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Xan and his Moonblade

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Comments

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    It is weird how people translate a 2 point difference in AC to 10%. It is wrong.
    The actual percentage depends entirely on the opponent's THAC0. But so long as the AC is not out of the range of the opponent's die, the difference is always greater than 10%.

  • MorkfelMorkfel Member Posts: 27
    @Quartz I've never played with Kivan. Minsc is great for the voice lines, etc, probably the most comedic companion. I'm playing an evil party ATM so Minsc doesn't fit (also it's repetitive) so I have Dorn.

    When it comes to all the front-liners stats-wise, having a high CON like Kagain is more important than a high Str (like Minsc or Dorn) because there are at least 3 items in the game that give 18/00+ STR whereas I don't think there are any for CON. That said, I'm still playing with Dorn because I like his character.

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,832
    edited May 1
    @Humanoid_Taifun Could you elaborate? I know that the 10% statistic is invalid if your AC is already god-like vs. their terrible THAC0, and vice versa, but within normal ranges (2 AC points = 10%) seems accurate to me.

    @Morkfel For sure! I absolutely believe the best front-liner/tank in Baldur's Gate is Kagain for that exact reason. And, give him the Gauntlets of Dexterity and he has absolutely incredible sustain. Yeah he doesn't hit hard like a lot of the other fighters, but you can leave the damage-dealing to someone else.

    Kivan is the most versatile warrior in the game out-of-the-gate, as it were: his proficiency points are placed appropriately, he's a great melee combatant and the second-best archer in the game. Whereas most NPCs in BG1 require a bit of baby-sitting and leveling to get them "spec'd" properly, Kivan's good to go the moment you pick him up. Leave Candlekeep and go South to High Hedge immediately, pick him up and see how much easier the start of the game is... it's almost cheap.

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    edited May 2
    Over the course of 20 attacks, on average your opponent will hit you the number of times that is equal to 21 minus the number that your opponent has to roll to hit you.
    Therefore, with a 2 point difference in THAC0, you will be hit 2 fewer times. To explain it in a simple manner with very few numbers:
    Since we have already made the condition that the relationship between AC and THAC0 is such that the AC change will make a difference, we know that the average number of times you get hit is less than 20. But if a number smaller than 20 is altered by 2 points, then that change must be greater than 10%.

    To describe the difference mathematically in a formula you could go either with "(a/b)-1" or "1-(b/a)". [a=b+2; 2<a<20]
    The first formula gives you the percental increase in how often you get hit if you lose 2 points of AC.
    The second one gives you the percental decrease in how often you get hit if you gain 2 points of AC.
    Let us use a few examples to give life to these formulas.
    a=19
    (19/17)-1=11.8%
    1-(17/19)=10.5%

    a=11
    (11/9)-1=22.2%
    1-(9/11)=18.2%

    a=3
    (3/1)-1=200%
    1-(1/3)=66.7%

    Post edited by Humanoid_Taifun on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,576
    Quartz wrote: »
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    @Quartz Kivan is worse than Minsc in melee, what are you talking about? Shar-Teel kinda gives up the big fighter bonus (more proficiencies) in order to generalize like Minsc. So she is better off specializing in one or two weapons and gettign mastery in them.
    @ThacoBell Sorry but I'm adamant about this. Kivan is better in melee because he doesn't get hit as often. Minsc may have +2 THAC0 +5 damage vs. Kivan's +1 THAC0 +3 damage, and have an extra hit point per level, but that 10% higher chance to get hit is huge in my experience. Kivan sustains longer. Any time I've had Minsc in my party, I have a hard time keeping him alive.

    I'll give you that Kivan is a better tank. Minsc works better with two handed weapons, which would keep him on the secondary line and un-targeted by enemies. Whne it comes to hitting and killing things in melee, Minsc wins out.

    Quartz
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    edited May 3
    @Humanoid_Taifun , I'm not convinced your formulas work, because we're not dealing with an average, we're dealing with the probability of a number coming up on a 20-sided die. A common mistake is apply the so-called "law of averages" to probability, which is a mathematical fallacy. The probability of a number coming up on a 20-sided die is always 1/20, no matter whether you roll one time or 1,000,000 times.

