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How to get the most out of an F/M/T?

My interest was piqued in browsing another thread, which I did not want to derail, so asking anew here. How do you get the most out of an F/M/T? (and please, no spoilers on progress through SoD as that is still not available on my platform - assume BGEE goes straight into SoA)

My naive approach ends up treating them as essentially an underleveled FM, that will not hit level 9 spells by the end of the saga. That seems sub-optimal.

The main motivation I have for playing this combo is that for the longest time, you are going to be scoring more levels than anyone else - as the xp curve takes a long time to flatten out, so you are effectively 2-3x as long in the sweet spot scoring frequent levels, paid for by taking so long to hit the first of those levels (even the party mage is well on their way to 3rd before you hit your first bump). The major downside is that after that xp curve levels off, you are condemned to simply falling further and further behind the rest of the party - so better have found your synergy by now, to make the most of it.

So how do I add effective thieving into my mix? I level slowly, and will have few points to spread around in the first game, but can I sufficiently take the mantle of party thief for SoA/ToB by focusing points well (at the expense of combat) so that no other thief is needed?

Should I focus on stealth, and play as a F/T with occasional magic assistance? With low mage levels in the first game, that might make sense, but likely inhibits transitioning into sole party thief for SoA?

Thinking of my PC as an MT with more hit points and improved hit rolls does not seem productive to me, and mostly the fighter does not bring interesting equipment to the table, as armor interferes with spells and thievery.

It is tempting to highlight solo play, as a one man party, shooting through those levels as fast as possible. However, solo always seems to be missing the point of the game to me (my perspective) and there is no trouble hitting the level cap in BGEE. A reduced party might help hit the level cap in ToB, but I do like finding NPCs to hold onto all the cool loot we find throughout the campaign.

Is there some sweet-spot interaction of the 3 classes that I am missing, or does this class actually play as an underpowered alternative to any of the 3 duals?


And for advanced students :). does the FMC play any better or worse than the FMT?

Gotural
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Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,884
    i look at FMT thieves as vastly upgraded thieves

    in pratical terms, once a thief hits x5 backstab, they really dont get any better at all, and they seem to fall a little flat

    the thing that is great for FMT is that now you have a thief that can cast spells and has some good to hit/to damage/ attacks per round ability

    especially in bg1 they are great, i always give my FMT thief the composite longbow +1 and being an elf with 19 DEX totally tears baddies to shreads

    and speaking about that, an elf with 19 DEX ( or 20 if you give them the tome ) will still have lots of thief points to spare, i still hit 90 open locks, 100 find traps, and 80 pick pockets with some to spare ( although no much )

    another thing great about FMT is that you can bascially use any item in the game ( except for cleric only items, which are super rare and practically pointless for a non cleric anyway ) so that means you can use robes and wands and spell scrolls and thief items and doing it all while being able to wield any weapon and even being specialized in that weapon with some APR

    spell wise, i like giving FMT disabling type spells like blindness, glitterdust, slow,emotion hopelessness, hold monster ect... or even give them fireball and cast protection from fire on all your front liners and blast your fireballs away

    now when it comes to BG2 they still have that nifty "quick" level up progression in the beginnning, but then really start to bog down a little bit once they hit the 750 000 XP mark, but even then, they still act like a thief with great to hit/to damage with attacks per round, and even at the 750 000 XP mark that will make your thief level 11 so there will be plenty of points to spare in the usefull things that you need, and they will be able to cast up to level 5 spells at that time, whether you want them to be disabling spells, damage radius spells, or even just buff spells while your other casters worry about the disabling and damaging spells

    although to be honest i have never ( well maybe except once for the lulz many MANY years ago ) have i ever used a FMT in melee, i always use them in range ( just something about being an elf with that 19 DEX makes me want to use a bow )

    to me if you are going to use a multi class in melee you should either use a FT or FM, either one of those combos will get better to hit/ HP and whatever abilities the second class offers will come much quicker in a double class rather a triple class

    in my opinion the FMT is mostly a class that people play just to do something different, i think the greatest advantage of a FMT is that they have so much versatility that no matter what you have for party composition a FMT can make it work, whether its being a support character or filling in a role that no other party member can fill, so if you are someone that likes to shift party members around a lot, a FMT is a good character to have if you want to be doing that

    GreenWarlockThacoBellGotural
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 6
    I fail to see why anyone would want to play a F/M/T besides roleplay and soloing.

