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Uncommon Dual Classes

FalkeepFalkeep Member Posts: 41
I first played D&D 44 years ago... this week, as a matter of fact. In all the time I played both pen and paper, and computer, I have never played a dual-or multi-class character. As I am trying to start my first game of IWD:EE, what I have read seems to indicate that such characters are good choices because of high EXP and LVL caps.


What I am wondering is (1) is there any advantage for at least one or two characters to be human in order to dual-class them and, if so (2) what would anyone recommend as far a dual classing fighters to rangers, or paladins to rangers, or fighters to paladins. Also, could you dual class a fighter and a specialized paladin (cavalier, which cannot use missile weapons) to a specialized ranger (archer, which does use missiles), or a fighter to either a ranger or a paladin in order to get higher weapon skills? Or, what about throwing bards or monks, which I have also never played, into the mix. I'm not finding anyone writing about those combinations so I don't know if they are even allowed and, if they are, whether or not they are good combination?


For the record, when I put a party together, like for Baldur's Gate, I usually put a party together that is (1) a ranger (archer) (elf), (2) a paladin, (3) a cleric (Helm) (usually a dwarf), (4) a thief (halfling), (5) a mage (wild mage) (elf), (6) empty for NPCs. That is simply my personal comfort level. I also have never really stretched my comfort levels to explore and understand what clerics can really do besides fight and heal, and what mages can do beyond straight and direct offensive spells, like magic missile, fireball, etc. I can't even say that I have ever really done much with wands beyond magic missiles, frost, and fireball. I very rarely use a buff spell (defensive or offensive), or spells like charm, confusion, sleep, etc., and have never had much luck with trying to figure out how to use a thief to backstab. I know how to bulldoze my way through a game by basically hitting and blowing things up (I love explosives... spells, potions, wands) and have never pushed through my comfort zone to learn how to actually use clerics, mages, and thieves to their full capability.

I guess that I'm thinking IWD might be a way for me to experiment different classes and ways of playing, if that makes sense. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Post edited by Falkeep on
Skatan

Comments

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 3,877
    Dual classing is restricted to a couple of classes, both from and to. Paladins, Rangers, Monks, Barbs, Bards, Sorcs, Shamans are not available for dual classing. Fighters, Druids, Clerics, Mages and Thieves can be dual-classed both from and to. They all have different stat/ability requirements for enabling dualing though, so make sure you have enough to be able to dual. Example, dualing from fighter to Druid takes an enormous amount of stat points.

    So, if you haven't really dual-classed before, I'd say that put one or two into team, but no more. You risk having a lot of downtime during which time after you dual to until your next class supersede the previous class' level. So example, you level Fighter to 7 and then dual to mage. Only until mage reaches level 8 do you reactivate your fighter levels. Until then, you're just another plain old mage (though with more HP). Also, take note that pips put into the same weapon proficiency is not cumulative and will override what you had. You can delay the level up in your second class 'til after you know that when you click "Level up" you have enough EXP to reach one level higher in your new class, and then put all pips at once. This means you have enabled your previous class' pips and therefore avoid redundancy etc. This is a bit of hassle though IMHO.

    Dualing can be great, if done right, but personally I tend to prefer multiclassing. It's just more easy. I did a run in IWD with four fighters who all dualed to Druid, Cleric, Thief and Mage at the same time and boy was that a challenge, hah! It was a fun run after reactivating their fighter levels though.

    FalkeepGusinda
  • IamdorfIamdorf Member Posts: 52
    I have never been brave enough to do a dual class though I have used multiclass. I only use bard's for War Chant of the Sith so I don't even consider them for dual class. If you are new to the game it might be hard to mess with dual classes unless you are practiced. Then again it took me some time to know what I was doing game-wise.

    Falkeep
  • FalkeepFalkeep Member Posts: 41
    edited February 19
    Skatan, thanks. I understand the technical aspects of dualling, like not getting your first class back until you have surpassed it in level with your second class. What I wasn't sure about was if any classes besides the basic ones (fighter, cleric, mage, thief) could dual-class. It probably says so somewhere, but since I have never really considered playing a dual-class character, it just didn't sink into my head. So, I will probably just stick with multi-classing and try to figure out how to play the other classes better. I appreciate your input.

