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Question regarding Kensai dual/multi class

Hi all,

After about two decades and a natural revulsion towards the DnD system, I finally mustered up the courage to play BG1&2. I had tried many times in the past and did not manage to get into it, mostly because I dislike DnD (in other words, I do not understand it well).

Anyway, I am looking to play through both games with the same character. I have added some mods, so I am using the BG2EE engine to run BGEE and am currently in Chapter 4 as a level 6 Kensai. I am finally also starting to get my head around DnD a little.

My question now is: for whatever reason I ended up making a Kensai. I had originally wanted a Thief, but then read that a kensai/thief multi/dual class would be more powerful and fun. I also read at the time that a kensai/thief combo would eventually have access to a higher level ability that would enable me to get around the kensai restrictions on armor. I ended up putting points into 1handed and Katana (oh jeez). I also made an elf - I have since learnt that only humans can dual class. I have since also learnt that I probably would not enjoy a melee thief playstyle too much - cannot be arsed to set up the backstabs. At the same time, I really want to save this character and I am happy to use one of the editors to make whatever changes I need. To be honest, I am happy to keep the Kensai and I am happy with the front-line melee fighter type. I am not too bothered about the thief abilities as Imoen takes care of those. I have been trying to do research, but frankly I am having a hard time understanding all the lingo.

So, in short:
I am: Elf, Kensai level 6, 4 points in Katana and 1 in 1-handed (I believe);
I want to be: strong front line fighter (but not backstabbing) without ideally changing too much.

1. Are there strong multi-class options for the above?
2. Are there strong dual-class options for the above (if I were to change race to human using an editor)?
3. If so - how and when do I multi/dual class?
4. If not - which build would you suggest instead?
5. Is this doable in BG1EE or do I have to wait for the sequel (I understand that the first game has a low-ish level cap)?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Comments

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 603
    Fighter/thief, fighter/mage, and fighter/mage/thief are among the strongest multiclass options in the game. They're all great choices for a new player because you don't have any real decisions to make -- you just choose your multiclass at character creation and you're good to go.

    Kensai/thief and kensai/mage duals are also strong, but aren't generally recommended for new players for all the reasons you mention. Deciding when to leave your first class is tough when you don't fully understand the rules, and it is super-easy to inadvertently kill your dualing eligibility by choosing the wrong race (has to be human) or the wrong stats (need 17 DEX to become a thief or 17 INT to become a mage). What's worse is that you typically won't even know you've made this mistake until you level up and try to hit the dual button, by which time you're halfway into the game and not wanting to restart.

  • MermanMerman Member Posts: 6
    jsaving wrote: »
    Fighter/thief, fighter/mage, and fighter/mage/thief are among the strongest multiclass options in the game. They're all great choices for a new player because you don't have any real decisions to make -- you just choose your multiclass at character creation and you're good to go.

    Kensai/thief and kensai/mage duals are also strong, but aren't generally recommended for new players for all the reasons you mention. Deciding when to leave your first class is tough when you don't fully understand the rules, and it is super-easy to inadvertently kill your dualing eligibility by choosing the wrong race (has to be human) or the wrong stats (need 17 DEX to become a thief or 17 INT to become a mage). What's worse is that you typically won't even know you've made this mistake until you level up and try to hit the dual button, by which time you're halfway into the game and not wanting to restart.

    Thanks, dude. Just to clarify - I do have both 17 DEX and 17 INT and could go either Kensai/Thief or Kensai/Mage - presumably as multiclass, although I would not mind using the editor to change to Human if dual class is required. However, how does this affect my gameplay? I had assumed that Kensai/Mage would be primarily a spellcaster? And would Kensai/Thief use backstab? If that is not the case and the core gameplay does not change too much, i.e. that the dual/multi class abilities only really provide me additional buffs/perks, then I do not mind doing that.

