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New saga runthrough- what PC?

It's been a long time since I've played, and I'm itching to get back to to BG...and also a little trepidatious about it, too.

I've played through BG2 and ToB dozens of times, but only ever finished the original BG once. I end up starting, feeling like I'm grinding through things and reloading constantly, and quit- usually sometime between Beregost and finishing all the Nashkel stuff. So I'm looking for something that's fun to play from level 1, powerful enough to not feel like I'm going to die all the time, but still fun and powerful all the way up in ToB as well. I do like to play with a party, and don't play with SCS, for what that's worth.

Thoughts I've had:

*Archer- Powerful in BG1, able to strength drain enemies in a single (well, a few) bound in SoA/ToB, and does one thing and one thing well. I think I'd find it a lot more appealing if there was a way to bring in thief skills, but it is a possiblity.

*Cleric/Mage (or Illusionist)- I've heard a lot of good things, and you certainly end up with more spells than everyone else. Also, I have a soft spot for Turn Undead, though I'm not sure how being a lower level will affect its efficacy in real play. I'm a little worried about low levels, though- obviously it's a lot of fun when you have Project Image, but what until then? Rest constantly?

*Cleric/Thief (or Illusionist/Thief)- a Thief +. These both sound really fun, to be honest, but I'm concerned about efficacy in ToB with the lack of backstabs as you get later in the game. Also not sure how to best integrate into a party. Turn Undead again seems useful as noted above.

*Sorcerer- Same issues as the Cleric/Mage above. The appeal of not having to pick what I'm memorizing for each rest has a lot of appeal for me, though.

*Fighter/Thief or Fighter->Thief or Thief->Fighter- Concerned about the lack of backstabs later on and not entirely sure how to maximize UAI later, but again seems fun and versatile.

I know that's not a ton to go on- but it's what I've got in my head, for now.

Comments

  • XanatosXanatos Member Posts: 47
    Easiest PC in my opinion is Cavalier. The kit itself has so much innate tankiness, built in resistance to common hurdles, remove fear to make early fights where that spell can be crippling much easier, and you can deck one out early with gear thats all easily available before the mines and pretty much let him solo until the rest of the party catches up. 2nd option is Archer because they just shred through most enemies in BG:EE, but the game does give you at least two really good archers so I have a hard time justifying the selection to myself.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 700
    Fighter/Thief multi is fun and scales well throughout the saga. The power curve is nice and you will be a great backstabber. Backstabbing only really becomes less useful (but still useful for most enemies) in ToB which is the last short part of the overall saga. You have the combat ability of the fighter coupled with the thiefly abilities which are fun due to the constant game world interactions. UAI and then epic traps will help keep it fresh in late SoA and TOB plus you have all of those fighter HLAS also.

    I have found if I feel like it is a grind then the issue is the character and something has failed to connect for me. I can start a new game and then the grinding feeling is gone if I connect with the charname. Perhaps try something you have not done before, e.g. if you play spellcasters usually, then play a F/T or thief or fighter type, if usually fighters or mages, try a shaman or cleric, etc.

    Have fun!

    Gusindabutteredsoul
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 2018
    For experienced players, a multiclass Cleric/Mage is a blast. It's my favorite PC with the Blade.

    Whenever people talk about those "he can do everything" PC, the Cleric/Mage is often forgotten. It's a real shame because I find it one of the strongest PC available, the most versatile by far and arguably the funniest of all.

    It's a lot of fun because you'll eventually learn how to intertwine divine and arcane spells for awesome combinations. He's also a decent fighter with respectable Thaco and excellent defense for tanking. The proficiency restrictions are imperceptible because the best weapons are - arguably - the ones the Cleric can use.

    Both classes are also more complementary than most people think :

    The first arcane spell should be used to invoke a familiar and raise your HP from the start so you have 14HP right away.

    You should also, from the very beginning, equip your C/M with the best armor, shield, helmet - so he's not afraid of critical hits - and a sling until you have interesting arcane spells to justify letting go of that armor.

    There's an excellent warhammer in BG1 - from another cleric, now we all know who I'm talking about - that is easy to get quite early so I suggest putting one pip in warhammers next to sling.

