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Help newbies with party

Hi, at first sory for my bad english.

i'm first time play IWD and try to take max fun. So, in my soul fight RP-angel and munchkin-devil.
Here is party i wanna make and my troubles:

This guys must have be in my group:

1. Dwarf Fighter (Dwarf defender) with Axe and Shield. My main tank. With him i havent trouble.

2. Druid (elementalist). My heal+buff+debuff and some spell damage. Here's ok too.

3. Elf Sorcerer. I think with him all ok too, but maybe some sort of mage is better?

4. Paladin (Cavalier i think). Here i have first trouble. I dont know that take him. Maybe sword+shield like offtank or dual weapon (sword and/or some blunt weapon) or two handed sword like more damage, 'cosse i already have dwarf defender.

And here i have 3 character on 2 slots:

5. Orc fighter (or berserker) with two handed sword (in this case I take to paladin sword+shield or dual weapon). Its like paladin and dwarf fight in front and Orc from second line/flangs.
Its not nessessary character, but maybe i wana take him in party.

6. Bard. I read, that him have a wizard spells, so i wana make him some sort of buffer and spell damage.

7. Halfling thief or fighter/thief. Here i dont know nothing. I dont wana take it, but i must :(
So, i have two ideas;
Make some sort of archer and dont take bard.
Make some dual weapon or take a assasin for ambushes.
But i dont know take thief or figter/thief or assasin.
I dont know need i more damdge from thief or more poin in lockpicking/trap detekting/other

So, i ask too help me make good party and help witch thief.
I think i shall playing on very hard mode (insane?). Cosse i wana take all fun from my first play in that game :)



  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 66
    edited March 5
    Your main 4 sound fairly ideal, though I have a couple of suggestions, and I know your pain in wanting to squeeze that extra character into an already full party of 6. Here are my thoughts.

    1. Dwarven Defender will be a solid tank, good choice.

    2. Paladin: Cavalier is surely not bad, but for IWD I would take Undead Hunter instead, to up your odds against the literal hordes of undead you'll face.

    3. Elf Sorcerer is another solid choice, since it will alleviate a little the "shortage" of spells. BUT: if this is your first play-through of an Infinity Engine game (you aren't already quite strongly familiar with Sorcerers in BG2) then I recommend not taking this class, since your spell choices become fixed, are quite limited, and it's very easy to choose poorly if you don't know the spells well. In such a case I suggest an Elf/Half-Elf/Human Mage, or a Human Fighter (3) -> Mage dual-class (see my below discussion on Fighter dual-classes).

    Now for the remainder:
    4. You need a Thief, but you don't need too much of one. My suggestion is the multi-class F/T, and a Halfling is a really solid choice as race, since they enjoy all the shorty save bonuses (look it up if you haven't heard of it) and there's a really nice helmet they can wear. (To avoid spoilers I won't tell you what and where.)

    5. You already have two solid tanks/melee-ers, so the Half-Orc Berserker is not necessary (though definitely nice). On top of that you want (and in this game you should want) a Druid. My suggestion for a strong compromise is a Fighter/Druid multi or dual-class. For the multi you need to take Half-Elf (although if you're set on Half-Orc then you could use EE Keeper to edit it, although editing is a slippery slope and for your first play-through I would keep everything un-edited!). For the dual you need a Human, and you can choose the level to dual at. My suggestions are:
    • level 2 for earliest possible dual, plus access to Fighter STR (including exceptional 18/XX) and Specialisation in 2 weapons (suggestion: Scimitar or Club, plus Darts or Sling)
    • level 3 for all the above, and Mastery in one of your weapons, suffering a slightly longer reactivation time
    • level 7 gives you all the above, Mastery in your second weapon [OR High Mastery in the first] (at level 6) and an extra 1/2 Attack Per Round (APR), non-trivial but still manageable reactivation time for Fighter levels
    • level 9 gives all the above plus Grand Mastery in one weapon (if you chose High Mastery before) with the significant bonus of another 1/2 APR in that same weapon; reactivation time becomes pretty significant but you should be fully set before reaching the end-stages of IWD (pre-expansions)
    • level 12 gives the next proficiency point, and level 13 gives you your final extra 1/2 APR, but these levels require so much experience to gain and afterwards to reactivate the Fighter levels that they are really impractical for a standard play-through of IWD on Core Difficulty. For example the F(13)->D will only regain access to its Fighter abilities by near the end of IWD+HoW+TotL. (This paradigm changes completely if you play in the Heart of Fury difficulty mode, but I do not recommend it for your first play-through!)
    A strong suggestion that combines your character desires would be a Human Berserker dualled to Druid at level 3: on top of the above this gives you one Rage for joining in the battles with your tanks, but you'll quickly progress in your Druid levels. Or, you could wait to level 4 for the extra Rage, or 7 for the extra proficiency point and APR. Remember that to dual-class you need 15 in the primary ability(ies) of your first class and 17 in that(ose) of your second. For the Fighter -> Druid this means a 15 in STR and 17 in WIS and CHA.