  • FalkeepFalkeep Member Posts: 41
    edited February 19
    Iamdorf, I'm not new to the game, but I have basically always played the same character when I do play and have never made the effort to explore the other classes. I'm just thinking about going outside of my comfort zone and playing around with more character classes , or with the capabilities of more character classes, than I normally do.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,125
    the thing about dual classing in IWDEE, is that usually if you are only going to do one play through and not play HoF mode is to only go to about level 7-10 ( depending on original class ) in your first class

    for me, a full play through ( IWD, TotLM, HoW, no HoF ) i hit about 3 000 000 million XP at most the time i hit the last boss in HoW ( double XP turned off, hardest difficulty ) so that is something to consider, if you aren't going to hit more than 3 000 000 XP that is going to show how far your class scaling is going to go

    so some popular dual class options in my opinion are:

    fighter 7 -> cleric/mage/thief/druid or
    ranger 7 -> cleric

    those 7 levels of fighters or rangers are extremely helpful to really ramp up those secondary classes for combat effectiveness ( whether it be for melee or ranged ) best part is, you can start the dual in chapter 2 and pretty much by the end of chapter 2 you might hit level 8 and get your fighter levels back pretty quick

    thief (swashbuckler) 10 -> fighter

    more of a power gaming option, this one works wonders and gives maximum utility for your thief, the time you hit level 10 you should have enough in open locks, find traps, pick pockets and maybe even in trap setting to make it so your thief forever has all the necessary skill points to finish off the series, also at this point at level 10 you will probably be near the end of chapter 2 or very early chapter 3 ( depending on how much grinding you do in chapter 2 ) starting with chapter 3, traps and locks really take a nose dive and kind of go the way of the dodo ( with the minor exception of a few small ones in chapter 3 and some near the end of chapter 4 ) but you can easily get by without a thief at this point,

    it will take a little while to hit that level 11 fighter ( for me i usually hit it in chapter 5 ) but once you do, holy jumpins this character will excel at melee or ranged ( personally i favor range for this set up, and mix it in with a bow that gives extra attacks per round, damn is it good )

    with this being said, as i said before, if you don't plan on playing the HoF mode i would advise not going to crazy with the level of the first class or else you may never surpass it in your current run or play most of your play through without actually using your dual class at its full potential

    but if you play the game with double XP on the higher or lower difficulties, then you will of coarse be getting XP much quicker, making dual classes much quicker, although i prefer to keep that option off, even though i am power game extraordinaire, i like to earn my power game, not be given it

    if you are going to play HoF i would still suggest only going as high as level 13 for a fighter or 15 for a swashbuckler ( for your first class ) so then the time you start HoF mode your 2nd class should be up and operational, despite the fact there is no "XP cap per se" its not really 100% necessary to crank that XP to the maximum ( aka. level 29 something dualled over to level 30 something else ) to beat HoF mode, i've beat the mode just fine with single class level 30 chums in HoW

    so if you want to dual class, i would suggest do it for the flavor, especially if you haven't done it before, i would suggest doing fighter first class hit level 7, then dual it over to whatever you want, just make sure your stats are high enough to do it in the first place ( 15 STR for fighter and 17s for the prime requisites for the 2nd class )

    GusindaFalkeep
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 2,889
    The best dual classes for inexperienced players are fighter level 3 dualed to mage, cleric , druid or thief. They're quick to regain their original class skills and you can enjoy the extra hit points and wepon specializations . I suggest that a fighter 3/ mage or thief should specialize in ranged weapons (either longbows or crossbows) and fighter 3/druid or cleric should specialize in melee weapons so they can tank in full plate and enjoy the extra half attack.

    Once you've gotten comfortable with those you can experiment with more complex dual classing ,such as the popular kensai-mage , thief dualed to another class for the lock picking and trap disarming that come in handy etc.

    GusindaFalkeep
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 427
    edited February 19
    If you're mainly familiar with the pencil-and-paper 1st/2nd edition AD&D game, where you can dual into anything and then keep dualing as many times as you want, you should be aware that your options are much more limited in IWD/BG1/BG2. You can only dual once and you can only pick something that would have been a valid multiclassing choice at character creation. So if for example you started out as a human druid and then wanted to dual-class, you'd have to pick fighter because fighter/druid is the only druid multiclass in AD&D. Or if you started out as a ranger and then wanted to dual-class, you have to pick cleric because ranger/cleric is the only ranger multiclass in AD&D. (They did it this way because dual-classing was a late addition in the development cycle and they already had the machinery in place for multiclassing.)

