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Solo thoughts and advice

My last "full party" game had to be abandoned so whilst I work up the energy to restart I thought I'd give solo-ing a go. I've done SOA solo (many years ago) but never from the start.

I'm not going for a no reload, but don't want to cheat my way through either - I'm happy to hit a problem, reload and work out how to avoid / counter it on a second go. I've got a couple of mods installed, including Song & Silence and some tweaks (no XP cap, bags of holding etc) that will help with solo play.

My recent "full party" play through was with an Elven Assassin - I'm tempted to go with the same character (especially as I genuinely rolled 93 for his stats). I know the strengths and weaknesses well, both at low level and once I get to SOA. The resistance to sleep & charm is going to be especially useful in certain encounters, even if it's not perfect, and the Assassin's benefits are good for the style of play I like. The additional THAC0, especially when combined with the Elf bonus with a shortbow, plus the extra DEX makes this effective for delivering poison or for leveraging the tactical flexibility of arrows (detonation, dispelling, biting, elemental effects). There's also a challenge in balancing the thief skills and a genuine need for potions to help with that all through the game.

Some options though -

1) Switch to Half-Orc; with some min-maxing that I'm not averse to I can get 19 into STR and CON - essentially this gives regeneration pretty quickly and someone a more capable in hand to hand combat, less so in ranged. The loss of the resistance to sleep and charm will require more preparation for some encounters. I don't imagine that such a character is going to the life of a party, but I can probably live with that.

2) Switch the Assassin to a Shadowdancer (of either race). Essentially replacing poison (and the Dagger of Venom is easy enough acquire) with Hide in Plain Sight. I'm guessing that ability only really becomes useful once there's enough points into Hide in Shadows / Move Silently. Slightly more thieving points will help in that, but still be limited as I'll need to cover all aspects of thievery. The impression I get of this kit is a bit of a one-trick pony and one that's easily replicable with potions of invisibility.

3) A Half-Elf Blade - I've read about how great they can be. I had a quick try with one at level 1 to get a feel for it, definitely not as capable as the Assassin at low levels, but I think (like with any magicky type) that there's a power curve. I suspect my challenges are that I don't know the associated tactics well enough and that traps are a mental hurdle to get over (I've read about just, basically, ignoring them with appropriate defensive measures). With knock spells and an appropriate familiar. I should still be able to get into locked areas though. Having the full range of wands available will likely be a huge asset and this could be a good chance to get to grips with proper use of magic after all this time. I get the impression that in the later game, with some clever tricks this can be extremely powerful.

4) A multi-class MT or even FMT. I've always avoided mult-classing CHARNAME so this could be a good chance to do so and, as with the Bard, learn some more about how to use magic effectively.

Any thoughts on these or other sensible (ie, no wild mage) options I may have missed? Anything else I need to think about, especially in terms of BGEE gameplay? Anything I've missed in terms of pros and cons?

SkatanJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • Rik_KirtaniyaRik_Kirtaniya Member Posts: 1,393
    Ah, you play with no xp cap? Go no farther! Fighter/Mage/Thief is what you want! You'll definitely enjoy it, all through SOA and even into TOB!

    Gusinda
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 3,882
    FMT is probably the easiest and the most obvious choice. The class itself was pretty much made for Solo play. You get specialization in weapons, wand access, spell slots for buffs and web spell etc, and have enough thief skill points for all traps and locks. You mage spell or potions can give you invisibility to save points and instead put them into Traps and/or detect illusion.

    My personal favorite for BG1 is to max out traps in the first three levels and then go for killing Elminster, Shandalar and basilisks. You max out your levels very quickly. This is quite cheesy though.

    Of the choices you list above, all are viable. BG1 you don't _need_ trap disarm or even open locks, though it is nice to have of course. My personal favorite is the Blade, but I think the M/T (or gnome I/T) is better power-wise. With a ring of wizardry, robe of the archmagi and some other goodies you just as good a mage as a singleclass mage while still being a very competent thief. The lack of fighter levels means you won't rely on archery, but who needs that when you got wands + web? :)

    Playing halforc of elf, I'd go for halforc. The 19 STR makes it easier to land melee hits, but as an assassin I would probably only use that for backstabs and not bother with 1 APR melee. Same with Shadowdancer. Personally, I'd rather go dwarf for the +saves, since one missed save roll on a disabler, and you are done for when you play solo. Sure, you can save-scum but it's nice to avoid that and the +5 saves are very, very good.

    Assassin vs Shadowdancer? I'd say assassin. I love shadowdancer, but at it's own without a dualled class or a faked multiclass combo, I think their weaker backstab progression makes it way, way to tedious. Have you contemplated going human SD dualling to mage? It's a really good combo, but dualing isn't as fun when you play solo (at least not for me). You can meta a quick dualing by saving the basilisks (remember the one on Durlag's as well, but you ma have to sneak past the Doomguards if they are too hard) and nymphs for quickly leveling after dualing of course.