    Appreciate the help.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 603
    Keep in mind that the moment you dual from fighter to mage or thief, you lose your fighter class features (like your 4 points in katana) until you surpass your fighter level. So a kensai dualing to mage at level 7 will play like a singleclass kensai for the first 40% of BG1, because that's exactly what he is. He'll then play like a singleclass mage for most of the rest of BG1, because it will take that long to reach 8th level as a thief or mage. Only toward the very end of the game will you be mixing-and-matching the features of both classes. Whereas if you were to multiclass as a fighter/mage, you'd have access to all fighter and mage abilities the entire game.

    It is true that multiclass fighters can't achieve grandmastery in weapons, but if you were thinking of dual-classing at level 7 then you wouldn't be achieving grandmastery anyway.


  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    In my opinion the kensai dualclasses are highly overrated. Dualclassing at level 7 means you get a +2 on damage/THAC0. Is that really worth the limitations on armor?
    Dualclassing to thief at a higher level grants greater bonuses, but it would also mean that you would run around as a naked thief. Kensai-Mages do not share the armor difficulty at least. If you pull off a high-level (that means level 13+) kensai dualclass, you can get some amazing results. But the way to get there is not pretty.

    On the topic of katana, that's a relatively bad choice in Baldur's Gate. Yes, they have a better damage die than other weapons (1D10), but there are not very many great katana lying around for you to use. As for one-handed, that can be a good choice for passive combatants. It is a bad choice for kensai. Their bonuses apply per hit, so you want a style that maximizes the number of attacks you do - which normally means dualwielding.

    @jsaving While it is not perfectly in line with P&P rules, it is perfectly possible to achieve grandmastery after dualclassing.

  • MermanMerman Member Posts: 6
    Thanks both - appreciate it. Could you please set it out in more basic terms?

    Are you suggesting that it is a decently powerful option (i.e. not a total aberration of a build) for me to multiclass into Thief as my Kensai? If so, when should I do this? I am at the start of Chapter 5 right now and I believe I am level 7. Also, ideally use the editor to put that one point from 1-h into dual wield? Or should I just ditch the whole build and start again (using the editor)?

    I already went through the dual class hell once - dualed Imoen into mage at level 5 and then ran through a large portion of the game without a thief :s

  • MermanMerman Member Posts: 6
    Also, please help me understand: I just checked and I am still level 6 but very close to level 7. In my character screen the option to "dual class" is greyed out and there is no option to "multi class". When would this become available? I am also wondering how much exp is left in the first game? I had read from somewhere that level 8 is the max for the first game and that there is a cap of 800k exp? However, level 7 starts at 64k exp? That would suggest that I still have loads of exp left to accumulate and that multi, or even dual classing should not be an issue as such - in particular as exp rewards are constantly getting bigger? I am at the start of Chapter 5 and I understand that I still have these two chapters as well as SoD left to play?

  • xizorxizor Member Posts: 86
    edited March 3
    Dual class is greyed out because it's only available to humans. You can only chose multi-class at character creation, you can't add it. The exp cap in the first game is 161k and then 500k in SoD. If you edit your character to human and then dual at level 7, you'll be able to reach level 8 in either mage or thief in the first game.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    Dualclassing from kensai is a potentially very powerful choice if you do it in a way that is very painful to you. Level 7 is not worth it in my opinion, while dualclassing at level 13 means that you need to collect 880,000 XP as a thief without any armor or bracers. Also, the only ranged weapons you will have available to you will be of the throwing variety (axes and daggers - no darts though).
    I dualclassed at level 21 in the past because I was senselessly hunting for big numbers. You are free to do it whenever you want of course. I am just saying that I do not find it wise.

    But yes, if you are going to play this kensai character, editing the proficiencies makes sense.

    Be careful about putting any points into ranged weapons. You cannot use them before you get access to "Use Any Item", but you cannot put any points into them anymore once your kensai levels are reactivated. However since UAI will not be available prior to Baldur's Gate II, you might feel that throwing weapons are simply superior for your character, since they add the strength damage bonus. I am just saying this because it is a choice that you have to make long before its effects will actually be felt, and it will be a lost proficiency point at that moment.