    If you're fuzzy on what the valid combinations are, your best bet would be to start making a half-elf character in IWD and then proceed to the part of character generation where you pick your class. The multiclass options you see there will be the same as your dualing options as a human (except that you can't dual more than once, so no fighter=>thief=>mage or fighter=>cleric=>mage).

    It would be great if you could dual-class a paladin or bard or monk. Unfortunately none of the game's demihumans can multiclass any of those so you can't dual-class them in IWD/BG1/BG2. Again, there isn't any particular logical reason for this, it is just a limitation of the engine.

    GusindaFalkeep
  • FalkeepFalkeep Member Posts: 41
    edited February 20
    jsaving, actually, my pen and paper playing was done under the original three booklets that were released in 1974, with the addition of the 'Greyhawk' supplement (which added thieves and paladins, and a lot more stuff) and the second issue of 'The Strategic Review' (which included the original ranger class, which is MUCH different from what rangers are now.) I had stopped playing by the time the 'Basic D&D' became dominant, much less the 1st and 2nd editions. Under the original D&D, multi-class and dual-class characters were not selected by very many players as getting to 10th level or higher took a long time (the additional supplements after 'Greyhawk' were focused on dealing with players who started to get what was considered really high levels, 15th - 20th levels). After the 5th supplement, 'Gods, Demi-Gods, & Heroes' everything was rethought and what was originally designed as a very loose game with guidelines, instead of 'rules', with much left up to DMs and players to create their own variations of the game, became focused on universal and comprehensive rules that everyone was expected to follow.

  • FalkeepFalkeep Member Posts: 41
    edited February 20
    FYI...

    "Creating the D&D System: The Races. OD&D has a similarly limited set of races: dwarves, elves, and hobbits. These demihuman races have severe class restrictions and also level restrictions: theycan only progress to 4th, 6th, or 8th level in various classes. This was because Gygax wanted humans to remain the dominant race in the game, but it would be an issue for play through the '80s."

    https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/28306/ODD-Dungeons--Dragons-Original-Edition-0e

  • AerichAerich Member Posts: 97
    Dual classing does go back to the roots of character categories; warrior, priest, wizard, and thief. Those baseline categories can dual class with each other (with some restrictions) but not within the same categories - hence paladins, fighters, and rangers cannot dc with each other, at least in IWDEE rules.

    My favourite dcs involve dcs with warrior classes for warrior-casters. Casters that also cover off thief skills (mage-thief or cleric-thief), super-casters (cleric-mage), and warrior thieves, are also possible, and fun to play.

    It might be better off for the OP to do some multiclassing as well in the same party to get a sense of how he would like to expand the horizons of his characters.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 548
    Uncommon dual class example a mage dualled to fighter at lvl 3. Missing some hp, 18/00 str but can use wands and mage items.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,125
    Danacm wrote: »
    Uncommon dual class example a mage dualled to fighter at lvl 3. Missing some hp, 18/00 str but can use wands and mage items.

    by this i assume you mean fighter 3 to mage? since a mage can't have 18/00 STR at character creation without cheating ;)

  • BubblesBubbles Member Posts: 580
    edited February 28
    @sarevok57
    Awwwww, "cheating" is such a harsh word :smile:
    Shall we say "By the book" ? :) (eh... don't stare at me, players don't cheat you know :p they work their way around with legit means and tools in accordance to game rules and the free DRM <3 <3 )

    sarevok57
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 548
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Uncommon dual class example a mage dualled to fighter at lvl 3. Missing some hp, 18/00 str but can use wands and mage items.

    by this i assume you mean fighter 3 to mage? since a mage can't have 18/00 STR at character creation without cheating ;)

    Yes, thats what i wrote: Missing some hp, 18/00 str but can use wands and mage items.
    So no 18/00 str just plain 18 :)

    sarevok57
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 519
    When I read Danacm’s post, its: you are going to miss 18/00 str and some HP - but can use wands and scrolls. So no cheating involved.

    And I will second Danacm’s suggestion. Its a strong build. You can gain some HP buy casting find familiar (especially in HoF mode). Scroll buffing works well and wands are awesome. Plus that the down time is minimum

    The ability to GM gives you a full apr. Not 1/2 the way BG1 and BG2 implements GM. So its really Grand (pun intended).

    GusindaDanacm
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 548
    When I read Danacm’s post, its: you are going to miss 18/00 str and some HP - but can use wands and scrolls. So no cheating involved.