    If you want to do some close combat and cast strong arcane magic then you'll be far better off with a F/M or a blade. For the thief part, just hire a thief.. Blades will also allow you to use any item, to steal and eventually to lay excellent traps while progressing sooooooo much faster than a F/M/T.

    If you want to do some effective backstabbing and melee combat, I'd also recommend a F/T over a F/M/T. Remember that you'll still be able to cast spells through scrolls with Use Any Item.

    If you want to cast strong arcane magic, backstab and have some utility, then the M/T is a good option.

    These are imo good ways to do a little bit of everything without crippling yourself in the process.

    Playing a F/M/T will only punish you for wanting so badly to be so many things at the same time, it really feels like someone who's afraid to delegate and ends up being bad at what he does because of it. Realize that you'll never be a great fighter, you'll never be a great mage, and you'll be a potent thief but not more so than any other multiclass that has a thief half.

    It is, however, an excellent triple-class for those who want to beat the game on their own. All xp for yourself means you'll progress significantly faster and that's exactly what you need as F/M/T to not fall behind anyone else in your party in their respective fields.

    GreenWarlock
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,344
    Simulacre said:

    Playing a F/M/T will only punish you for wanting so badly to be so many things at the same time, it really feels like someone who's afraid to delegate and ends up being bad at what he does because of it.

    Exactly this, thanks! I think you nailed exactly the problem I was struggling with.

  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    Using your F/M/T as primarily an archer in the first half of Baldur's Gate is a fine strategy. Archery dominates at this point in the game. This keeps Charname mostly out of harm's way and allows your thief and mage abilities to develop some. However, once you reach the city of Baldur's Gate and the ToTSC content, archery begins to diminish in importance. Many battles begin at close quarters and some of the late-game fighters are best handled in melee by a F/M who can absorb some of their attacks with mirror images, because they hit very hard and will go through the normal fighters available in the game very quickly.

    As the series progresses into Baldur's Gate II and beyond, archery because increasingly the preferred attack only of specialists or non-fighters: the "archer" class specifically, a fighter able to put 5 pips in shortbow (there is one such fighter in BGII), or M/T's who are limited to one pip and the better shortbows in the game. Archery receives no strength bonus to damage, there is a limited supply of ammunition and bows capable of hitting the late-game opponents, and some of the off-hand weapons allow melee combatants to achieve rates of attack as high as those of archers, while applying the strength bonus to damage. Also, much of BGII is indoors and combats also often begin at close quarters. With only 2 pips maximum in bow, a slower THACO progression than a normal fighter, and no damage bonus to your bow attacks (as from the archer kit or even the Blade Bard kit while using offensive spin) your archery attacks will be underpowered and suboptimal compared to your ability to dual-wield. Ironically, the best "arcane archers" in the BG series are humans who can begin as fighters then dual class to mages so as to receive 5 pips in bow.

    To take full advantage of your F/M/T abilities as part of a group in late BG1 and BG2, in my opinion, you want to be the primary scout and the one who initiates the battles when possible. You open battles with your mage defenses prepared, from stealth, with a back stab, and draw the attention of enemy fighters, who will waste attacks on your defenses: mirror image, stoneskin, etc... rather than attacking the more vulnerable party members who lack such defenses. When your defenses falter, you go invisible, prepare more, and return to the action with another backstab, followed by multiple attacks per round.

    The biggest advantage of an F/M/T as part of a group is that you can handle all thief and scout duties, while being capable of taking on multiple combatants in melee for a time without worry of harm. This opens up your party roster so that you need only take the best NPCs. As such, I think that you want to focus your thief points on stealth, traps, and locks. I would set aside picking pockets, setting traps, and detecting illusions until later in the series and then focus only on detecting illusions to remove enemy mage illusion-defenses. Enemy mages in the later stages of BGII and TOB will have "layered defenses" and as a lower-level mage, you will not have enough spells or spells of sufficient level to consistently remove enemy mage defenses. You can assist in doing so, however, with detect illusions. Also, you will receive thief HLA trap-setting abilities regardless of your skill at setting traps, so there is not much advantage to developing the setting trap skill late in the series. If you want to pick pockets, I recommend supplementing your F/M/T with a bard NPC.

