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A question for the Counsel of Builds

Hi guys! I'm hoping for some input on my build idea.

So I'm thinking, nine levels shadow dancer, then dual to mage. Should have thief stuff back by end of SoD. 65 points in find trap, the rest split between HiS and MS. With potion of perception, can reach 100 find traps, and use knock on locks. Would have x3 BS, and still able to reach lvl 31 mage. Role would be scouting ahead, getting rid of traps, scoping out the enemy before engaging in the normal mage-destroys-all activities. Would keep a party of 4 or less, likely.

Are there other ways to boost find trap than potion of perception, that could allow more points to go into HiS/MS?

Would it be worth it to take the tenth thief level, even though wouldn't get thief back until early SoA?

Or is it honestly better to stick with shadow dancer and wait for UAI in order to use wands/scrolls? How soon in SoA would a thief realistically hope to get UAI?

Any cool and awesome insights I'm simply missing?

My thanks to the Counsel for hearing my petition!


  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 468
    If you want a dual shadow dancer mage and want it to be your trap finder and disarmer I would either go higher level and try to get the skill into the 90s or give that role to someone else unless you are happy to rely on meta knowledge as to when to use potions.

    You will end up with a good scout but this can be achieved with the invisibility spell.

    The shadowdancers best use is constant backstabbing but I think you aren’t getting to a high enough level for you to remain relevant in this role (although you will be an awesome spell caster). Also I think Shadowdancer forces you to have a high charisma which may not be the best use of the attribute points.

    I would go all in as a shadow dancer, in a four person party and if you do Siege of Dragonspear, you will get HLAs well before the end of SoA. Otherwise I would play a different type of thief and dual that to a mage.

  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    Thank you for your response, @ilduderino. If I just stay shadow dancer, then I don't have to start over. @Zaxares gave similar feedback in a different thread of mine.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 637
    ... and still able to reach lvl 31 mage.

    The thing about that? The sum total of character improvements you gain from the 30th and 31st level of mage is ... two hit points. There aren't any more mage HLAs left to take, and the last new spell slot is an 8th level slot at level 29.

    Level 29 mage is 7,125,000 XP, leaving up to 875K XP for your thief kit. The highest thief level that fits that is level 13, which is conveniently just enough for a 4x backstab as a Shadowdancer. It's powerful - but it's a long slog to getting your thief abilities back at 1.5 million mage XP, unless you game the system with scribing XP.
    Are there other ways to boost find trap than potion of perception ...

    Yes: potions of mind focusing. +3 Dex and +3 Int for 12 hours, with 13 of them available at each temple in BG2. They're fairly expensive, but the long duration makes up for it. They also stack with themselves, so you can drink two and run around all day with 25 Dex and 25 Int.

    Thief skills generally improve by 5 per point of Dex at high values. The exceptions:
    - Detect Illusion doesn't depend on Dex at all.
    - Stealth skills only improve by 10 each from 19 to 23 Dex.
    - Set Traps only improve by 5 from 20 to 22 Dex.

    But, really, I wouldn't try to combine utility thieving and stealth on a character like this. After all, you can't hide and search for traps at the same time unless you use an invisibility spell. I'd rather focus on stealth to use those nifty class features, and bring another thief along to disarm traps and pick locks.

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