    Let's say a monster needs to roll a 15 or greater to hit you. That means it will hit on a 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, which is a 6/20 chance to hit you. Now add a 1 AC bonus, which eliminates 15 from the possible hit numbers, and now it has only a 5/20 chance to hit you.

    That's a 30 percent chance improving to only a 25 percent chance, for an improvement of 5 percent. There are only 20 possible probabilities here for every Thac0 and AC ratio. That's why every number you eliminate from the 20 sided die as a hit number gives a 5 percent improvement to your rate of being hit.

    You can't eliminate the number 20, so there will always be a 5 percent chance to be hit. But you can theoretically have a high enough AC against any Thac0 to get the chance down to that 5 percent. And the probabilities will always be in increments of exactly 5%. Your probability of being hit is always one of 5%, 10%, 15%, etc. up to 95% if your AC is so bad compared to their Thac0 that they can only miss you on a roll of 1.

    The gods of random number generation look at our human need for averages and laugh.

    SkatanQuartz
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 963
    edited May 3
    @BelgarathMTH I am not falling for the gamblers' fallacy.
    Let me explain to you why your calculation is meaningless and misleading.
    Somebody who can only get hit on a roll of 20, is hit with a 5 % probability. We agree on this.
    Somebody who can only get hit on a roll of 19 or better, is hit with a 10 % probability. We agree on this as well.

    Now what you are saying is that the latter has a 5% greater chance of getting hit - in total. But that does not actually tell you very much about the difference between the two.
    What I am pointing out is that the second person will get hit twice as often as the first person. 5%*200%=10%.
    This is mathematical truth. Neither character is getting hit very often, but the first character will lose half as many HP over time as the second one. As a tank she is 100% more effective.

    BelgarathMTHSkatan
  • DregothofTyrDregothofTyr Member Posts: 228
    RE: Specialist Mages, I think that Enchanters, Conjurers, Invokers, Necromancers, and Illusionists area all viable in BG:EE, and notably there is one of each as an NPC. Conjurers definitely give up the least in terms of spells, but have relatively few spells with saving throws, a notable exception being Glitterdust. Enchanters and Invokers both benefit the most from the saving throw penalties in the first game.

    In BG2:EE, it's a different story altogether. Notably, there are only 2 specialist mages in BG2 - Edwin (Conjurer) and Jan (Illusionist). IMO, this is because with access to higher-level spells, what spells you give up becomes much more important. As with the first game, Transmuters, Abjurers and Diviners are the worst by far, giving up many useful and necessary spells.

    In BG2, Enchanters drop off a cliff, having no spells higher than 5th level and giving up some of the best spells in the form of spell triggers and such.

    Conjurers give up the ability to identify and dispel illusions, but this can be made up for easily in a party or with items, especially in EE with the gem of seeing from Rasaad's questline, so they are still top-tier.

    Illusionists give up Necromancy spells, which hurts a bit when losing Skull Trap, ADHW, and Death Spell, but they can live without them.

    Invokers lose Enchantment spells, which is much less of a loss in BG2 than BG1, though losing Chaos and Greater Malison hurts. However, once again it is possible to compensate in a party with a second arcane caster.

    Necromancers lose a lot of power in the form of Project Image, and defense/utility in Mirror Image and Invisibility, so I think they drop down a bit in the second game.

    So essentially, in BG2:EE the best specialists are Conjurers, Illusionists, and Invokers, with Necromancers bringing up the rear. Enchanters drop down into the back of the pack with no high-level spells, and Transmuters, Diviners and Abjurers remain terrible.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,614
    @DregothofTyr The only part of the game where Enchanters start to lose power is mid-ToB.

    At least that's what I felt in a full BGEE-SoD-BG2EE-ToB run.

    Quartz
  • DregothofTyrDregothofTyr Member Posts: 228
    Yeah any mage is still going to be a mage, and chaos and feeblemind are both great spells, but you're giving up a lot to make them a little bit better.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,576
    Enchanters don't lose much by not having spells higher than 5th. Those spells (Feeblemind!) are still very good. You never need any spells above 5th anyway. 6th and up are just gravy (or cheese!).

    Quartz
  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 367
    Xan is excellent imo. I never did playthroughs with him but recently did a no-reload challenge run with a Stalker as my main. I used Xan and Garricks (yes!) as my wizards. It worked amazingly.

