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F/M vs. F/illu ?

While i really enjoyed my Berserker 13 -> Mage, i hated the long downtime. I really wanted to experience the game without this downtime. Any thoughts on Fighter/Mage vs. Fighter/Illusionist Multiclasses ? Are the saving-throws and the additional spell-slots worth the loss of two of the best AoE spells (ADHW and Skull Trap) ?


  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 662
    edited April 2019
    Both are super-strong and very fun to play. Given how easy it is to rest in BG/BG2, it's hard to pass up skull trap (whose uncapped damage makes it one of the game's best damage-dealing spells) just for extra spell slots, though if you're a cautious/defensive player then a gnome f/I with "shorty" save bonuses is also a very solid choice.

    Fighter/mage/thief is also entertaining if you're in the mood for something different.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited April 2019
    it depends by many things.
    your play style, if you want to run a 6 people party or a smaller one, which other npcs you want with you and the role that the f/m or f/i has in the party.
    a dual from fighter to mage, even a lev 13 one, in end game is more a mage then a fighter, in many situations is more effective to have him cast a pi and then unleash the whole spellbook, thing that he can do many times/day. he will lack of the thac0 of a proper fighter and of the fighter's hla, but will only be a little back compared to a single class mage.
    a multi is a competent fighter trough all the game, but at best is a good secondary mage.
    both the multi and the dual are really powerful, but are different kinds of beasts that to really shine need to cover different roles in the party. the way the dual does it is fighter, then downitme then he reaches his peak, being very strong as fighter and as mage then in the late game his fighter part begin to loose power, gm does not compensate the 8 less thac0 points and the missed hlas, but as mage is unstoppable.
    the role of the multi in the party is much more linear not only because there is no down time, but because both his classes continue to improve till the end.

    this is why i think that missing the necromancy spells is not a problem, the role of a multi fm is not to drop damaging spells, is to use the spells to protect and haste himself and destroy the enemy defenses, his own weapon is the way he does damage. this in a large party where imoen, nalia or neera probably will be the main mage end game.

    in a little party, let's say maximum 4 memebers, the multi level up much faster, all the party members do it, but each member has to be more versatile and cover more roles, so maybe aerie will be the main mage as she can also cover the role of divine caster and if needed of tank/fighter. also there to be a multi illusionist has advantages, basically for the 1 more lev 8 and 9 slots that allow when is needed more powerful mage combinations. at top level the gnome can have let's say an improved alacrity memorized to use effectively the pi, a planetar that is also useful for the pi and a CC that can be really useful in some situations. the not gnome multi has only 2 lev 9 slots so has to chose if to memorize spells useful for the pi or spells useful while not using the clone.

    i use a lot the skull trap and i don't use so often the adhw, are both very good spells but is perfectly possible to live without them, probably the gnome is the most powerful multi, even if i probably would chose a F/M, slightly less powerful, but slightly more versatile.

    EDIT: a berseker9->mage is a really powerful fighter trough all soa and can still fight effectively for a great part of tob, even if will miss more then the lev 13 dual. looses 1/2 apr but with the right weapons selection and dw has a lot of apr.
    the down time is minimal with a couple of tricks and reaches high mage levels way before the lev 13 dual, as has 1M xp more as mage.
    it is a viable alternative to a multi if you don't want long down time and you don't mind to have the toon shift from main fighter and secondary mage to main mage and secondary fighter.

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    If you ran a 4-member party until halfway through SoA, would you guesstimate your F/M multi would have access to 9th-level spells by the end of SoA?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    edited April 2019
    a mage needs lev 18 so 3M xp to reach the first lev 9 spell, a multi needs the double.
    is possible to pull it out even in a 6 people party, using a power leveling tactic (basically soloing until you get the xp to recruit the npcs at the maximum possible level, and without triggering any quest xp, then having only charname and few selected party members in the party for the fights but all the party every time you trigger a quest reward), and abusing some ways to get more xp, basically scribe and erase scrolls (i never do it), turning to stone and flash many times dragons and everything that worth it (i do it, but every time is a fair fight, to feeblemind them and profit is too easy and lame for me, i must feel that i have earned the xp, risking and pulling a good tactic that lead to a stone lizard without killing him as after the first time he start with only 1 hp an the single lucky hit of a summon can end the game) and using the limited wish to have vampires spawn, more than 50k xp each time ( if you survive...). also to have many mod quests helps, as well as going to wk, that i usually do in chap 2 soa.
    it is possible, but doing it probably has no sense as a charname with 6M xp and other 5 toons in the 3-5M xp range in late soa make the game too easy.
    i had some multi with lev 9 spells in soa, but usually in 2-3 people parties and with a hard modded game (tactics mod), so some challenge is preserved.
    with a f9->m is much more easy.

    the multi in a small party probably should reach lev 9 spells at some point of tob, not at the beginning, but still in time for the most demanding fights.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    @AndreaColombo If you start at 500k XP and do all the NPC quest lines (except those that really disagree with your alignment), I guess you would end up with 5M XP at the end of SoA. You can then go and gain the remainder in Watcher's Keep.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,326
    @Humanoid_Taifun that’s with a 4-men party or full-on 6?

