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IWD Party

So far I am about mid-way through IWD:EE and I thought I'd share some findings which may be of use to others. I am a veteran with BG, but IWD I am rusty with.

I don't know your playstyles, so I can only speak for myself with the following. If someone has a similar playstyle, then they might find this post of value.

First thing's first - picking the party:

Most kits in the EE version are fine (such as Avenger, Beastmaster, Skald, etc), while others are so broken that I actually consider picking them to be a form of cheating (sorcerer is the most obvious culprit - IWD was never made for a sorcerer and is a generally arcane-light game. Sorcerers get spells that a normal mage would not have access to at the point in the game when the sorcerer would get them - if at all. Indeed, if a sorcerer never existed and a fan made a mage in a mod that worked like a sorcerer, it would be considered powergaming to the extreme form).

Thus, I picked all unkitted vanilla classes, as follows:

- Human Bard
- Dwarf Fighter
- Gnome Fighter/Cleric
- Half-Elf Ranger/Cleric
- Human Druid
- Elf Fighter/Mage/Thief

This is 10 classes. With XP split among so many, you may think the game is slow-going. I also don't have a pure caster, which may look like an issue on paper. It isn't. Let's work from the bottom-up:

The F/M/T

Covers lots of roles, and the roles change as needed. Very versatile.

As mentioned, this is not an arcane-heavy game. You don't find lots of arcane magic scrolls, and if you have a pure mage, they often have spell slots long before they have spells to fill those slots with! No point having level 6 slots (or whatever) if you only have up to level 4 spells (or whatever) in your spellbook. Thieves are the same - they only have 2 skills which are musts (find traps/pick locks). After you get these skills to 100, then what? A pure thief is a waste of a class. Thus, I have bundled these two utility classes into one character who progresses very nicely and is an amazing archer (due to the fighter aspect). His mage spells are always just on par with the advancement of the game (and the back-up caster, the bard, is the same). Find traps and pick locks are at 100 midway through Dragon's Eye. His archery skills are good and he lands a lot of kills from afar. Set Traps is next up, as pickpockets is handled by bard and scouting is handled by the C/R.

Druid.

Amazing AOE offensive caster and summoner.

I have two other divine classes in the party for healing, so the Druid only has a bit of healing spells, while the rest are offensive magic (especially AOE), and summons. In a pinch, she can change shape and hold her own in melee if caught out alone. The Druid in IWD really is awesome. Combine the Druid's insect swarm with the cleric's raise undead, and the mage's web, and you have a total lockdown of the enemy (the undead are not affected by the insects so they fight just fine while the enemy gets bitten and held constantly). The rest of your party just stands back and hucks arrows/axes/bullets at the enemy, providing support as needed.

In fact, using the above tactic (plus the druid's spike growth, another amazing AOE), I beat Yxunomei without a single party member even getting hurt, never mind killed.

Also, Goodberries kick ass in IWD.

Ranger/Cleric

This class is really good. At the start of the game, acts much more like a cleric, but as the game progresses, the ranger aspect really shines. She can hold her own in combat, and buffs the party before a major conflict. Also dispels (slow poison, cure disease, free action, etc). Is the party scout, and once you get Kaylessa's armor, you no longer need to worry about armor class. In the earlier levels, either the R/C or F/C can turn undead, while you still have access to a healer with the one who isn't.

Fighter/Cleric

Awesome class. Similar to the R/C, the F/C has access to even more spells (due to the neutral alignment I picked as opposed to the C/R's mandatory good one), but covers the same role in the cleric aspect - healer, buffer, and dispeller. Can't scout, but he can tank, and he also summons skeletons.

Fighter

Tank. Damage dealer. All-around badass. Has one job and does it superbly well. Leads kills by a mile ahead of the second (F/M/T) and third (C/R).

Bard

This class is a slow garden of growth. It is nice to have a bard for the bonuses through song, but it just gets better and better as the game goes along. By the time level 11 hits, you no longer need to worry about healing spells except in emergencies, as everyone regens thanks to the song. In fact, the level 11 song with the Druid's spike growth means you can send your fighter in and not worry. The song will keep his health up while the spikes slowly whittle down the enemy. The bard is ID on a stick, pickpocket (when you need), and a support caster means that the bard helps everyone else to shine. Truly a superb class.

The bard works well with everyone, the Druid works amazingly with the Clerics and the bard, and the C/R and F/C can frontline with the fighter as well as perform other duties. The F/M/T can do a bit of everything.

That's it!

I like to have lots of variety in my party. I like everyone to be able to perform multiple roles, and, aside from the fighter, everyone does exactly that (the pure fighter is really necessary though for the high HP, damage dealing, and tankiness). There isn't a single character here who does just one thing. They are all mixtures of summoners/healers/supports/buffers/debuffers, and so forth.

In fact, if you were to ask me how to strengthen the party, I would say change the pure fighter to a fighter/druid, perhaps. MAYBE. You would lose out on some tankiness, but would have more versatility (can never have too much). Also, the pure-Druid would become an Avenger for even more improvement, since Avenger is the best Druid kit. I may play it through again with these changes or some others. Otherwise, the party is perfect.

