to consider short bows as well. While long and especially composite long bows are better at first, there are some very good magical short bows you can get later. That being said, if you're playing with a large group, it's best to give those really good short bows to those who can't use the long and composite long versions.

    About one-handed weapons, there are lots of possibilities. Long swords are an obvious choice and you can't go wrong with them. I'd recommend you invest in those if you haven't beaten the game yet.

    So... should you start again ? It depends on your motivation. If you don't mind replaying and maybe get a better roll, then why not ?

  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    edited October 5
    ok, restart it'll be (again!).

    I can't stand having wasted 2 pips on a weapon style, which is probably useless.

    Might even go M/T instead of F/M/T then.

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    Careful, a M/T is really different from the F/M/T.

    Skatanraelcari
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Regardless of my earlier choices, what would you generally suggest as weapon proficiency choices for a F/M/T?

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 5
    As I said, longswords are an obvious choice to start with. If soloing, then I'd suggest short bows for ranged attacks. If playing with companions, then place two pips in long bows.

    In BG2, katanas are a great choice to start with.

    Your choices should really depend on your companions. It's best to master a proficiency your allies don't have so you don't have to split weapons of the same kind between you and someone else.

  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Interesting. Are bows such a must? I was contemplating throwing daggers for ranged.

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 5
    They're quite common and effective, so they're the usual players' choice. You're free to choose crossbows, darts or throwing daggers if that's what you want. Don't be obsessed with powergaming.

    Loldrup
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Ok, thank you

    I'll start with:

    Daggers ++
    Longswords ++

    And then Katanas.

    Maybe followed by flails for the Flail of Ages or staves for the Staff of the Ram? I do need an end game option as well.

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    Are you even sure you want to use a F/M/T ?

    They're a pain in BG1, and even in BG2 it takes a lot of time and investment to make them worthwhile. You're not going be as strong as a warrior or multi-class warrior, you won't get the highest mage spells and your spell pool will be limited number-wise.

    A F/M will be strong quickly, has access to the highest spells and will fight a lot better.

    What are you trying to achieve, exactly ? Soloing ? Playing a super versatile character ?

  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Well, I really like want to do a full saga run with a thief and spellcaster as a main and not dual. Small party, but not solo. Adding fighter seems to make sense.

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 5
    If you want to be a thief and cast spells without resorting to dual-classing, then the M/T is a good option.

    You need to understand that M/T are different from F/M or F/M/T. They're good because the thief part is not going to cost you a lot of experience so you won't be very late compared to a single class mage. Unlike the F/M/T, you'll have access to the highest spells and you'll have many, MANY slots to fill while being able to detect, lay and disarm traps, backstab, use swords/daggers/katanas as well as bows and later a lot of diverse items because of the thief's HLA. It's a REALLY good tradeoff because the only downside is a slighty slower progression.

    However, while a F/M or a F/M/T will usually do some close combat, it's not recommended for a M/T as you will struggle with poor Thaco, insufficient APR and limited hit points. That means you should use that character from the rear of your party, especially during BG1. In other words, you'll stick with your bow/sling/crossbow for most of the first game.

    In BG2, however, things become more interesting. With your spells, you'll be a little more apt at fighting up close but, mostly, you will use them to become a great backstabber. Running back and forth to backstab, use spells to be invisible and make one backstab after another is what makes the M/T a solid pick.

    In ToB, the mage part will definitely take over the thief's limited close-combat abilities and you can unleash all of your arcane power on your enemies.

    Would you like to play that ?

    DordledumCactus
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Sounds sensible to drop the fighter then. Cheers. Now to roll some stats!

    Aurorus
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 5
    Before you do, you're entirely free to pick a half-elf but I would insist on the elf race being the best choice with respect to powergaming. You'll get VERY needed Thaco bonuses to bows and longswords which will be your main weapons, not to mention improved resistances.

    If you want a slightly stronger F/M then it's a no-brainer : be an elf.

    Post edited by Simulacre on
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    Dordledum said:

    Sounds sensible to drop the fighter then. Cheers. Now to roll some stats!

    Long ago, when Baldur's Gate and BGII were released, I ran both a F/M/T and an M/T through the whole vanilla series solo. I found the M/T to be superior throughout from 2nd-level onward. They receive far more spells, have a much better caster level, and more thief skill points in exchange for less attacks per round. Their THACO is not noticeably less for most of the game, and Tenser's Transformation transforms them into F/M/Ts as needed with a better THACO than an F/M/T (because of the higher caster level). You do lose out on some fighter HLAs, but the spike traps and item creation HLAs of the thief are better options and multiple spike traps make multiple attacks unnecessary.

  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    edited October 5
    Dordledum said:

    Sounds sensible to drop the fighter then. Cheers. Now to roll some stats!

    The two classes do play very differently. The F/M/T is best played mostly as a fighter with some mage defenses and rudimentary thief abilities to spot and remove traps and scout opponents. Stealth attacks are not as efficient, because your backstab multiplier will not reach X3 until late and you receive multiple attacks per round from your 2 pips in weapons. Why waste time moving in for a X2 attack, when you get 2 attacks the first round anyway?