    The inability to cast arcane spells while wearing an armor is unimportant. Divine spells are better in the first hours of the game and you can cast those while in armor.

    Getting armor, shields and decent weapons, on the other hand, allows you to escape those painful first levels mages have to endure - they're poor range attackers, terrible tanks, terrible melee fighters, lack spells and HP too - unless they sort of cheese their way through. This is what you were looking for I believe, and you can thank Cleric part for that.

    This also means that you're not going to be very far from a level 1 warrior - especially defense-wise - while having cleric spells, turn undead and arcane spells coming later. Be the tank or sling from aback, it works great.

    When you do remove your armor because your arcane power starts showing up, you have arcane spells to lower your AC, you have robes, you have shields as well as helmets to compensate. It's also possible to cast your arcane spells with specific armors but you should know that. So again, no hassle.

    In other words, you don't start out as squishy and squishy, you'll never be.

    Later on, things become even more interesting because you're still a decent melee fighter - although the gap has widen with pure fighters in their favor -, an excellent tank - even better than fighters this time-, an awesome spellcaster and you can use all of these options with great efficiency if you take time to think through the synergy of the cleric and the mage classes.

    Now some cleric and mage spells are redundant which is a problem for some people for some reason.. But really, that's one neat example to show that C/M are better suited for experienced players - so yourself, for instance - because it takes effort to make the best out of them ! This redundancy gives you room to manage your spells and use more of some arcane spells without foregoing some others. You simply need to find the best management possible and, eventually, you won't feel like some spells are unnecessary.

    Finally, when you reach level 9 spells and start cranking out stop times, simulacrums and so on, you're a war machine just like any other mage BUT you're also an awesome support character.

    HLA's are kind of the cherry on the cake, and being able to choose from both of these classes is underrated.

    C/M was one of my triple A experiences. I highly recommend it for someone like you.

    Post edited by Simulacre on
    Gusinda
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 933
    When going through the whole saga, I personally prefer CHARNAME be a thief of some type so I'm not forced to carry a thief NPC in the party. Once the decision is made to be part-thief, then adding fighter to the mix becomes an obvious choice due to their super-high APR (attacks per round), especially since the thief's fast XP table ensures you'll have enough thief points even with a double or triple-classed character. Then the only question is whether to go FMT for versatility/tankiness (accepting that you'll never cast 9th level spells) or stick with FT alone (which I tend not to do but which is still easily among the strongest options in the game).

    If you like the available thief NPCs or don't plan to carry a thief in the party, cleric/mage is a great option for all the reasons Simulacre lists. Sorcerer is a solid choice as well if you want the blasting power of a mage without having to manage a spellbook, though they're better-suited for settings like IWD where scrolls are few and far between.

    Aerakar
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 100
    Huh- fascinating. Not sure I ever though of a C/M as a real frontliner in a party, and you're right about that warhammer being pretty readily available. That does sound like a lot of fun.

  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 2018

    Huh- fascinating. Not sure I ever though of a C/M as a real frontliner in a party, and you're right about that warhammer being pretty readily available. That does sound like a lot of fun.

    You can't expect the C/M to be just as good as a pure fighter or a multiclass fighter in melee but you will deal some very decent damage, especially with FoA and improved haste. You'll be a MUCH better tank though, because you can use your divine and arcane spells to protect yourself while being fully equipped from head to toe with gear very similar from what warriors get, except for weapons - who cares, you can use FoA or Crom among others - and armor - who cares, a fewer less AC is meaningless compared to the kind of buff you can cast with your spells, especially in ToB - and other quite insignificant stuff.

    I also think the Robe of Vecna is INSANE on a Cleric/Mage, the best use one could make of it because it affects both arcane and divine spells while speed is mandatory if you want to cast while tanking. Disabling enemies - Hold being, for instance, one of your core spells - and make them attack you will be your primary role as a tank.

    Being able to cast Sanctuary in the middle of the fight to retreat, heal, buff, whatever, and get back to the fight at full strength is also magnificent and hilarious. You're such a tease when you do that, I can only imagine the opponent's face.

    Then, when you eventually learn how to use your divine spells into your contingencies and sequencers, the C/M becomes laughably strong. For all these reasons, yeah, to not use a C/M as a tank sowing discord in the enemy's ranks is a waste.