    GreenWarlockDordledum
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 6

    Simulacre said:

    Playing a F/M/T will only punish you for wanting so badly to be so many things at the same time, it really feels like someone who's afraid to delegate and ends up being bad at what he does because of it.

    Exactly this, thanks! I think you nailed exactly the problem I was struggling with.
    If you tell us exactly what it is that you want to do, maybe we can help you find the class that suits your desires.

    If you want to be a jack-of-all-trades, the Blade is an excellent tank with sufficient HP, super low AC and lots of available resistances through Use Any Item, he can fight decently up close, from a distance, can use all weapons without penalties and eventually use Tenser to be a very good fighter, cast spells - stronger spells than the mage, actually, for those that scale until level 6 -, use spells above level 6 through scrolls, lay traps, buff the party with his HLA's song, has a fast leveling system so he's a perfect fit for a large group.... So yeah, almost everything you could do with a F/M/T, you can do it with a Blade, sometimes far better.

    So what are the noticeable differences between F/M/T and the Blade ? Well... detect and disarm traps, slightly better fighting abilities - thanks to Tenser, the gap isn't that big - and the convenience of not needing scrolls past level 6 until the F/M/T becomes stuck with his own spell learning. That's pretty much it. Hardly worth the huge drawbacks of the F/M/T.

    So, again, F/M/T is for roleplay or soloing if you absolutely need to detect and disarm traps without cheesing.

  • longtimeplayerlongtimeplayer Member Posts: 5
    F/M/T is one of the strongest and most enjoyable classes I have played in BG (with a party no less).

    I agree that F/M/T is above all a super thief. However, in my opinion his strength is mostly in hiding and backstabbing.

    Fighter class gives him possibility to specialise in thief weapons, high chances to backstab and deadly damage.

    Thief class gives him 5 x backstab and possibility hide repeatedly (for scouting and backstabs). Later thief gives access to the thief’s HLA and free true sight (detect invisibility).

    Mage class gives him possibility to hide even during a combat with a host of different illusion spells. When F/M/T has backstabbed he can continue fighting while protected with mage spells: for example mirror image, blur and stoneskin. Familiar gives him a sizeable hp boost (in addition of fighter constitution bonus).

    Especially invisibility + scouting + find traps is a good combination. Later another one is spell immunity: divination + invisibility + detect invisibility to counter enemy mage's illusion spells.

    And of course an elf F/M/T is also good with a bow.

    With divided experience and low levelling F/M/T isn’t the best fighter or mage out there, but he is strong in both of these roles. In addition of being the best backstabbing thief. Even with low levels, F/M/T has been for me the most deadly character in a party, no matter of party composition.

    GreenWarlockDordledumThacoBellGotural
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,344
    I was mostly trying to solve the puzzle of what the FMT does well, that sets it apart. How to take best advantage of the combination of features to find its own unique take on solving the problems these games throw at us.

    I am more seeking the problem that the FMT is the answer to, than trying to solve my problem using an FMT, if that makes sense?

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102

    I was mostly trying to solve the puzzle of what the FMT does well, that sets it apart. How to take best advantage of the combination of features to find its own unique take on solving the problems these games throw at us.

    I am more seeking the problem that the FMT is the answer to, than trying to solve my problem using an FMT, if that makes sense?

    Yes it does.

    That problem would be soloing.

    GreenWarlock
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,344
    edited October 6
    Aurorus said:


    To take full advantage of your F/M/T abilities as part of a group in late BG1 and BG2, in my opinion, you want to be the primary scout and the one who initiates the battles when possible. You open battles with your mage defenses prepared, from stealth, with a back stab, and draw the attention of enemy fighters, who will waste attacks on your defenses: mirror image, stoneskin, etc... rather than attacking the more vulnerable party members who lack such defenses. When your defenses falter, you go invisible, prepare more, and return to the action with another backstab, followed by multiple attacks per round.