    And I will second Danacm’s suggestion. Its a strong build. You can gain some HP buy casting find familiar (especially in HoF mode). Scroll buffing works well and wands are awesome. Plus that the down time is minimum

    The ability to GM gives you a full apr. Not 1/2 the way BG1 and BG2 implements GM. So its really Grand (pun intended).

    Also if you start with enchanter, you gain +2 save against enchantment school spells. I dont state that is optimal or better than fighter/mage multi or plain berserker, but interesting and uncommon build, have some use and be a better fighter. I used it in bgee and work well, with wands and scrolls. With this build you gain a lot and loose minimal.

    StummvonBordwehrGusinda
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 548
    edited February 28
    Another uncommon but somewhat effective build is shapeshifter-fighter dual. Dual at early to maximise the werewolf form thaco and hp, or after 13 to gain improved werewolf. I dont know is it working or not to be in werewolf form when dual and hold yourself in it until you gain back your druid levels.
    Adventage: gain werewolf forms with good ac and some immunities, especially in greater form with fighter thaco is a killing machine buffed from druid spells.
    Disadvantage: so long dual to be effective, when you are at full potential, its even or weaker than a plain half orc berserker.

    Edit:

    Werwolf

    STR 19
    DEX 16
    CON Your Actual Stats
    INT Your Actual Stats
    WIS Your Actual Stats
    CHA Your Actual Stats

    -1 AC
    2 APR
    Weapons hit as +2
    20 Magic Resist (Cant be boosted always sets to 20)


    Greater Werewolf

    STR 21
    DEX 20
    CON Your Actual Stats
    INT Your Actual Stats
    WIS Your Actual Stats
    CHA Your Actual Stats

    -10 AC
    3 APR
    Weapons hit as +3
    40 Magic Resist (can be boosted with items after transformation)
    50% Fire/Acid/Electric/Cold

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,654
    I strongly encourage you to use dualclass for a thief, because they tend to be very superfluous in the game. You don't need many thief levels to deal with the locks and traps, and I've never found pure thieves remotely effective as backstabbers (I miss most of the time. :neutral: ), so I'm not sure if you really need stealth. You might try a swashbuckler 5 dual out to anything, as the swashie offers a few little perks that will make any character more effective. I'd probably dual him to a wizard, but you could dual to cleric or fighter quite reasonably. You lose some HP as a fighter, but if you play max rolls, it's not a huge deal IMHO, as you're already rocking a sky-high HP total. Such a fighter should probably favour ranged weapons, ideally bows or crossbows, because he won't have exceptional strength. A cleric would be a bit annoying, as your weapon selection really stinks, especially in IWD. I never found clubs or quarterstaves very appealing in IWD, and losing morningstars/maces would really stink. Still, your cleric would have better combat stats, including better AC, so you might make such a cleric a tank.

    While I loved Fighter to anything duals in original IWD, I'm not convinced a mage really derives much benefit from added combat abilities. They should be casting mostly, but I WILL say there is a great meta-reason to not have a pure wizard in your party, the scroll selection is abysmal in IWD, so a pure wizard will not be operating at capacity until fairly late in the game. He'll almost always have garbage or nothing for his high level slots, and I've even had this problem with multi-classes, like gnome illusionists. Nothing is more frustrating than having no spells for your highest level and jank for the next highest, and this can indeed happen pretty easily, especially if you don't have guaranteed successful scribing.

    That said, a gnome Illusionist multi is a very strong, very versatile character. A F/I makes a great archer or damage dealer at lower levels, evolving into a powerful spellcaster later. I/C is a wild ride I think, but will be a bit lackluster when you aren't casting.

    Fighter to Cleric is pretty good, but I would dual fairly early I think. Buffs will make up for your lower THAC0, and the weapon selection for F/Cs is pretty amazing in IWD, arguably better than BG1 and MAYBE better than BG2, even with the broken FotA and SotR. F/Cs can be amazing, and I'd consider a Berserker/Cleric very carefully, as it's absurdly good.

    I think my favourite character of all time in IWD was a Fighter to Thief dual at high level. He was a beast in melee, and could reliably backstab anything that could be backstabbed, and he made very, very good use of Blood Iron and damage reduction gear to usually be unscathed after fights.

    Gusinda
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 1,439
    Priest of Talos/Fighter and Priest of Talos/Mage. In the Fighters case Draw Upon Holy Might, Lightning Bolts, Armor of Faith, and elemental immunity are all useful to have, and in the Mages case elemental immunity and a larger HP pool both help.

    GusindaDanacm
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