    EDIT: And before I forget: Fighter to Priest (Druid, Cleric) duals have the Priest weapon restrictions, so don't bother putting any points in weapons the Druid won't be able to use!

    6. Finally, the Bard: simply put, YES. Take one, let him/her do all the conversations and look out for "Bard-y" dialogue options; give them an 18 CHA and use the Friends spell to gain serious discounts in shops; use them to SING, all the time, except when you pop off a spell or two. Bard songs in IWD are so over-powered it's ridiculous: combat bonuses, saving throw bonuses, instant anti-Fear effect, immunity to sound-attacks, enthral enemies, and finally the godly War Chant of Sith with regeneration (making your healing spells almost obsolete) and damage resistance and AC bonus (making all your tanks even tankier). I can't emphasise enough how good Bards are in this game.

    Finally, a note on Difficulty. Hard and Insane look like they should be harder, but the reality is that after the first few sections of the game they become easier. This is because the experience points gained become multiplied by 1.5 or by 2, and in my opinion/experience the game is not properly balanced at these difficulties for that sort of progression. One benefit of using the EE is that you can set it to Hard/Insane but turn off the extra XP, which you might consider if you really want to increase the difficulty. However I would only do such a difficulty if I had previous experience with Infinity Engine games like Baldur's Gate.

    My suggestion, ultimately, is to play it on Core rules, and enjoy the balanced game as it was meant to be. :smile:

  • TerusTerus Member Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot!
    Almost all my uncertainty are gone - I decide that i havent place for Half-Orc berserker : )
    But i still have some question:

    1. Paladin. Sword+shield or dual weapon/two handed?
    I like sword+shield, but i am afraid that my party havent enough damage.

    2. Druid. If i wana make him range, better take druid elementalist?
    When i do like you say dual fighter-druid, style of fight was something more range, but some times (1 or 2 per day) use rage and join to batle in melee? Im dualled him on 3 or 4 lvl (didn decide yet).

    P.S.: Try plaing thith Core rules, ty.

  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 66
    @Terus, great, glad to hear it! :smile:

    1. Your party will have plenty of damage, don't worry. I prefer to use shields, since there are some really good ones in IWD, and it is also closer to the feel and balance of the pre-EE, which didn't have dual-wielding. Armour Class (AC) is extremely important in this game, and shields provide a big boost to it. You'll also find big benefit from buffing your melee tanks with spells, and increasing their physical damage resistances. (Incidentally the last aspect is my favourite reason to include a Druid in the party: the final Elemental Transformation is to a Water Elemental, a creature with immense damage resistances).

    2. I'm not quite sure what you mean by a Druid Elementalist. The official EE Druid kits are Avenger, Shapeshifter and Totemic Druid. Roughly speaking, the first is like a vanilla Druid with a small selection of Mage spells and extra Creature Forms for shapeshifting, the second can transform only into a Werewolf (or at higher levels a Greater Werewolf), and the third is like a vanilla Druid with extra, powerful summoning spells and no shapeshifting at all.

    My suggestion, since you seem to like the idea of dual-classing (and you can only take a kit for the starting class) as well as ranged weapons, would be to start as a Berserker, and put proficiency points in Scimitars and Darts. Then you can use the Darts for ranged attacks, the Scimitar for close-up, and with either of them you can wield a shield for improved AC. The Berserker Rage is mainly useful for giving your Druid an instant, unDispellable buff which protects from all sorts of nasty effects (like Charm, Sleep, Fear, Confusion, Stun, and many more). Thus this dual class has much greater survivability in battles.