    The biggest advantage of an F/M/T as part of a group is that you can handle all thief and scout duties, while being capable of taking on multiple combatants in melee for a time without worry of harm. This opens up your party roster so that you need only take the best NPCs. As such, I think that you want to focus your thief points on stealth, traps, and locks. I would set aside picking pockets, setting traps, and detecting illusions until later in the series and then focus only on detecting illusions to remove enemy mage illusion-defenses. Enemy mages in the later stages of BGII and TOB will have "layered defenses" and as a lower-level mage, you will not have enough spells or spells of sufficient level to consistently remove enemy mage defenses. You can assist in doing so, however, with detect illusions. Also, you will receive thief HLA trap-setting abilities regardless of your skill at setting traps, so there is not much advantage to developing the setting trap skill late in the series. If you want to pick pockets, I recommend supplementing your F/M/T with a bard NPC.

    Thanks - I think this is the answer I was looking for. The FMT feels like they want to sell themselves as the ultimate powerhouse that can do everything, but it turns out they are really just a grandiose scout - but should do that job supremely well.

    With invisibility as superior to hide-in-shadows, I suspect I can go a bit lighter on stealth while focusing on traps and locks, and then move silently (although I suspect the engine is not big on the difference between sight and sound). Big deal for the M/T is that you can detect traps while invisible, but not while hiding in shadows. FMT adds killer backstabs to the role, you have sold me that this is the non-solo answer that I am looking for, thanks :)

    That leaves the FMC as an even bigger puzzle. I'll probably kick off a thread on that next week ;)

    Dordledum
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 6
    I also forgot to mention that, imho, it's a bad idea to use the F/M/T as a super thief. While the F/M/T does allow for some great backstabbing, it's overrated in BG1 and it becomes meaningless in ToB.

    Sooooo you're basically hurting for a character that doesn't need to backstab in BG1 since bows are dominant, that won't backstab well in ToB, and that isn't necessary to backstab properly.

    A F/T with be a great backstabber and still use spells from scrolls with Use Any Item or potions to compensate the absence or arcane spells. Also, the F/T will be a great fighter and you will do fine in ToB.

    A M/T will not be a great backstabber but will do the job if you use mage spells correctly. Combat up close will also be a no-no BUT you're going to be an arcane powerhouse that will thrive in ToB.

    So, again, why even bother if not soloing or even roleplaying ?

    Post edited by Simulacre on
    GreenWarlock
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,344
    Sounds like SoA is the sweet spot, level wise, for playing the super-scout, and that is a long duration of gameplay that I quite enjoy. For some reason, I have never enjoyed ToB enough to get even half-way through, so losing potency at that point is less of a concern (personally).

    These days, I mostly view BGEE as a way of getting +8 stats for my SoA characters, boosted into the godly levels (19+), and a pretty enjoyable way of doing so. Few classes stand out for me before reaching BG as at low level, none are really distinct enough to shine (for me), and all are fun to play.

    So I may well give FMT another go, after I finish shepherding my current 15 in-flight characters through to the end of SoA... (a typical completionist play through is still north of 200 hours for me, probably well over 300, as I get so little consistent play time now, and keep retreading material I have forgotten I completed!).

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 6
    > To take full advantage of your F/M/T abilities as part of a group in late BG1 and BG2, in my opinion, you want to be the primary scout and the one who initiates the battles when possible. You open battles with your mage defenses prepared, from stealth, with a back stab, and draw the attention of enemy fighters, who will waste attacks on your defenses: mirror image, stoneskin, etc... rather than attacking the more vulnerable party members who lack such defenses. When your defenses falter, you go invisible, prepare more, and return to the action with another backstab, followed by multiple attacks per round.

    You can do that with a M/T without the huge drawbacks of the F/M/T, can't you ?

    > The biggest advantage of an F/M/T as part of a group is that you can handle all thief and scout duties, while being capable of taking on multiple combatants in melee for a time without worry of harm. This opens up your party roster so that you need only take the best NPCs.

    Again, it's doable with a M/T although not as easily. Is it worth the price of three classes ?

    > Enemy mages in the later stages of BGII and TOB will have "layered defenses" and as a lower-level mage, you will not have enough spells or spells of sufficient level to consistently remove enemy mage defenses. You can assist in doing so, however, with detect illusions. Also, you will receive thief HLA trap-setting abilities regardless of your skill at setting traps, so there is not much advantage to developing the setting trap skill late in the series. If you want to pick pockets, I recommend supplementing your F/M/T with a bard NPC.

