Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Axis & Allies 1942 Online is now available in Early Access! Buy it on Steam. The FAQ is available.
New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Dual Mage -> Thief

I'm a *long* time player and recently rediscovered the game. I'm planning on doing a full play through (BG, SOD, BG2) with a character.

I've got my Assassin through to Chapter 7 of BG and then got to thinking, wouldn't it be great if he could do *some* magic as well? A few spells here and there to support his thieving skills.

I don't like the idea of a multi-class Thief / Mage which plays the two parts equally, so wondered about doing a Human dual class Mage -> Thief (and then shamelessly cheat and give him the Assassin kit). I think this works from a role-play perspective - the studious mage is thrown into the big, bad world, his arcane capabilities aren't enough so becomes a "thief" (essentially the opposite direction to Imoen, but with a VERY different skill set).

I suspect this won't be too powerful - the types of spells I'd want are largely non-combat (I can think of Knock, Friends, Identify etc) and to be used only when safe to take armour off, although does give early access to scrolls and wands. By being an Assassin rather than general thief the advancement in skills is much slower, but obviously more capable in combat (and poisoning enemy mages is lots of fun).

I'm guessing that dual-classing quite early (level 3 or 4, giving him access to second level spells?) means he doesn't get too many spells and will quickly level back up with the low XP requirements for the Thief class. Any later and he's probably too invested in the magic path and will be starting to become more powerful.

I would have considered starting out as a specialist mage (probably an Illusionist, which kind of supports the character idea), but whilst adding a kit to a dual character is possible I don't think two kits would work.

Aside from CHARNAME, I'm likely to use a fairly canonical party for the majority of the game with the occasional switch out to do specific quests.

Anything I'm forgetting, or any comments, especially about how this might play out in the later games and at higher levels?

SkatanAerakarBlackravenmashedtaters

Comments

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,359
    Sounds fine to me. The ability to use wands can make BG1 and SoD significantly easier, but won't make so much difference in BG2. Across the series your assassin probably won't be any more powerful overall - the lack of saving throw advantages from being human will counteract the improved magical abilities - so the issue is more about whether you like the character concept than power-gaming.

    One spell I would probably use with this character would be invisibility. The low skill points for an assassin make it difficult to get good stealth in early levels - particularly if you want to be able to disarm traps. A would-be assassin who wanted to be able to make himself invisible in order to scout and backstab would make RP sense to me.

    Balrog99Aerakarmashedtaters
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,672
    Grond0 said:


    One spell I would probably use with this character would be invisibility. The low skill points for an assassin make it difficult to get good stealth in early levels - particularly if you want to be able to disarm traps. A would-be assassin who wanted to be able to make himself invisible in order to scout and backstab would make RP sense to me.

    Agreed. Since you can't be a specialst mage (if you change kit to assassin in Keeper it will remove the kit from your mage class unless you are playing as a cheated gnome dual-classing who has the hard-coded illusionist kit) you will get very few spell slots so the little magic you have will be situational. Invisibility will probably be of most use. A web spell in conjunction with free action from a ring can make your assassin also be able to run around webbed targets and carefully pick his backstab position. Overall I love mage/thief combos and play them regularly. If you don't mind cheating, you might as well start as a multiclass mage/thief and then as the mage reach level 3-4 (your choice), change to dualclass instead of going the other way of going single class mage to dual class thief. This way you skip the dual class downtime but it takes a little bit of tinkering in eekeeper. It's my preferred way though since I think the dualclass mechanic is impossible to RP the way it's made (noone would ever "forget" their previous knowledge while trying to learn something new).

    Cheers.

    Grond0Aerakarmashedtaters
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 861
    Yeah, I despise dual class on RP grounds.

    "I'm a 5 year grandmaster of longswords!" -> dual-class -> "I don't know how to swing a sword."

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 603
    edited December 2018
    In the old 1st edition rulebook, it was justified by saying you DO know how to swing a sword but are deliberately choosing not to because you have to abide by the rules of the second class in order to level up in the second class. Not sure the rule makes a whole lot of sense, but that's a different issue.

    ChroniclerAerakarDreadKhanmashedtaters
  • XanadooXanadoo Member Posts: 12
    Thanks for the comments.

    On the RP aspect f dual classing I always figured it to with the learning process, until something becomes instinctive it takes more cognitive effort so other skills are not as available. Not entirely accurate, but then I guess it's a simple game balance point more than anything.

    I've started the game. A couple of thoughts.

    Low level un-kitted mages suck. Even worse, I gave CHARNAME proficiency in daggers to start, but throwing daggers are (more) difficult to acquire, expensive and use up a ton of inventory slots, so he's actually using a sling for now. I've got Xzar in the party (who's actually better than I've previously given him credit for). Xzar is wearing the Ring of Wizardry - the doubling of level 1 spells makes more sense when he gets more to begin with due to his specialisation. Monty unfortunately died in Beregost :)

    CHARNAME is currently level 3, I plan to dual class at 4. By that time Xzar will have been replaced by Dynaheir who will become the primary spell caster. I'm sticking to the rules, with the exception of dual classing to a kit as stated. The downtime will be pretty short as it will only take 10000 xp to recover and the skills lost temporarily won't really be missed.