  • MermanMerman Member Posts: 6
    Thanks all, this is all very helpful. I am thinking about going to level 9 in Kensai (this level seems to come up a lot?) then editing race to Human and dualing to Thief. I appreciate that some pain and suffering will be involved, but I intend to continue playing the same character in BG2 and so I do not necessarily mind losing my abilities for the rest of BGEE. Does that sound sound or daft?

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 603
    In basic terms -- dual-classing is a decision you make partway through the game. Until the moment you press the dual-class button, you are a singleclass character in every respect. Once you press the button, you permanently freeze your advancement in your original class and become a 1st level character in your new class. For an initial period of time while you are "learning the ropes" of the new class, you lose the abilities of your original class altogether. Once that period is over, though, you regain the old class features (but are still advancing only in the new class).

    What would this look like in your current game? Well, at the moment you are a level 6 kensai and are presumably dishing out a lot of your party's melee DPS. If you were to reach level 7 and then dual to thief, you would suddenly lose most of that melee prowess and would essentially "start over" as a 1st level thief. Your 4 points in katana would be temporarily lost and you could also lose the extra half an attack per round that fighters gain when they reach seventh level. Instead, you would put a single point in a couple of weapons (probably longsword and dagger) and would then find your melee damage output significantly reduced.

    Toward the end of the game, you would eventually gain enough thief levels to surpass where you were as a fighter. At that point your patience with a subpar character would be rewarded: you would regain your 7 kensai levels and would suddenly again become an effective katana wielder. However, is it really worth going half the game without the melee prowess that motivated you to create the character in the first place?

    Given what you've said about how you want to play the game, I'd say your best option is to stick with kensai. Then, when you replay the game at some point, try out a half-elf multiclassed fighter/mage or fighter/mage/thief to see what it's like to be more versatile.

    Grond0
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,583
    edited March 3
    Only Humans can Dual-Class.

    As an Elf, you could only make a Fighter/Mage or Fighter/Thief or even a Fighter/Mage/Thief, but no Kensai kit.


    Nevermind, I didn't read the whole OP.

  • MermanMerman Member Posts: 6
    edited March 5
    Thanks, everyone, I really appreciate the input. I attempted to play BG several times over the past two decades but never really managed to stick to it. This time I really got stuck in and I have to admit that it is worse than crack. Such a god damned masterpiece I cannot tear myself away and I have heard even better things about the sequel.

    I have a couple of additional questions given that I am nearing the end of the game and I want to smoothly segue through all of the content with the same character. I just started Chapter 7. My current goal is to finish all of the EE character quests, then finish all of the ToSC content and then finish Chapter 7.

    I understand that, in order to continue the story, I should then move on to SoD? I understand that it was only released a few years ago, but I also understand that I cannot export my BGIIEE final character into SoD - or at least doing so would not make sense from a continuity perspective?

    I understand that I can bring two magical items + the Golden Pantaloons into BGIIEE. Does the same apply for SoD? What can I and what can I not bring into SoD? Does gold carry over into SoD or BGIIEE, i.e. should I be selling all of those magical items I have been hoarding that I cannot bring over?

    After I finish SoD, I am thinking about playing Black Pits before starting BGIIEE SoA - if anything then just to get some more experience to make dual classing work sooner in BGIIEE. Does that make sense? Again, what can I and can I not carry over?

    I have been a fair amount of googling on the above but have not found a detailed up-to-date answer yet, so help would be very much appreciated.


    Edit: bonus questions:

    1. I picked up the ring of Evermemory from FAI but have since then hopelessly lost it - no idea where it could have gone given that I keep all magical items that I find. I have found the second, one but I would still like to have two. Does anyone know what the item code for it is in BGIIEE (given that I am using this engine)? I have tried "RING08", but this one creates the BG2 equivalent which applies to different tiers of spells.

