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There's something satisfying about defeating Melium solo with a mage

LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
Melium is the sword fighter dude in the Firewine ruins with the nice bracers (gauntlets of weapons expertise).

My current PC is a L4 Transmuter that will dual class to fighter once he gets his level 3 spell slots. Fighter abilities Str 17, Dex 17, Con 17. With Armor cast and his familiar in backpack IIRC AC is 2... (?). During battle he's always in the thick of things, swinging his quarterstaff.

Took a couple of tries but it went like this:
  1. Blind (PC takes a pretty big hit while casting but gets the spell off)
  2. Get just a slight bit of distance from the opponent, out of reach of Melium's sword
  3. Enfeeble just in case
  4. Shocking Grasp thrice (he's a Transmuter, after all)
  5. Finish with quarterstaff

I've been away from the game for about six years (yikes!). Did Shocking Grasp get tweaked?

Anyway, very satisfying. He'll eventually use a lot of touch spells in combat like Shocking Grasp, Chill Touch, Ghoul Touch, Vampiric Touch, I like Transmuter early in the game especially for the wonderful Color Spray spell. Anyway, my own self-imposed rule when playing a specialist mage is that at least half of the spell slots must be filled with spells from the mage's chosen school.

When he duals I'm considering having him use the Chelsea Crusher in addition to the most powerful quarterstaffs, i.e., the +3 at the shop north of Baldur's Gate and the Staff of Striking.



  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    I've always enjoyed the concept of touch spells, but this is the first time I've heard of them actually being useful in practice. A fighter work touch spells and wands, it sounds really fun! Kudos.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,536
    I'm curious about why you're wanting to dual with only third level spells. If you want to use touch spells, you need to be in melee, and you can't wear armor. The best defensive spells like Stoneskin are fourth level and higher.

    Usually, the rule of thumb is you dual out of fighter class, not into it. That way, you have some fighter Thac0 and APR, and your spell progression doesn't stop once you dual over to mage class.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    I'm curious about why you're wanting to dual with only third level spells. If you want to use touch spells, you need to be in melee, and you can't wear armor. The best defensive spells like Stoneskin are fourth level and higher.

    Usually, the rule of thumb is you dual out of fighter class, not into it. That way, you have some fighter Thac0 and APR, and your spell progression doesn't stop once you dual over to mage class.

    Great question! I'm only playing BGEE including ToSC quests, and not SoD/SoA/ToB. When he gets his mage spells back he'll wear the Robe of the Archmagi. Plus the Armor spell. And he'll regularly use a Shield amulet as well. For the tougher battles he'll use potions. He already has the boots and belt that provide protection against missile attacks. He doen't really need to be armored.

    Mind you, I'm not soloing him either. I just had him fight Melium one-on-one. He's in a party.

    The thing is to get those mage spells back in time for enough battles to really be able to enjoy them!

  • DregothofTyrDregothofTyr Member Posts: 228
    FYI, once you have the Robe of the Archmagi, the armor spell is useless, since it gives worse ac.

  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited May 2019
    @DregothofTyr Thanks, it's been a long time since I played but that's right about the Armor spell, I do remember that now. RotAM frees up a L1 slot in that respect, i.e. Armor no longer needed.

    I'm now still clearing the countryside with a full party at Fighter 4/Transmuter 5 before heading to the Bandit Camp. Just a couple of maps to go, plus I'll also first clear Pelvdale and Larswood of bandits.

    Party incudes Imoen (she will remain a thief the whole way), Minsc, Dynaheir, Branwen, and Garrick. Before taking on the Bandit Camp I'll cut loose Branwen, MInsc and Dyna, and recruit Viconia. So it'll just be Fighter/Transmuter, Imoen, Viconia, and Garrick. Viconia's AC is so insanely low with the ankheg armor that in my experience she barely gets scratched at Core Rules (which is the difficulty level I play). So she'll be the main tank along with the PC. PC isn't as hardy, but he'll have four pips in Halberd and he's wielding the Chelsea Crusher, plus casting Strength on himself regularly. So enemy chunks will be flying.

    Honestly, once I get spellcsting ability back for the PC I don't really have to concern myself with XP. That'll just accrue without any additonal strategy required. I can then do as I please in terms of party composition. I do want to get his spells back speedily, though.

