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.