    The thing is, the game drops so many consumables damage dealing wands, that using Xan doesn't really make you miss out on much. And, imo, after a certain point, it's actually better for your wizards to memorize the really important spells instead of just raw damage spells. So charm person, dire charm, and emotion were critical in my playthrough with him. Some of the most dangerous fights in BG require countering charm!

    His moonblade isn't super useful as a weapon and it's a waste to use him as a buff. But the fire resistance on it was super helpful in keeping him alive against fireball enemies.

    Quartz
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 299
    I enjoy taking Xan from the mines, using him to charm some of the party that ambush you when you go to leave the area to return to Nashkel, watching them wreck each other and then cleaning up. Then repeating this on all the other groups that ambush or hunt me down.

  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    ilduderino wrote: »
    I enjoy taking Xan from the mines, using him to charm some of the party that ambush you when you go to leave the area to return to Nashkel, watching them wreck each other and then cleaning up. Then repeating this on all the other groups that ambush or hunt me down.

    Same with Drasus's party at the Cloakwood Mines and Tenhammer in the Bandit Camp. Charming is awesome in BG1.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 523
    Yep, Charms and Dominates are awesome in the BG games (not so much in the IWD series, where you tend to run into a lot of undead or weird monsters that are immune to Charm spells). Just gotta make sure that you don't accidentally charm an enemy that your Fighter is already pounding on because that dispels the Charm immediately. Oops. XD

    ThacoBellQuartz
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 674
    Or you can re-charm your charmed fighter :D

    Raduziel
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    Zaxares wrote: »
    Yep, Charms and Dominates are awesome in the BG games (not so much in the IWD series, where you tend to run into a lot of undead or weird monsters that are immune to Charm spells). Just gotta make sure that you don't accidentally charm an enemy that your Fighter is already pounding on because that dispels the Charm immediately. Oops. XD

    I was doing Neera's quest in BG2 just the other day. Charmed Gul Dukeem, he dominated two of the three merchants. That made the fight a bit easier, though it got quite crowded when all their guards poured in the room.

    Zaxares
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 336
    Xan’s personalised weapon is a nice touch, looks cool and adds a bit if you want to use him in melee...but he’s still a wizard so needs a lot of buffing to be effective in melee e.g. using spells like Shield, Strength, Mirror Image and so on.

    It’s better to use Dynaheir and Minsc instead who cover both melee and spellcasting as a team, without the need fo use too many buffing spells.

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,832
    Dharius wrote: »
    Xan’s personalised weapon is a nice touch, looks cool and adds a bit if you want to use him in melee...but he’s still a wizard so needs a lot of buffing to be effective in melee e.g. using spells like Shield, Strength, Mirror Image and so on.

    It’s better to use Dynaheir and Minsc instead who cover both melee and spellcasting as a team, without the need fo use too many buffing spells.
    Two NPCs are more powerful than one NPC? Shocking. :tongue:

    DhariusSkatan
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    Quartz wrote: »
    Dharius wrote: »
    Xan’s personalised weapon is a nice touch, looks cool and adds a bit if you want to use him in melee...but he’s still a wizard so needs a lot of buffing to be effective in melee e.g. using spells like Shield, Strength, Mirror Image and so on.

    It’s better to use Dynaheir and Minsc instead who cover both melee and spellcasting as a team, without the need fo use too many buffing spells.
    Two NPCs are more powerful than one NPC? Shocking. :tongue:

    I dunno, Edwin could probably destroy a lot of duo's without breaking a sweat with ToB xp cap.

    Dharius
  • DeucetipherDeucetipher Member Posts: 521
    I don't know if anyone else does this, but I like to change Xan to a blade with two pips in single weapon style. I headcanon him as a bladesinger, and go on my merry way.

    He still isn't optimal, but I can at least use him the way I always wanted to as a kid: ducking in and out of melee and tossing spells.

    Since I play with the NPC project installed, I can get him the bardic chain relatively early, and that lets him hold up reasonably well with defensive spin. With the right combination of buffs, potions, and gear, he can get to almost -30 AC against slashing and AC tank the final fight against sarevok, with stoneskin and MI up to nullify the odd critical smack.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    Why blade and not fighter/enchanter? I like Xan a lot, and I find the character's weird combination of pseudo-fatalism/biting sarcasm hilarious, but I find the idea of him as a bard disturbing.