All in all, a great fun party to play. You literally ALWAYS have options. There are always get out of jail cards and tricks up your sleeve. So much healing, so much buffs and summons and AOE damage/control.

This is the most fun party I have ever played, and will probably run through it with BG after I am done with IWD. You really see the skills of your team advance and progress, and the role one of them serves at the start is not necessarily the same all the way through. It's not the party for someone who wants instant rewards. You've got to earn them. You see the growth over time until they are WTF levels of powerful and you didn't even realise when exactly it happened. It's a true party for the storytelling RP adventurer.

Other combinations that are similar

The structure here is pretty simple:

2 x cleric (for awesome buffs and defensive utility)
1 x druid or shaman (for awesome summons and offensive AOE utility)

A party of 3-4 classes that can heal is stupidly difficult to take down.


1 x thief/mage (always roll these classes up into a multiclass with some other class)
1x frontliner (a fighter or fighter/druid with ironskins (eventually!) would be best)
1 x bard to support everyone and perform a tonne of utility duties


Thus, with roughly the above structure, the following example parties would be very similar (using unkitted, thus playing IWD how it was meant to be played):

F/M/C
Cleric/Thief
Fighter/Druid
Bard
Cleric/Ranger
Druid


F/M/T
Cleric/Mage
Bard
Cleric/Ranger
Fighter/Druid
Fighter


Mage/Thief
Fighter/Druid
Druid
Bard
Cleric/Ranger
Fighter/Cleric

ArtonaDJKajuru

Comments

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,280
    Except for thematic parties, all of mine is basically:

    Sorcerer + Cleric/Thief + [Else]

    I don't use the unkitted bard because War Chant of the Siths makes the entire game redundant.

    With those two as a base, everything else I play with is irrelevant and makes the party doable.

  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 160
    Raduziel wrote: »
    Except for thematic parties, all of mine is basically:

    Sorcerer + Cleric/Thief + [Else]

    I don't use the unkitted bard because War Chant of the Siths makes the entire game redundant.
    .


    I feel the same way about sorcerers, they are the ultimate cheeseball class, and as I mentioned in the post, basically cheating. War chant of Sith just means that you don't need as many healing spells and therefore, less rests. Its HP regen isn't fast enough to make a difference in combat where you are taking 15+ damage in a hit.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 103
    edited April 22
    I would add the Archer to the list of overpowered class kits. As much fun as I'm having with my Archer, the sheer amount of damage a high-level Archer can put out is insane. With a powerful enchanted bow, Haste (or even better, RWotF or Improved Haste) and some Acid Arrows, my Archer could regularly top 100+ damage in a single round, more than enough to gib any enemy spellcaster before they can even get a spell off.

    The only weakness my Archer has is that she has a relatively poor AC compared to the rest of the party (around -4, when my other frontliners all have between -10 to -16. Even my Mage has -8 AC!), but that's usually not a problem considering she's lurking around the back of the formation anyway.

    EDIT: Also, with regards to XP, my party ended up with approximately 3 million XP each after playing through the entirety of IWD, Trials of the Luremaster, and Heart of Winter. The only thing I was a bit disappointed with was that my Mage didn't manage to get enough XP to be able to use 9th level spells until after the final battle.

    Wandering_Ranger
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 499
    It's true that bards and sorcerers make the game easier, but once you allow all the other game-breakers that are baked into IWDEE, from multiclassing to 18/00 strength to archery to instant-paralyze spells, it's hard to see how bards or sorcerers are worth singling out.

  • Wandering_RangerWandering_Ranger Member Posts: 160
    edited April 23
    Because of the reasons stated above (for sorcerers). Bards aren't OP, and as Zaxares pointed out, archers are OP as well. I agree with that.

    IWD wasn't made for kits, so unless a kit doesn't add or tweak TOO much from the original class (something "subtle" such as a Stalker, perhaps, or an Avenger, where the mechanics are not changed around too much), then it is fine. The moment a kit starts to take too many liberties and pile stuff on that just shouldn't be there (like grand mastery allowance for a ranger in the case of archers (not to mention their other bonuses), or spells that are otherwise extremely rare and hard to get being handed to sorcerers on a silver platter as they level), then the kit becomes cheesy.

    Some people prefer playing the game this way, and that is fine, but when people start claiming it isn't cheesy (or try to deflect by saying that some other stuff is worse, which in the case of sorcerers specifically, nothing is), one must really wonder about it.

    As for stats, I myself am not a min-maxer. I play the game PnP style. But you are right that anything can be made OP when your stats are four 18's and whatever, though that says nothing at all about the class kit itself. Some kit designs are simply bogus, while others aren't.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 103
    In general ALL the D&D versions are susceptible to kit/PRC bloat and power creep over time. By the end of its lifetime, 3.5E was the same way; there were various prestige classes and spells you could combine to create some truly ridiculous, game-breaking combinations. But, for some people, that's actually part of the appeal, trying to fit together puzzle pieces in ways to create characters of astounding power. That's precisely why I like these single-player D&D CRPGs though; if you personally dislike a combination because it's too powerful, you can always opt to never touch the thing in your playthrough. If someone else wants to go crazy with Project Imaging Sorcerers in their game, more fun to them! It doesn't affect my own gaming experience, so everybody can be happy. :)

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