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Humanoid_Taifun wrote: »
@TheLungo If you start with a strength score less than 18, most of your strength improvements will not be noticed at all, because you will not be using your strength score.
The second level spell "Strength" lasts for long enough that unless you have multiple major battles per day (but not in a row) and several warriors to support, it will make your mediocre strength score meaningless.
At the end of the saga it is even more extreme. You have access to 2 items granting strength 22 and potentially one item granting strength 25.
An evil character can potentially raise their strength score to 23 (24 in the case of a half-orc). Even a good character may reach 21. These natural scores are high enough that you can choose to go "natural", which frees up one slot for a different item (and one strength item for one of your companions).
But if you start at strength 15, there is no way you will not want a Belt of Strength at the end of the game, which makes the Manual of Gainful Exercise and the Deck of Many Things and the Machine of Lum completely meaningless. With such a character I give any permanent strength bonuses then to Minsc or somebody else with a strength score of 18.