    Which is exactly why the M/T is interesting, because you won't be a lower-level mage and you'll even have more points to invest in detecting illusions. Not to mention that stop time allows for some carnage even with limited Thaco.

    You make some interesting points but, really... is it worth the drawbacks to slightly do better what a M/T does already ?

    Aurorus
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,690
    F/M/T is the most powerful class in the game. No other combination can fight AND scout/stealth/backstab/ AND sling spells as well. Its like a super bard. Don't try to find one thing that it can do better than other classes, look at the WHOLE PACKAGE. The "slow" leveling is a non issue. Even at level 1 for all classes, you can fight just as well as a fighter (range or melee, I usually melee), have sleep as an instant win, and still perform some thief utility. My standard strategy for big fights is to buff up, stealth, and eliminate the most dangerous opponent with a backstab. While I'm practicallly immune due to my buffs, I will either cast disablers all around me to make enemies helpless, or I will cast invisibility and backstab again, and again, and again. THe only disadvantage is that you won't get level 9 spells. This is merely meh, level 9 spells are not necessary, neither are they the "best" spells in my opinion.

    Gotural
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    Simulacre said:

    >
    You make some interesting points but, really... is it worth the drawbacks to slightly do better what a M/T does already ?

    In my opinion, no. As I mentioned, I have played as both, and even solo, I found the M/T superior. The three advantages of the F/M/T over the M/T are the multiple attacks per round from 2 pips proficiency, fighter levels, and 3 pips in dual wield, the ability to wear a helmet and use fighter potions (invulnerability and giant strength), and whirlwind attack as an HLA.

    To gain these advantages, you must sacrifice mage progression significantly and never have access to level 9 mage spells. I strongly disagree with ThacoBell that 9th level mage spells are not the best spells. Time Stop, Spellstrike, Chain contingency, and Absolute Immunity are the best spells in the game. The only spell comparable in power to these is Nature's Beauty. In order to combat late BG2 and ToB mages, F/M/Ts must rely almost exclusively on scrolls, which are in limited supply, to remove the mage's defenses. An M/T can do much of this himself. A mage without defenses is a dead mage, and it makes no difference how many attacks per round Charname or any other has. One good backstab is sufficient.

    In TOB, as part of a group, the F/M/T is not a strong mage. He is a fighter with some very nice tricks. It is, without doubt, a very powerful class, but it is not as powerful as a Sorcerer, C/M, F/M (dual or multi), or an M/T, which are the most powerful classes in the game (in that order, in my opinion). I would rank F/M/T slightly (and only very slightly) ahead of Blade Bard and Fighter/Druid in the 2nd tier of power-game classes.

    SimulacreGreenWarlock
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 6
    Thanks for elaborating. Why would you rank the Blade so low ?

  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    edited October 6
    Simulacre said:

    Thanks for elaborating. Why would you rank the Blade so low ?

    I rank Blade very high and as one of the "power-game" classes: albeit in the second tier along with F/D, F/M/T, Bounty Hunter, and any specialist single-class mage. I started a Blade last night in BG and am playing him right now. Wild Mage is also a very powerful class, but subject to dying from wild spell results, which, in my opinion, removes it from the "best classes" list. I only play hardcore, however, and never continue games after Charname has died.

    So my list of Power-games classes would be:

    First Tier: Sorcerer, C/M (multi is preferable to dual), F/M, M/T (multi or swashbuckler/Mage dual-class)

    Second Tier: F/M/T, Blade Bard, F/D (dual is superior to multi but both are on the list), Inquisitor, Single-Class Specialist Mage, and Bounty Hunter

    These classes are superior to the others and would constitute the "power" classes. This is not to say that other classes should not be played. Quite the contrary. It is often very enjoyable to play a less powerful class, but if you want your Charname to be very powerful, these are the best options, and more-or-less in that above order, in my opinion.