    2. Is there any way to speed the game up? I have resorted to travelling using CNTR+J in order to save time, but is it correct that speeding up the game has been disabled in the EE?

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    1) Importing a BG1EE game to SoD:
    Your character transfers with his or her full party (minus Imoen) into the starting dungeon. When you finish that dungeon, you lose all your party members and all your gold. Some of the lost party members can be found in SoD, and they will be exactly as you last saw them, including whatever you gave them to wear. Your gold however is gone for good. (so to play it smart you should invest in expensive jewelry and potions in order to get some cash at the start of SoD) You finish the dungeon through a dialogue, not through battle. So you have the opportunity to rearrange your inventory to make sure you keep all the important stuff.

    2) Importing a SoD game to BG2EE:
    Differently from the original import you get to bring a number of items to Amn. However, most of them will not be immediately available to you.
    See this link for more information:
    https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Importing
    All your gold will be lost. Again.
    But considering your level, it will be trivial to accumulate lots of wealth quickly. I typically do not sell any precious stones in BG2/ToB for roleplaying reasons, and I keep every non-generic magical item as well. In my current game I have over a million gold pieces.

    Bonus question 1:
    It does not matter what engine you are using. You are best served using EE Keeper to look up what items are registered in your game.

    2: I use Ctrl J extensively as well.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,354
    Merman wrote: »
    2. Is there any way to speed the game up? I have resorted to travelling using CNTR+J in order to save time, but is it correct that speeding up the game has been disabled in the EE?

    You can double the default speed of the whole game if you want. In the LUA file you'll see a line saying:
    SetPrivateProfileString('Program Options','Maximum Frame Rate','30')

    You can adjust the 30, but only up to a maximum of 60. Note though that affects everything, not just walking speeds, so you may find it harder to control what's happening in battles.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,558
    @Merman, have a look here. I use the AutoHaste mod. It speeds up walking outside of battle.

    Gus

    Ludwig_II
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 603
    Assuming you mean "I want to move faster" rather than "I want everything in the game to move faster," the easiest solution is probably to eekeeper boots of speed for your party.

  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 166
    Fighter/mage multiclass or F/M/T multiclass. Still very poweful and you dont spend half the game gimped for slightly stronger end game stats (the very end game is what ~10% of the entire saga?) seems not worth it to me

    subtledoctor
  • Sarevok1981Sarevok1981 Member Posts: 5
    I guess you got already very detailed and good answers here although I want to add my 2 cents anyway.
    Regarding your first 5 questions I got the impression you wanted to know if you wasted your potential by going with Kensai and find out how much more efficient you can be by doing a dual or multiclass char.

    To summ it up you are using a nice car with 200 horse power and asking if a chiptunning for another 20 hp is worth the trouble imho.
    I havent played all classes and I am still figuring out every specialization and kits.
    But so far I am an oldschool BG player and played it since 1998.
    In overall I think it is the party mix that makes the difference. As I couldnt tell by your first post if you are playing solo or with NPCs I cant really reply to that in detail.
    So far if you are satisfied with your char so far, leave it! If not go an change your race to human and try to dual class it to mage!
    I guess the most efficient way to gain here is to find out which party combination suits your playstile (ak find out which classes you need in your party) and what battling strategy you want to do in challenging fights. Cause the AI is not very smart, (duh it is a game from 1998), yet you can outsmart challening fights really quick when you know what to do!
    Thus said I hope you enjoy your discovery of this good old game!
    Cheers

  • TheLungoTheLungo Member Posts: 21
    Something i did not read here... Kensai with throwing dagger is arguably the best ranged char in bg1 and good during all of the series including SCS playthroughs.

    If you have NPC Project installed it is even better because you can get the boomerang dagger super early in Kivans quest (if you don't, you still do a lot of damage with regular ones). Also this opens up for him/her to use Dagger of venom which is one of the best weapons in bg1 (specially vs mages).

    However if you do not like this idea, Shield amulet from the Nashkel Carnival and later on Spirit Armor are gold for them to go safely into melee.

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