  • DeucetipherDeucetipher Member Posts: 521
    I like the spins as an analogue for bladesong. Bladesingers marry art, swordplay, and magic into a harmonious whole.

    The key for me is that I don't think of him as a bard, per se, I suppose, even though I make him a blade. I see the cognitive dissonance you are suggesting, but since I conceptualize him as a bladesinger, I'm not subject to it. Hopefully. Might be, now😅

    F/E would be an upgrade, power-wise, but I've never tried it. Maybe my next time through I'll give that a shot instead.

  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    Xan as a bard. Mind blown.

    He's one of my favorite NPC from the original game. I didn't use him in my first few runs twenty years ago because back then I assumed the lack of pure damage dealing made him a bad mage. Until i discovered that enchanters kick ass in BG1.

    DinoDin
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 523
    edited May 31
    Gatekeep3r wrote: »
    Xan as a bard. Mind blown.

    Funnily enough, there's a 3E Bard prestige class called the Dirgesinger that focuses on sad, gloomy music. They commonly sing at funerals and other sombre occasions (although evil Dirgesingers sometimes use their abilities to incapacitate their targets and then rob them blind, or even murder them), and their class abilities are all focused around emotion-crushing effects. So yes, Xan COULD become a specialty bard. XD

    Gatekeep3r
  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    Zaxares wrote: »
    Gatekeep3r wrote: »
    Xan as a bard. Mind blown.

    Funnily enough, there's a 3E Bard prestige class called the Dirgesinger that focuses on sad, gloomy music. They commonly sing at funerals and other sombre occasions (although evil Dirgesingers sometimes use their abilities to incapacitate their targets and then rob them blind, or even murder them), and their class abilities are all focused around emotion-crushing effects. So yes, Xan COULD become a specialty bard. XD

    Never heard of it, but I can totally picture Xan as a bard now :)

  • ikuseniikuseni Member Posts: 5
    Hi. I am playing, against all recommendations, an all mage party (Imoen will be dualed later)..

    Of course I need 1 melee fighter, which is Dorn atm. I don't like him, so I will ditch him temporarily, and switch him for some other tank.

    Can Xan be made into a tank with his Moonblade ? Gauntlets of ogre strength, maybe the famous elven chain ? Something else?

    Is it possible ?


    Ty.

  • DeucetipherDeucetipher Member Posts: 521
    edited June 14
    @ikuseni

    He can tank in the same way a regular mage does, with stoneskin, mirror image, blur, etc. The ac bump from the moonblade isn't really enough to tip the scales. You'll have to keeper him to a multiclass to take advantage of elven chain, as it isn't usable by mages. However, the archmagi robes offer the same base ac, as an alternative.

    I've done a tanking xan by making him a blade. If you do that, defensive spin can make him hit the ac cap for big fights, so long as you're willing to burn consumables. Bg1npc project also adds ac3 chain that stacks with x of protection, so that's another option. I know that doesn't work for your all mage party, but it's an alternative.

  • ikuseniikuseni Member Posts: 5
    Well, I am running with Xan now, but I'm not sure I like him enough to keep him. If he has a personal quest I might do it, and then ditch him. He seems kinda useless atm (level 5 if I remember correctly).

    -btw I don't run mods, I am more of a vanilla kind of person :neutral:

    Xan is not really shining compared to Baeloth (who singlehandedly defeated the "best of the ogre mages" Karkh, thus proving that He Is really amongst the top 5 casters in the realms, although Karkh was in a weak state)

    Also I find Xzar much more amusing, I hope to turn him into a cleric one day... Luckily the idiot Montaron bit the dust early on with the trigger happy flaming fist merc ( Xzar's comment is the best.. "I never loved him".)

    Then there's Neera, who is already romancing my Gnome a bit, so I can't get rid of her...a man's gotta keep his options open..

    Imoen... must keep her for my first play through.

    So I guess Xan must go sooner or later... Maybe I'll switch him to Edwin, and see if he is more likeable or useful (never played with Edwin before)

    -Actually I miss Garrick from my last attempt, but He will never be the tank I want him to be (??) He was always dying, but great fun nevertheless.

    ... but but but.... I just don't know... I need some Dwarven ale.

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