    I would add that I have not played any of the EE classes for any length of time, with the exception of Shadowdancer, which I played through much of BG1. However, it seems to me that Shadowdancer and Dwarven Defender would also be on the above list somewhere, although I am not sure how Shadowdancer would hold up in TOB. The damage reduction HLA seems very helpful and would make Shadowdancer more of a tanking-style class in TOB (where backstab becomes less important). In BG1 and BG2, however, there is no question that Shadowdancer is almost as good as Bounty Hunter. Now a human Shadowdancer, dual-classed to a fighter after level 11 or so, would be a very potent fighter indeed.... and would almost certainly make the list of power-game classes. Dwarven Defender seems very powerful and may even be a first-tier class, but I have never tried one. Someday... maybe... if I can ever complete the trilogy hardcore with Ascension and SCS with my Blade Bard.

    Post edited by Aurorus on
    Simulacre
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 6
    Interesting, C/M is also one of my favorite classes. A true powerhouse and an incredible experience since possibilities seem endless.

    So let me phrase it differently : what separates the blade from the first tier ?

  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    Simulacre said:

    Interesting, C/M is also one of my favorite classes. A true powerhouse and an incredible experience since possibilities seem endless.

    So let me phrase it differently : what separates the blade from the first tier ?

    The biggest difference early in the saga is the inability to wear a helmet. This limits the Blade to functioning mostly as an archer through most of BG1 until level 10 and Stoneskins. A critical hit can be devastating and a Charname Bard can be easily one-shot through much of BG1. (This is why I emphasize speed weapons for Rogues, so that they can fade away before being attacked). Functioning mostly as an archer is acceptable, since archery is so powerful in BG1 (especially with Offensive spin), and the Blade is slow to develop 2-weapon fighting. However, it limits the Blade's utility when compared to an F/M/T, who can melee effectively from level 1 as well as function at range.

    In early BG2, the Blade Bard is an absolute powerhouse: maybe the most powerful Charname possible at this stage of game (with the possible exception of Totemic Druid). The ability to outfit the group by Picking Pockets as soon as you emerge from the starting dungeon, -10 AC on command, Mage defenses, and multiple attacks per round is everything you could want from Charname at this point in the sage.

    By the latter stages of BG2 and early stages of ToB, however, the Blade Bard begins to fade into the background as more of a 2nd-rate support character. Fighters become better damage dealers than the Blade; Mages have far more spells and more powerful spells, your Bard Song is not very helpful (especially in the latest version, which seems to limit the range of the Blade-Bard song substantially), and your THAC0 lags.

    In the end-game, however, the Blade Bard re-emerges as a powerhouse with the improved Bard Song, thief traps, and UAI. There is always something that the Blade Bard needs to do, every round of every fight, and it always seems like there should be more of him. Of course, certain items and spells make this possible and Bard Song stacks!

    Simulacre
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    The point is that, like many classes, the Blade Bard's relative utility waxes and wanes throughout the saga. Whereas the classes that I put in the top tier have a wide-range of abilities that are consistently important and powerful from level 1 to level 34.

    For the very end-game, I would much prefer a Blade Bard to an F/M/T, for the stacking Bard Songs. For the early going and for the latter stages of BG2 and early TOB, I would prefer an F/M/T. This is why I would rank F/M/T slightly (very slightly) ahead of Blade Bard. It is more consistent throughout the saga.

    Simulacre
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    I thank you for your feedback and the time you took to write it all out.

    I was curious about your opinion and it's quite obvious that we share a lot.

    StummvonBordwehrGreenWarlock
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    edited October 7
    Simulacre said:

    I thank you for your feedback and the time you took to write it all out.

    I was curious about your opinion and it's quite obvious that we share a lot.

    As an aside, in reading the BGII comment forums, apparently Bard Song no longer stacks. I have not played for a while and did not realize that this change was implemented. This moves the F/M/T much further ahead of Blade Bard in the end-game.

    Both classes were heavily exploitable in the end-game. I impose limits on the fantastic abilities that both classes can produce and generally try to play a realistic game without extreme tactics that exploit the AI, metagame knowledge (such as laying traps at spawn points to disable enemies before they have a chance to engage their scripts), and so forth. However, I did like to have 1 clone of a bard for constant song with the actual bard contributing from time-to-time as much as micromanaging his actions allow.