    The IWD Druid is not really a spell-damage-dealer. They have a few damaging spells, but Mages and Bards are generally better at that sort of artillery-fire. The Druid's strengths are:
    • Healing spells
    • Controlling the enemy and their movements
    • Preventing enemy spellcasters from casting
    • Summoning increasingly powerful allied creatures
    • Shapeshifting into powerful forms (eventually even allowing your Druid to take over as a tank)

    I think the Berserker (4) -> Druid has great survivability, versatility and power in a battle: they can be a ranged fighter, a disabling spellcaster, and can also step up to the front line and stand toe-to-toe with the enemy. Since they will progress as a single-class Druid they will also shoot up to the higher levels of spellcasting ability. The melee power will of course become relatively less later in the game, since they no longer progress as a Fighter, but the Druid spells will make up for that in other ways.

    As an alternative the Fighter/Druid multi-class is also extremely strong, and they will progress fast enough as a spellcaster whilst also building powerful melee skills that can be used right up to the end of the game.

    A big bonus to the multi-class is that it will give you access to healing spells right from the beginning. In fact, now I think about it if you go with the dual class you won't have any healer except the Paladin's once-a-day Lay On Hands. Note that Undead Hunters do not get Lay On Hands. This leads me to withdraw my earlier suggestion, since healing spells are fundamental to the early stages of the game: a Fighter/Druid multi-class would likely be much more use to you, and make the game much less frustrating!

    A further alternative is to go with the Druid single-class, (or perhaps you could get away with dual-classing at level 2), since that retains the advantages of the quicker spell progression, has not bad melee/ranged fighting ability, and again gives you the spells right from the beginning.

    At the end of the day, you need to decide, and go with what feels right to you. :smile:

  • TerusTerus Member Posts: 3
    About druid, i do mistake - not elementalist, avenger , sorry :)

  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 66
    If you like the sound of an Avenger, then go for it! :smile: You've got plenty of muscle and melee power from your Paladin and DD, and it's surely a good idea to have a Divine caster from the very beginning, to offer healing spells.

    What party did you settle on in the end?

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 428
    Dwarven defender, skald (bard), and sorcerer are super-strong and will add a lot to your party. Druids are useful too for their summoning spells, though I'd personally go with a fighter/druid rather than an avenger since you'll already have multiple people in the party able to cast the arcane spells avengers receive.

    For your thief slot, I'd personally suggest a half-elf fighter/mage/thief to maximize versatility, Being able to put 0 points in stealth skills (because you can cast invisibility) is nice, and being able to cast mage buffs means you'll have the durability to stay in melee range after the backstab is over. And for the paladin slot, I'd recommend a half/orc fighter/cleric specializing in flails, or maybe a half-elf ranger/cleric doing the same. Having someone who can turn undead is nice, and the casting ability of a multiclass cleric easily outweighs what paladins bring to the table in IWD.

  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 66
    edited March 6
    @jsaving, Paladins bring a lot of role-playing value to the party, in my experience, through opening up lots of cool dialogue options (often with hefty XP bonuses!). They are particularly well suited to tanking owing to their saving throw bonuses, plentiful Protection from Evil, Lay on Hands, and later on their access to the same Cleric spells (albeit more limited). Also their undead turning progresses as a Cleric 2 levels lower; after you factor in the lower level of a multi-classed Cleric the difference is about 1 level, early, and the advantage swings to the Paladin later when XP progression changes from exponential to linear. An Undead Hunter gains THAC0 and damage bonuses, and immunity to hold to boot. They're definitely a strong contender against the F/C or C/R, and for a first playthrough I heartily recommend them!

    Skald vs. Pure Bard is also tough. Skald brings massive combat bonuses to a party, building up as the Skald gets stronger: the bonuses are purely to damage, THAC0 and AC, with some built-in status immunities, and are of course very powerful. However I just love the Bard's song progression: it offers huge versatility and various immensely useful effects, culminating in removing the need for most healing spells that frees up your Priests for other magics. Which one to take really comes down to personal taste, since they both offer a lot.

    I'm loving my F/M/T in my Heart of Fury run, but for a Core rules run the F/T is easier, since XP doesn't flow as readily and early on you need to build up those Open Locks and Find Traps skills. Also the F/M/T will have significantly fewer HP, and worse saves if the F/T is a shorty. I also chose an Elf for my triple, which comes with the added drawback of not qualifying for Raise Dead, necessitating the much costlier Resurrection spell if they die (and if you're not reloading, which I also heartily recommend).

    Post edited by Stromael on
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