    The M/T plays more as a thief and mage. You do not want to stay in combat for any time with your M/T until you have access to the spell stoneskin, because you have no helmet, few hit points, and one critical hit from a serious, higher level fighter can kill you. Also, you are limited to one attack per round, so do not waste your time standing in front of your enemy after you have attacked. Move away.

    For F/M/T weapons, you will want to dual-wield as early as possible, even as early as the later stages of BG1. The added AC bonus of a shield is unnecessary with your mage defenses: Mirror image, Blur, Reflected Image, and so forth. Ideally, you want to deal out damage faster than your opponents can destroy your images. Longsword is probably your best option in BG1 for an F/M/T, because there are multiple very good longswords in BG1. . Then add pips to 2-weapon fighting as you advance. As an Elf and as Simulacre pointed out, you gain a +1 Thaco with longswords. The only downside being that you cannot romance Viconia. Once you have 3 pips in two-weapon fighting in BGII, you can add a second weapon of your choice to your two-weapon fighting combination.

    For the M/T, I recommend starting with a pip in shortswords and a pip in shortbow. Again, as an elf, you gain a +1 THACO with shortswords, and you will find several very good shortswords in BG1. You character's offense will come from ranged attacks and from backstabbing, then fading away or disappearing. The advantage of the shortsword is its high speed factor, which means that your first attack animation will be your actual attack. This makes shortswords very good back-stabbing weapons. If you time your backstabs correctly (i.e. immediately after your opponent's attack animation), you can attack and then fade away (either retreat or go invisible) before your opponent has a chance to turn and attack you. Your first pip on level-up is best spent, in my opinion, on single-weapon style. This improves crit range and AC for more effective backstabs. Your second pip on level-up, which you will receive very late, near the level cap of BG1, is best spent on daggers in my opinion. This will allow you to use the best weapon in BGI: the Dagger of Venom, and again, it is a very fast weapon for backstabbing and fading away.


    DordledumCactus
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 5
    Aurorus gives some interesting advice if you want to have fun backstabbing in BG1.

    I for one wouldn't bother too much with backstabbing in BG1 because I don't think it's worth investing thief points in hide in shadows from the word 'go'. Realize that focusing on backstabbing early on will mean that you'll delay the utility of your F/M and give up on range attacks which are amazing in BG1.

    I would rather spend those points in detecting traps, opening locks until you've got those perfectly covered and it will take some time. Then, in BG2, yes, invest massively in hide in shadows because that's when you'll be a much more potent backstabber with more HP, better stats overall, better spells, more spells, better weapons and so on. It's also in this game that bows become less dominant so it's fitting that you would turn to backstabbing.

    For these reasons, I'd also pick long swords over short swords because they are paramount in Baldur's Gate II. While it's true that there are some good short swords in BG1, there are even better long swords in BG2 and that's when you'll want to stop using your bow like... all the time.

    Speed factor doesn't really matter because there are other ways to backstab before the enemy has time to react. You don't need short swords or daggers to do that. To invest in short swords feels like a waste to me, especially since you don't get that many pips as a mage/thief. But if it's fun to you then, please, take those !

    Backstabbing in BG1 is also a lot of trouble for not so much more damage that you couldn't have dealt with arrows. Now I'm not saying that backstabbing isn't great in BG1 or that you can never deal more damage than with a bow - definitely not - just that bows are usually faster, easier, safer and SOMETIMES more effective ; that is mostly when you fail your backstabbing or use the best of arrows available in the game.

    The real advantage of backstabbing is that you can land one major blow before the fight has started. That being said, if you fail, it was all for nothing.

    Also remember that backstabbing takes time once the fight has started, every seconds you spend trying to get behind your opponent and waiting for the best moment to strike are seconds you could have used to fire deadly arrows continuously AND cast spells. Also note that while you're going back and forth to backstab you waste even more time or potions that you could have sold or spared, not to mention that you're in a poor position to cast spells once you're no longer hidden.. unlike when you're using a bow from afar.

    Take into account all these elements and you'll see that the seemingly impressive damage caused by backstabs are not as good as they look... although they're certainly good.

    If you gear up properly for ranged attacks, backstabbing additional damage become almost insignificant. There's a gap between the damage caused by arrows and backstabbing that shrinks as you find better and better arrows, some being EXTREMELY deadly.

    So yeah, what he says is interesting and absolutely valid if you really want to be a born backstabber. I'm just offering another way to handle your M/T.

    Make your choice based on what's funnier to you !

    Post edited by Simulacre on
    AurorusStummvonBordwehrCactus
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    The advantages of opening fights with a backstab over missile weapons are less at early levels until you reach x3 backstab. Starting fights with a backstab is not always preferred in my opinion. The primary reason to use backstab and stealth as principle weapons is to eliminate enemy mages and clerics in vanilla where the mages do not begin with short-term defensive buffs. This is also very important to stymie ranged attackers, such as Black Talon Elites, who can be some of the most dangerous opponents that you face in BG1 vanilla. Moving in and out of stealth frequently also improves charname´s chance to survive. If Charname dies, further discussion of advantages and disadvantages is moot.