    After removing a perfectly (in my opinion) viable Bard tactic, the extreme exploits available to F/M/Ts and F/Ts have not been removed. Sometimes, Beamdog makes strange decisions, but I should not complain too much since they have brought new life to my favorite computer game.

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 7
    I heard they wanted to do that, but I thought this was not implemented in the end. Guess I read wrong.

    Strange that this nerf comes with another nerf about offensive spins in the 2.5 patch. Do they have something against bards to nerf what most people consider to be an already inferior F/M ?

    I believe it would have been a good idea to compensate this nerf with something else. How about being able to cast ONE spell per level above level 6 without having to use scrolls ? That would have been a fair tradeoff, wouldn't it ?

    With this new ability the idea that the bard can't be as good as a mage is preserved so it's not ruining the concept of a bard, especially since he's supposed to be a jack-of-all-trades. Meanwhile, one of the biggest letdown of this class becomes mitigated. How about that, Beamdog ?

    Now I THINK you're still allowed to use the bard song with Mislead, so there's still that.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 324
    I'll second Thaco that FMTs are at the top of the power curve in BG/BG2 and think some of their key advantages have been overlooked in this discussion. At endgame thief HLAs are the strongest ability in the game and whirlwind attack is a fairly close second, especially in the final battle where mage abilities like time stop become a liability rather than an asset.

    During the rest of the game, what thief brings to the table isn't so much backstab (though that can be situationally useful) but faster leveling, faster item acquisition and stronger party composition. The faster leveling comes both from their favorable XP table and their ability to harvest substantial XP from traps/locks, which speeds the leveling of everyone else in the party. The item acquisition comes from pickpocket which can be used to clean out the Copper Coronet in the early game (especially if you make judicious use of potions of master thievery) and then the Underdark merchants later on. And the stronger party composition comes from you not needing to reserve a slot for the game's subpar thief NPCs, freeing you to pick a more effective combatant for that slot.

    The tremendous synergies between fighter and mage have also been underplayed to some degree, at least in my view. It's true that multiclassed mages gain high-level spells at a slower pace than their singleclass counterparts (and FMTs most of all), but the main purpose of pairing mage with fighter is for the defensive (and a few offensive) buffs that give FMs/FMTs/FMCs the best melee staying power. I'd also say the fighter's melee abilities bring more to the table than some of this thread has indicated, including bonus APR at levels 7 and 13, a broad set of weapon proficiencies (relevant from the very early game when you're able to wield the Copper Coronet's throwing axe of disruption), and a fairly substantial set of offensive and defensive HLAs.

    It's true that FMTs never receive 9th level spells and I'd also point out their caster level is going to be quite low, which will limit the usefulness of their damage-dealing spells. If that's the role you need CHARNAME to fill, then FMT probably isn't the best option for you. Otherwise, though, they can be a tremendous asset.

    Aurorus
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,690
    @Simulacre I don't recall hearing anything about a nerf to offensive spin, do you perchance have a link to where it was announced?

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    ThacoBell said:

    @Simulacre I don't recall hearing anything about a nerf to offensive spin, do you perchance have a link to where it was announced?

    Yes : http://blog.beamdog.com/2018/06/baldurs-gate-ii-enhanced-edition-25.html

    Press Ctrl + R simultaneously, then type " offensive spin " and check out what's outlined.

    ThacoBell
  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    edited October 7
    jsaving said:



    And the stronger party composition comes from you not needing to reserve a slot for the game's subpar thief NPCs, freeing you to pick a more effective combatant for that slot.

    Yes. This is another reason why I would rank F/M/T ahead of Blade Bard, although I do not consider Jan Jansen to be one of the weaker NPCs. However, he is annoying, and often I do not want to hear from him. He is only amusing when paired with Korgan, and I tend to play evil only as a thief class, so I do not need the creepy gnome.

    The ability to have a useful thief, who is not Jan Jansen, in itself makes F/M/T superior to Blade Bard... lol.

    I mentioned this above... "The biggest advantage of an F/M/T as part of a group is that you can handle all thief and scout duties, while being capable of taking on multiple combatants in melee for a time without worry of harm. This opens up your party roster so that you need only take the best NPCs."