    So to summarize, of your three options I'd rate a solo gameplay: Blade>Assassin>Shadowdancer. For other great options; FMT>I/T>M/T
    For races (singleclassed rogue); Dwarf>Halforc>Elf
    For races (multiclassed) Gnome Illusionist/thief

    JuliusBorisovGrond0StummvonBordwehrGusinda
  • XanatosXanatos Member Posts: 47
    F/M/T really is the one man army but if you want to use a rogue, I prefer the blade because the bard class is sort of a budget f/m/t on a budget.

    Gusinda
  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 789
    edited February 18
    Thief solo is not recommended because most high tier enemies are simply immune to backstabs. So your only choice is to cheese with spike traps.

    And whatever you do, don't do cleric either. You are powerless against stoneskins and magic resis.

    unless we're talking strictly about BG1, and not a full trilogy run. then you'll manage just fine no matter the class.

    Post edited by SirBatince on
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 551
    Just use fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. Elven ft with dagger of venom is almost good as assassin.
    If use magic user just reload wands to max stack. Use firewand as a machine gun, shoot for every enemy. Its the easiest and cheesiest way to kill everybody in bg1.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 3,850
    Danacm wrote: »
    Just use fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. Elven ft with dagger of venom is almost good as assassin.
    If use magic user just reload wands to max stack. Use firewand as a machine gun, shoot for every enemy. Its the easiest and cheesiest way to kill everybody in bg1.

    If you're going with Fighter/Thief you may be better off going with half-orc for the 19 strength. Elves don't get a bonus with the Dagger of Venom. Just saying...

    Danacm
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 551
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Just use fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. Elven ft with dagger of venom is almost good as assassin.
    If use magic user just reload wands to max stack. Use firewand as a machine gun, shoot for every enemy. Its the easiest and cheesiest way to kill everybody in bg1.

    If you're going with Fighter/Thief you may be better off going with half-orc for the 19 strength. Elves don't get a bonus with the Dagger of Venom. Just saying...

    Yes i know, but there is a plentora of strength enchancing potions and there is some items. In the long run, half orcs main adventage is higher hp bonus. And as a solo, the best fighting style is kiting ranged not bulking.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 3,882
    Danacm wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Just use fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. Elven ft with dagger of venom is almost good as assassin.
    If use magic user just reload wands to max stack. Use firewand as a machine gun, shoot for every enemy. Its the easiest and cheesiest way to kill everybody in bg1.

    If you're going with Fighter/Thief you may be better off going with half-orc for the 19 strength. Elves don't get a bonus with the Dagger of Venom. Just saying...

    Yes i know, but there is a plentora of strength enchancing potions and there is some items. In the long run, half orcs main adventage is higher hp bonus. And as a solo, the best fighting style is kiting ranged not bulking.

    Though I rarely play HO, and almost exclusively play shorties, having the HO's 19 STR when using throwing daggers, thus getting the STR bonus to damage (+7), is very, very good.

    Balrog99semiticgod
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 551
    Skatan wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Just use fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. Elven ft with dagger of venom is almost good as assassin.
    If use magic user just reload wands to max stack. Use firewand as a machine gun, shoot for every enemy. Its the easiest and cheesiest way to kill everybody in bg1.

    If you're going with Fighter/Thief you may be better off going with half-orc for the 19 strength. Elves don't get a bonus with the Dagger of Venom. Just saying...

    Yes i know, but there is a plentora of strength enchancing potions and there is some items. In the long run, half orcs main adventage is higher hp bonus. And as a solo, the best fighting style is kiting ranged not bulking.

    Though I rarely play HO, and almost exclusively play shorties, having the HO's 19 STR when using throwing daggers, thus getting the STR bonus to damage (+7), is very, very good.

    Yes, i like shorties too. I had a dwarf bounty hunter and a halfling fighter/thief. I like them far better than elfs or half orcs. The shorty saving bonuses are huge.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,621
    Danacm wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Just use fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. Elven ft with dagger of venom is almost good as assassin.
    If use magic user just reload wands to max stack. Use firewand as a machine gun, shoot for every enemy. Its the easiest and cheesiest way to kill everybody in bg1.

    If you're going with Fighter/Thief you may be better off going with half-orc for the 19 strength. Elves don't get a bonus with the Dagger of Venom. Just saying...

    Yes i know, but there is a plentora of strength enchancing potions and there is some items. In the long run, half orcs main adventage is higher hp bonus. And as a solo, the best fighting style is kiting ranged not bulking.

    Remember that if you are playing a thief and not a fighter then strength enhancing items are very limited in BG1, so the strength benefit of a half-orc is very beneficial in that case. Conversely, their high constitution is far less beneficial unless you are playing a fighter (and even then dwarves get the same constitution enhancement).