    PC now has to earn levels 5 and 6 as Fighter, with which the main objective will have been met of having both class skills. To get him there, I could take the four member party either to

    1) the Cloakwood mines, or

    2) Durlag's Tower (party is L5-6, Immy can handle the traps there).

    For the rest of the game I do want to derive as much satisfaction as possible from the PC casting Shocking Grasp, Burning Hands, Chill Touch, Ghoul Touch, Vampiric Touch, Slow, Enfeeble. Higher level opponents will be immune to most of those spells. But I'm thinking that I can still find a good number of enemies for those spells to still work on between the City of Baldur's Gate, and some of the ToSC quests.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited May 2019
    So the party, now in the Cloakwood mines, currently consists of:

    Fighter 6/Transmuter 5
    Imoen (Thief) L7
    Garrick L7
    Viconia L7

    And it really has been a lot of fun to make strong use of mostly Alteration spells by a Transmuter who also melees.

    For example, in the Clocakwood mines 2nd level mess hall on the level when Rill and Yeslick are found and Hareishan and about 10 Black Talon Elites are waiting around the corner, Color Spray made easy work of the archers and swordsmen.

    In the tougher battles against enemy bosses... a good example is the assassin greeting party at the entrance to the Cloakwood mines... So far Shocking Grasp is still still working great. This is an underutilized spell for sure. And for me, like Color Spray, it's really enjoyable. Shocking Grasp delivers electrical damage 1d8 plus (for this L5 caster) an +5 (electrical damage 6-13). This is a Str 17 Fighter. He's at 18/50 Str with the Strength spell. So to the electrical damage add fist damage 1d2 + 1 (damage 2-3) without the Str spell, and 1d2 +3 (damage 4-5) with Strength cast. More when he has imbibed a strength potion. With Strength cast damage from Shocking Grasp is 10-18.

    Could he do more damage with just the Chelsea Crusher? Well, the Crusher is 1d10 + 6; with 17 natural Str add another +1 bonus (damage 8-17); with the Strength spell add +3 (damage 11-20). Or more if he imbibes a strength potion. Anyway, it's about the same. Just a touch better with the Crusher.

    PC is wearing the Robe of the Archmagi. He has AC 1 with no spells. The Shield spell gets it to 0. That vicinity of AC generally protects him sufficiently with his 50 HP. He does get a bit bloodied up from time to time. But that adds to the tension during combat.

    With the Chelsea Crusher equipped. PC's THACO without spells or potions is 8. THACO is 13 with no weapon. Not sure which value the game engine uses when he has the Crusher in hand and then casts Shocking Grasp to determine hits. It would be a bit of a cheat, actually, if it uses THACO with an equipped item. Because he would not be able to make the required hand gestures to cast the spell if he's holding the weapon.

    There's an ample supply potions of Heroism and Invulnerability for the most challenging battles. AC is at -4 with a Potion of Invulnerability. THACO is at 6 with a Potion of Heroism (again, with the Crusher equipped).

    Otherwise it's also been very satisfying to get the most out of Garrick, who is actually has to step up the most important arcane caster for this crew. Since bards have limited spell slots he has to use them judiciously. But all of those scrolls in the loot drops add up! And it's kind of a gas to force him get creative about what scrolls he has at his disposal at any given point. He can also use wands, but I find those are almost game breakingly OP (especially wands of paralization) so I rarely use them.

    I have yet to get Gregan's Harp for him. I will do that after completing Chapter 4. But he already has Algernon's Cloak. He does occasionally use the cloak and Charm spell scrolls, mostly when he has run out of memorized spells and other scrolls that are useful for the situation.

    And Viconia uses Silence a lot. She uses Hold sparingly, since that spell is close to game breaking imo. Mainly she melees with the Stupifier. Practically speaking, she serves as a tank with her -6 AC.

    Post edited by Lemernis on
  • LemernisLemernis Member, Moderator Posts: 4,280
    edited May 2019
    Just curious... When the to-hit roll for Shocking Grasp is a natural 20, is damage doubled same as with a critical hit for a martial weapon? I haven't been paying attention to that. In other words, can a hit with Shocking Grasp be a crit?

    Post edited by Lemernis on
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