    However, if one is playing reasonably and not hopelessly exploiting metagame knowledge, laying time-stop traps at spawn points, and spamming the various clone spells, I much preferred the M/T to the F/M/T through the whole saga, because of the faster level progression and ability to cast higher level mage spells throughout.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,690
    Simulacre said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @Simulacre I don't recall hearing anything about a nerf to offensive spin, do you perchance have a link to where it was announced?

    Yes : http://blog.beamdog.com/2018/06/baldurs-gate-ii-enhanced-edition-25.html

    Press Ctrl + R simultaneously, then type " offensive spin " and check out what's outlined.
    Um, Offensive Spinalready grants improved haste. If haste was stacking with it before, that would be a bug. Can haste even stack?

  • AurorusAurorus Member Posts: 194
    ThacoBell said:

    Simulacre said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @Simulacre I don't recall hearing anything about a nerf to offensive spin, do you perchance have a link to where it was announced?

    Yes : http://blog.beamdog.com/2018/06/baldurs-gate-ii-enhanced-edition-25.html

    Press Ctrl + R simultaneously, then type " offensive spin " and check out what's outlined.
    Um, Offensive Spinalready grants improved haste. If haste was stacking with it before, that would be a bug. Can haste even stack?
    Offensive spin used to stack with improved haste (but not haste, if I remember correctly). This was a known bug in the original BD edition that Beamdog corrected in a very early version of EE.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,344
    @jsaving your points sound like why I first looked into FMT many years ago, but did not play out in practice when compared to simply playing other classes. The FMT is not great for advancement - prior to hitting the xp curve limit around 9-11, you are generally two levels behind a single-class doing the same thing. For a fighter, that is down two THAC0, for a magic user that is a level of spell casting, and for a thief it is useful thief points. From there is gets only worse, as that gap grows significantly.

    Your fastest leveling class is the thief class, but this still levels more slowly than the most expensive single-class, the magic user. As a bonus, you will score xp for opening locks and disarming traps. Those bonuses are negligible in BGEE, but scale to useful in BG2EE, but we hit the second problem. The size of those xp bonuses is predicated on the level of your thief, so you will be scoring significantly lower bonuses than by having a straight thief in the party - and then the thief aspect of your FMT is going overlooked, so why have it at all?

    The problem is not that we are overlooking that an FMT can do all these things, but that more focused classes can do these things better, so what is the benefit of being an adequate-rather-than-great fighter, and mage, and thief? What unique gameplay is unlocked by having simultaneous access to all of those abilities?

    As noted, for solo play, having access to all those abilities can make you a beast, but in a party there is (almost) always someone better placed to cover each speciality, so how do you shine?

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 7
    I really don't like this idea that thieves companions are a burden in Baldur's Gate. Whether it's BG1 or BG2, there are nice thieves available, Jan being on top. The advantage of having a high-level thief is that he can actually be more than just a utility character. Whether you use him for backstabbing, detecting illusions or range attacks - ask Firetooth - he can contribute to the actual fights. Combine this with another class like, well, the most powerful one - i.e mage - and you've got yourself a super ally.

    A M/T companion will be unnoticeably late from a single-class mage in his arcane spellcasting - although, technically, xp WILL be divided by two - because you'll compensate the less numerous spells with bows and backstabbing, will be able to help out with Tenser if not casting and a mage is one of the most powerful companion you can have in your party anyway.

    So where is the problem, exactly ?

    Why look down on thieves so much ? Single-class thieves are not so great, granted, but it's not like there aren't plenty of multi or dual-classed thieves out there..

    Ironically, it something feels wasted, it's the thief-part of the F/M/T. Too many options at the same time will eventually mean that you'll pass on some options at the cost of being weaker than others in each of your classes. You cannot backstab/cast/melee/range all at the same time, so while you decide to do some of those the rest becomes wasted. With multi-classes, it's easy to not waste your potential once you know how to work around the two classes.

    This is pretty much why I prefer Blades. While you won't be able to backstab, detect and disarm traps, you're still able to do plenty like setting traps or stealing at the cost of, well.. not so much, because you have the quickest progression chart available in the game. It's totally fine to let Jan take care of the detection and disarmement of traps. You can also help him with backstabbing via your bard song, lay even more traps with him, cast spells with him and so on. It's a great synergy and not a burden.

    Post edited by Simulacre on
    GreenWarlock
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