    Helm sees all. Know that, and be judged !

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,407
    BARD! It can do a little bit of everything except heal, so you can fit into any kind of party or tactical setup you want, and has some very powerful HLAs (Mostly the thief ones). Its varied toolkit makes it great for some very powerful synergies as well.

    Aerakar
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 2018
    ThacoBell said:

    BARD! It can do a little bit of everything except heal, so you can fit into any kind of party or tactical setup you want, and has some very powerful HLAs (Mostly the thief ones). Its varied toolkit makes it great for some very powerful synergies as well.

    Uh oh.

    I love Blades, but Bards in general have problems. We can see them as either frontliners or support characters. Let's consider both.

    Melee is doable for a Blade but is a pain for other kits, especially if you want to dual wield. So the only effective frontliner is the Blade with his Offensive and Defensive spins as well as his dual wield pips.

    That said, why would you pick a Bard over a Mage/Thief if not for the ability to melee decently ?

    Bard song, you say ? Well, guess what, with the latest EE version bard songs can't stack which was the major asset of bards until now. Being able to stack with simulacrum and so on was fun, powerful and made the other kits worthwhile... although, not exactly.

    The shared-by-all-kits HLA bard song always made the kits totally unbalanced because eventually the one who benefits the most from this HLA is the Blade - again - since he starts with a poor bard song to compensate all his perks. So bard classes other than the Blade were only justified until he gets his HLA, then they were obsolete.

    So, back to the original question, why would you pick a Bard - other than the Blade - over a Mage/Thief who was better HLA, backstabbing abilities aided by great synergy with arcane spells, equivalent power progression, level 7 arcane spells and beyond and thief's utility... Why would you ?

    Well, you wouldn't, because the M/T is a far better support character. You wouldn't except for roleplay reasons.

    Besides, although that's nitpicking, Bards can sorta heal since they can create potions that give back hit points. Not the same process, but the same result.

    So yeah... * Blades * are very fun although they fall back into my second place now with that EE "fix".

    As for other bard kits... FLY, YOU FOOLS !

    Post edited by Simulacre on
    Aerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,407
    @Simulacre "I love Blades, but Bards in general have problems. We can see them as either frontliners or support characters. Let's consider both."

    There is no "either/or" with bards. You can do whatever and switch between as you wish. I once took a vanilla bard through Tob with Ascension as a melee fighter. Bards are just so much fun and never get old.

    Aerakar
  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 100
    While Bards, or even Blades, are nice and flavorful, I've never really had them in the running.

    Thanks everyone, for all the suggestions. I think I'm going to try either the Cleric/Mage or the Fighter/Thief and see how it goes- they both sound like a lot of fun. I may at some point do an Archer, but I need to contemplate it more, because I think I want something beyond just the base Archer in terms of party utility.

    Aerakar
  • SimulacreSimulacre Member Posts: 102
    edited October 2018
    ThacoBell said:

    @Simulacre "I love Blades, but Bards in general have problems. We can see them as either frontliners or support characters. Let's consider both."

    There is no "either/or" with bards. You can do whatever and switch between as you wish. I once took a vanilla bard through Tob with Ascension as a melee fighter. Bards are just so much fun and never get old.

    I wasn't saying that Blades can't do - almost - everything, just that they WERE useful and effective as melee fighters - with the Blade - or support characters. With the recent "fix", they're poor support characters obsolete compared to M/T. Remains only the Blade and his melee abilities to stand up to the M/T.

    That doesn't mean you can't beat the game with a random Bard. You certainly can.

  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 243
    Simulacre said:



    That doesn't mean you can't beat the game with a random Bard. You certainly can.

    You can beat the game with any race/class combo, and, power gaming aside, I would recommend trying as many as possible! :p

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Elven swashbuckler, can't go wrong! Unless you're into backstabs. Or dwarves.

    Aerakar
  • NecroscopeNecroscope Member Posts: 38
    Halfling Fighter that duals to Cleric...I may use mods.

    Aerakar
  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 164
    I really enjoyed my halfling F/Th run. I just completed it. Whatever you choose, have fun!

    DordledumAerakar
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