    For theives in BG1, a find traps of 80 suffices. One Potion of Perception will boost this to 100 for 6 hours. If you combine the Potion of Perception with a Potion of Master Thievery, the combined bonus to open locks is 60, so a thief can open any lock in the game with only 40 in Open locks. In my opinion, if you want to use less stealth, set traps is a good option, even for a non-bounty hunter in vanilla. In SCS, detect illusions is perhaps the most powerful ability that thieves´ have: a constant true-sight that is not affected by non-detection or any other defense. That thieves can use this from stealth or while invisible themselves (and undetectable with the right gear or spell) makes them the absolute masters of invisibility meta-game that becomes so important. Why not make this a priority? That it happens to come with a powerful attack option as well only adds to the utility.

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,540
    edited October 5
    Short swords have a bad rep sometimes, but in BG1 you can get a +3 version (edit: you also have an early +2 version), one of the few weapon categories that have that, and in BG2 you have one great offhand weapon that grants +APR. It's not the "best" choice, but perfectly adequate. There's also a very easily acquired +4 version early in BG2, if you don't mind doing some meta. One of the earliest +4 weapons available actually, together with a qstaff and some more. As a M/T THAC0 can be more important than damage, since it's better to hit with less damage than to miss with higher damage IMHO. So for all non-fighter backstabbers, I always choose THAC0 > Damage.

    Daggers are great all the way through, my personal favorite are the poisoned throwing daggers that hit as mundane and cause poison, thus PFMW doesn't protect from them. Also, daggers have the returning daggers in BG2 that can be weilded in the main hand for +1 APR in melee. Coupled with an offhand +APR weapon, you're golden. There's +2 and +3 versions of these in BG2, the former easily aquired early.

    Longswords are always a good choice and with magical versions their speed is improved so hitting early in the round is therefore also improved, which can be convenient for backstabbing. I would personally not choose LS for BS, but that doesn't mean it's not usable of course.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Eventually built a M/T instead, starting with daggers and shortbows.

  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    Dordledum said:

    Eventually built a M/T instead, starting with daggers and shortbows.

    You will be pleased with this character, I suspect, once you have had some time to work with him/her and understand his/her capabilities. If you are not spendthrift, you should be able to acquire the Dagger of Venom before your backstab multiplier increases to x3, which will provide some interesting opportunities.

    If you put some points into set traps, another tactic to set traps in front of your position when you plan to be a ranged attacker or cast some major spells. Any enemies that approach you to melee will set off the traps. Often, this will allow you to continue firing without losing attacks because you had to move to avoid melee or continue casting a long-casting time spell without worry of being interrupted.

    Dordledum
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    Dordledum said:

    Eventually built a M/T instead, starting with daggers and shortbows.

    I hope you set charisma to 18. ;)

    Dordledum
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    edited October 6
    Simulacre said:

    Dordledum said:

    Eventually built a M/T instead, starting with daggers and shortbows.

    I hope you set charisma to 18. ;)
    Of course!

    Str 18
    Dex 19
    Con 15 (16 with buckler/tome)
    Int 18
    Wis 5 (8 with 3 tomes is plenty)
    Cha 18

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 6
    Fair allocation, but I would have put two more points in constitution and lower wisdom even more. While an elf M/T doesn't get any direct and consequential benefit above 16, there are some uses for going up to 18.

    At some point in BG1, there's an excellent item that will suck out some of your constitution. It's perfectly suited for a M/T and I could't play one without it on account of its awesomeness roleplay and power wise.

    I should also point out that reaching 20 in constitution can be nice since it provides regeneration. Not essential, but still interesting since you can get those 20 points quite easily if you set your constitution to 18.

    So, sure, you can play around with the buckler but wisdom is a dump stat as far as you're concerned.

    Post edited by Simulacre on
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    edited October 6
    Thanks for all the advice, but I'm rerolling as a F/M/T after all. Was playing the M/T amd missed something. I'm the daughter of Bhaal after all! I guess I'm stubborn.

    SkatanGreenWarlockThacoBellGotural
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    If that is what your heart desires, then forget about powergaming and enjoy your F/M/T !

    Dordledum
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Dordledum said:

    Thanks for all the advice, but I'm rerolling as a F/M/T after all. Was playing the M/T amd missed something. I'm the daughter of Bhaal after all! I guess I'm stubborn.

    just as an update: rolling now with the following setup:

    daggers ++
    longswords +
    katanas +
    two weapon fighting +

    throwing daggers and poison dagger from Taerum as go to weapons in BG1EE

    Plan to do my first ever SOD playthrough with this character as well.

    StummvonBordwehrGoturalAerakar
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    Rolling.. Do you mean you're still stuck at the character creation process ?

  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 173
    Simulacre said:

    Rolling.. Do you mean you're still stuck at the character creation process ?

    Haha, no. Just "rolling with" as in running with, playing with. casual slang usage of the term "to roll with".

    GreenWarlock
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
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