    One interesting thing I need to think about is the potential extra requirement for a thief once I dual class Imoen at level 7. Those 15 points per level are not going to stretch well amongst the thieving skills CHARNAME needs. Almost tempting from a meta gaming perspective to not apply the kit!

    Noobacca
  • NoobaccaNoobacca Member Posts: 139
    One of my favourite characters I've played with was an enchanter>thief. The fun thing about a specialist Mage duelling to any new class is that they keep their saving throw bonus when casting spells from their school. So an enchanter/thief casting charm/domination etc tends to be more successful. This is pretty handy for the illusionist/thief too because of the blind spell which can make some early fights in BG a breeze.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,098

    Yeah, I despise dual class on RP grounds.

    "I'm a 5 year grandmaster of longswords!" -> dual-class -> "I don't know how to swing a sword."

    Well,in theory you're trying to learn short term something that a single classed character took years and years to do, in a very intensive and restrictive training . I think it's fairer than how 3rd edition faces it.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,359
    Xanadoo said:

    Even worse, I gave CHARNAME proficiency in daggers to start, but throwing daggers are (more) difficult to acquire, expensive and use up a ton of inventory slots, so he's actually using a sling for now.

    Skeletons at High Hedge all carry throwing daggers and they respawn and occur with rest ambushes - so you have an endless supply of daggers from them if you want to use it.

    JLeesemiticgod
  • mashedtatersmashedtaters Member Posts: 2,125
    edited December 2018
    Mage dualed to assassin? I like it. You’ll get the x7 backstab while also being able to use staff of the magi and a bunch of mage only stuff, like wands and staves.

    Also love the flavor of the thing, and I can imagine the headlines in the cowled wizards paper: “budding apprentice mage turns to petty theft and murder for profit after flunking classes. Any with information on a certain CHARNAME, please see the cowled wizards for a hefty reward.”

    SkatanJLee
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823
    I like the idea of going Illusionist -> Thief myself. Sure you miss out on assassin, but I personally like the idea that it plays up the trickster/deceiving nature.

    Noobacca
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,672

    I like the idea of going Illusionist -> Thief myself. Sure you miss out on assassin, but I personally like the idea that it plays up the trickster/deceiving nature.

    If you play gnome, you can still be an I/A with a tiny tweak in eekeeper.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,823
    Skatan said:

    I like the idea of going Illusionist -> Thief myself. Sure you miss out on assassin, but I personally like the idea that it plays up the trickster/deceiving nature.

    If you play gnome, you can still be an I/A with a tiny tweak in eekeeper.
    @Skatan

    I thought having a Specialist Mage and a Kit was a hard coded issue in the game itself. Which is why you cannot have other things inside EEKeeper like say have a dual class X-Kit/Y-Kit

    Skatan
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,672
    edited December 2018
    Exactly, gnome is hardcoded for illusionist meaning they retain that specialist class even if you tinker in keeper and add another kit for your second class. They are therefore the only race that allow two kits on vanilla. I also think there's mods that allow dual kits, but I've never tried them.

    edit: @Dragonspear

    GusindaBlackravenDragonspear
  • XanadooXanadoo Member Posts: 12
    I just finished the game with this character and enjoyed it. A few observations!

    1) Wands, especially fire, are (over)powerful when combined with stealth. Either for killing large numbers of mooks, or for spamming against more powerful villains. Since stealth is infinitely reusable (compared to invisibility methods) this is a very effective strategy. On a few occasions I then switched to Agannazar's scorcher mode to finish off someone who wasn't backstabbed in one hit. Obviously this fails in areas with large numbers of civilians :) What's interesting is that this in turn made me realise the value of the potions of explosion, arrows of detonation etc for non-magic users.

    2) I made better balanced choices of thief skill on this play through and made sure CHARNAME could detect/remove traps (Imoen never recovered her thief capabilities - she hit the required XP for that level up when Sarevok died) which got me through, in particular, cloak wood mines and the thief maze at the end.

    3) The addition of Friends spell made a big difference to buying stuff (I've never really used it before, preferring to keep my character as party lead in most situations and not making use of that spell), allowing cash flow to be managed more easily, especially in the mid game and allowing the buying of certain expensive items (shadow armor, mage robes etc) a bit easier.

    4) I'm almost tempted to try and solo this character

    5) I'm also tempted to actually play a mage for the first time in nearly 20 years of having this game.

    O_BruceSkatanGrond0Gusinda
  • thiefthief Member Posts: 39

    Yeah, I despise dual class on RP grounds.

    "I'm a 5 year grandmaster of longswords!" -> dual-class -> "I don't know how to swing a sword."

    I tend to justify it with some injury most of the time. Sword Arm gets messed up, can't use a sword anymore, has to adopt other methods while he recovers.
    Jaime Lannister, Fighter lvl 13, dualed to Jester... oh that's illegal

    Dragonspear
  • XanadooXanadoo Member Posts: 12
    A further update. I’m now into SOD (not too far though). CHARNAME is now level 10 and essentially plays exactly the same as a regular Assassin. Those few mage levels make very little difference.

    I’m still using wands of fire, but increasingly seeing the value of potions of explosions etc, and love Arrows of Detonation, especially combined with poison (even the nerfed modern version!) having just learned that particular trick.

    Overall, I’m not sure at this stage that the disadvantages of being human make up for the advantage of carrying wands, especially when using NPCs who can carry them and target areas scouted by a thief.

Sign In or Register to comment.