    Danacm
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 551
    edited February 19
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Just use fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. Elven ft with dagger of venom is almost good as assassin.
    If use magic user just reload wands to max stack. Use firewand as a machine gun, shoot for every enemy. Its the easiest and cheesiest way to kill everybody in bg1.

    If you're going with Fighter/Thief you may be better off going with half-orc for the 19 strength. Elves don't get a bonus with the Dagger of Venom. Just saying...

    Yes i know, but there is a plentora of strength enchancing potions and there is some items. In the long run, half orcs main adventage is higher hp bonus. And as a solo, the best fighting style is kiting ranged not bulking.

    Remember that if you are playing a thief and not a fighter then strength enhancing items are very limited in BG1, so the strength benefit of a half-orc is very beneficial in that case. Conversely, their high constitution is far less beneficial unless you are playing a fighter (and even then dwarves get the same constitution enhancement).

    I said it in the first quote as playing fighter/thief or fighter/mage/thief. So with fighter part.

    Other than, you are right @Grond0 .
    Btw the half orc can be a funny race in rp wise. I remember i had an ee keepered half orc bard :D

    Grond0
  • XanadooXanadoo Member Posts: 12
    Thanks for all the comments.

    I'm tempted by the Dwarf idea, my only hesitation is the reduced DEX. Dex 18 gives 30 extra thief skill points over 17, Dex 19 gives a further 30 extra points. This means that my Elf Assassin has 4 levels worth of points over the equivalent maxed out Dwarf, in addition to -1 ranged weapon THAC0. I've also got a mental block about Dwarfs using bows (crossbows might be a better fit for the shorty, but would mean missing out on dispelling and detonation arrows). I think this more than counters the save bonuses.

    With either a Dwarf or HO the CON bonus would *extremely* useful for solo play regardless of class - a starting 19 CON means that regeneration can be gained right from the Friendly Arm Inn, so no need for healing and permanent regeneration available any time once you can face sirines. Obviously a human/ half-human can also achieve regeneration using both of these (side note, is Buckley's Buckler overpowered, given how easy it is to get?).

    Still not decided, but I've confused matters by adding a Gnome Illusionist / Thief to the list. All the potential characters are out of Candlekeep and ready to go once I make up my mind.

    Skatan
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 3,882
    Valid point @Xanadoo. At the end of the day though, pick the character that you feel is your favorite type of class/race combo and try to avoid being to bogged down with math. Trust me, that math is the first step into full-blown restartitis ;) A serious condition, chronic even, that many of us suffer from and which is very, very hard to break free from once you're addicted.

    StummvonBordwehrDanacm
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 428
    edited February 21
    @Xanadoo The regeneration from a 20 CON is less helpful than you'd think, actually. During battle it is too slow to matter and post-battle you can heal much faster by resting.

    Not sure how helpful it is to go for a 19 DEX either. Going from 18 to 19 doesn't help your AC so the main/only reason to want a 19 is the extra 30 thief-skill points you mention. However, you can basically gain 200 free thief points by going FMT or MT because you'll be able to backstab/scout using the invisibility spell without having to put any points in hide or move silently (plus you can "stealth" in melee if you get into trouble or want to do another backstab).

    The one place where getting above an 18 makes a massive difference is strength. Getting, say, an extra +3 to-hit and +6 damage every time you attack wouldn't be out of place as an HLA yet you can get it for free at character creation by going FM/FMT or being a half-orc.

    Overall it seems to me that FMT best satisfies the concerns you have, though you can certainly win the game with any of the possibilities you're considering.

    Post edited by jsaving on
    DreadKhan
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,654
    If you want to use dispel and acid arrows, elf is your friend for sure, and those two btw are VERY powerful, much better imo than what crossbows get.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,621
    I'm not sure acid arrows are better than bolts of lightning (1d6+2d6 vs 1d8+4d4). By default you get an extra attack with arrows, but the crossbow of speed offsets that. The bolts of biting are also better than the arrow equivalent if you ignore any APR differences.

    I agree that arrows score with the dispel ability. The other important type of arrow that's not matched by bolts is the exploding arrow - allowing you to affect whole groups of enemies at once (for extra cheese poison your exploding arrows with blackguard or assassin poison >:)).

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,654
    Crossbow of speed offers low bonuses other than apr, noticeably less than a composite longbow +1. Moreover, Arrows of Detonation roflstomp Lightning Bolts +95% of the time. When they don't, acid arrows offer a slightly better type and pretty great damage vs foes with decent saves. Bolts of Lightning excel at beating weak opponents imho.

    Oh, and Dispel Arrows are insanely good. Just devastating to dispel Sarevok and kite him with Acid Arrows.

  • piggy1753piggy1753 Member Posts: 9
    If you like backstab then, shadow dancer is pretty good for solo

    I would even say OP, since you basically have permanent invisibility, almost the same as invinciblity.

    They get shadow twins late. It is one of the most powerful abilities, especially when combined with UAI

    semiticgod
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