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 1,041
    It is purely guesswork. From what I remember a full party in the original game would normally end up with close to 4M XP.
    4M + 411K + X (Rasaad's quest) + Y (Neera's quest) + Z (because you spend part of the game with a 4-men party) roughly equals 5M, does it not?

    I have not played the EEs thoroughly enough to have a good feeling for what kind of XP you can wring out of them. It is somewhat embarrassing, since I still consider myself rather knowledgeable about the series.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,078
    i never started bg2 with 500k xp, that is a great help, and the quest xp is fixed, only the kills xp is divided by the party members.
    also i have little experience using the ee npcs so i did not factor in their quests in what i told.
    playing the original game before tob was introduced my charname mages was hitting the xp cap near the end of soa. at that time i missed some optional quest, ie never discovered the twisted rune or did the limited wish quest, and i did not do all the npc quests, but the xp cap at that time was 2.95M.
    so i would say that what i tell and what @Humanoid_Taifun tells is quite compatible, probably i was not missing the whole million he tells, but we are close.

  • ArchGhostArchGhost Member Posts: 28
    B>M and F/M are not equivalent to each other.

    Unless you mean you're not having fun with the B>M and want to choose between a F/M and a F/I.

    In which case, F/I is so much better. Having extra spell slots matters most at lower levels, when you have less mage levels total, and the extra +1 slot per level really helps that along. It allows you tha tmuch more flexibility in accommodating all the protection, disabling, attack and support magic you can have at your disposal with fewer slots from leveling up due to split exp. The extra slots are really noticeable stacking with with somehting like the Ring of Wizardry in BG1 (where you get an extra 2 lvl1 slots for being a specialist mage). And then you get the shorty saves (Spells is very common and nice to have) while the ability mods are largely pointless due to the way they actually work in BG2 (no casting failure, wisdom means nothing to non-Wishing non-clerics, etc).

    Your major losses are actually Skull Trap, Animate Dead, and Death Spell as an illusionist. Wilting is just not as powerful in the hand of a multiclass mage and better left to your single-class mages or better yet, Sorcerers, who can spam it endlessly with Project Image + Wish. Not only can they cast it earlier, they'll do more damage with it too at the same amount of experience until capping out (or beyond, if you install Spell50), which is more appropriate of such a high level spell. It can be replaced with Delayed Blast Fireball if you really want the instant high AoE damage in lvl 8. I usually use level 8 for other things than Wilting though, like Spell Trigger, Incendiary Cloud, Pierce Shield, and Protection from Energy.

    Losing Skull Trap hurts the most. Hopefully you won't be the only mage in your party so you can still plant some down ahead of tough encounters. As for you yourself, in combat you can use Fireball about as effectively (it's faster too), for AoE damage or use the freed up slot for Haste or MMMs. A Fighter/multi throwing MMMs can be devastating even early on, the damn things are +6 hit weapons and do a good chunk of damage between the physical and fire. being able to spam like 40 of these in a fight is no joke.

    Losing Animate Dead means no skeleton warriors for you, but a cleric or other mage can handle this for you. In fact letting a cleric be in charge is better as they come at spell level 3 for them, and they hit 15 faster than a mage.

    Death Spell can be really handy in some situations (summons, umber hulks, mind flayers, trolls, trivial fights you don't wanna participate in, etc) but it's hardly the worst loss you take. You can sub in Death Cloud for the anti-summon or Cloudkill for the instant slaying of trivial enemies if you really want to. I usually fill level 6 with Protection from Magical Weapons/Energy and Pierce Magic though.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 397
    I think F/Il is the best of those options, duals tend to end up as a pure caster late in the game, the bonus spell provided by Il means the gnome multi basically keeps up with the dualled Mage as a caster but the F/Il can fight, gets fighter HLAs and has better saves. Gnome saves are great. F/M multi has more spell diversity but one less spell a level than the gnome. The spells you lose are a more than fair trade off for the extra spells.

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