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Next Charname suggestion?

Hi guys.

I've played my shadow dancer from BG1, SoD, and BG2 up to the fish people, and I've started growing bored with it. The One Gift Lost barely touches anything, now, and backstabbing has gotten tedious.

So, I'm looking for another character to try while I take a break from the shadow dancer. I tried a berserker, but was bored with that before nashkel.

I have a hard time with the npc spellcasters I've used. I stare at their spellbook at a loss. I've tried reading spell guides, but I guess I just don't have the head for it.

What might you suggest for someone like me?

Thanks in advance.



  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    edited July 2019
    I think a spellcaster protagonist is probably the most rewarding experience overall. In the early game BG1 it encourages a rather different playstyle that can present some fun challenges if you haven't gone that route before, and certainly during the endgame casters will outpace the other classes since their spell progression is linear and you get something new to play with every couple lvls. You may find that its a little easier to get into the spells and engage with that style of play when its the protaganist rather companions doing the casting. A classic Wizard or Priest fits pretty well with the basic backstory and plot throughline, same deal with Bards. Depends sometimes if you like to roll with a full party all of the same alignment/rep requirements, and you're trying to fill a niche gap in BG1 or BG2 you might find a certain type of caster more useful than another at different points in the game, but in general if you make it to Amn you'll be pretty badass at that point and make it up on the backend whichever type you choose.

    Most of the later game spells have analogs at lvls 1-4 so once you learn the ropes there you kind of get a sense for how to use the more advanced stuff, but there are also some really cool high level spells that do really unique things, and once you've played around with those it makes it kind of hard to go back to a basic fighter or rogue type. Each spell level achieved as a caster has a couple dozen new things on offer, whereas other character types sometimes have to advance like 5 or 10 lvls before they gain a new game changing ability.

    There are few workhorse combat/utility spells that are really useful and others that are more like one offs.

    For Mages I think Sleep and Blindness are probably the most potent combat spells at lvl 1 along with Minor Drain to interupt other spellcasters. Invisibility and Horror at lvl 2. Lvl 3 spells are all pretty major especially Holding and Haste, Skull Trap and Fireball etc. When you get to higher character lvls many lower level spells become really potent, classic examples being Magic Missile or Chromatic Orb, which aren't that impressive at first but become really legit as you advance to higher levels.

    For Clerics at lvl1 Command is by far their most powerful spell in my view. You can drop most humanoids/monsters to the ground with it, and its pretty close to instantaneous for disruption purposes. At lvl 2 holding is major. Its not as fast as the mage spell of the same name, but you get access to it sooner which can be a big game changer in group combats against humanoids. An example would be using command to drop an enemy spellcaster before they can get off their first spell, then using holding to freeze enemy tanks or archers while your team is smashing about. At Lvl 3 you get Animate Dead which is the workhorse summoning spell for the early game because skeletons are immune or resistant to many kinds of damage and you can use them in slick ways with area of effect spells like the clouds, that might otherwise prevent melee with your usual companions.

    Druids are somewhat less impressive early on, but make a huge jump at spell lvl4 when they get access to the Woodland Being. That summon comes with a whole host of really useful spells at the ready including Holding, Hold Monster, Charm and Mass Healing. It makes Druids basically the best healers in BG1. At spell lvl 5 they get Insect Plague which is one of the most savage disruption and DPS style spells in the whole game. It can shut down groups of casters and lots of enemies with immunities that would otherwise be a pain to deal with, up to six at a time.

    Anyhow, not sure if that's helpful, but might be worth checking out a caster for Charname even if its been a struggle to manage spellcasting companions. Something about having the protagonist in that role made it more feel more accessible, or at least that was my experience in early days. Since I was kind of like you and not really knowing what the hell to do with all those spells. But it gets easier as you go along and definitely opens up a different style of game once you get the hang of it.


  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    @jmerry , the fighter priest does sound kinda nice. I've been resistant to multiclassing, but I think I'll give it a go. Your description sounds like a good combination of being simple enough not to bog me down, but also not be just a point and click character.

    @Black_Elk , thanks for the easy to take in spell guide. Certainly will get me through BG1 again. I think I'll only recruit one other spellcaster npc, and follow your ideas with one priest and one mage.

    Which do you guys think will play better for me, a dwarven fighter/cleric or a half elf fighter/druid? And which mage character to take in BG1 or BG2? I've barely used mages, ever, and my shadow dancer only has a mage because Imoen.

  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    edited July 2019
    Only thing I'd say, don't take Neera if it's your first playthrough :)

    The whole wild magic business is very silly (for me at least!) and it's just one more thing to add that can go (badly) wrong, when there's no need for that! Unless you're prepared to reload if something awful happens!

    (Even if I like Neera myself, but I only ever used her once to full BG1 completion... and never even once on BG2.)

    As for mages, ofc it's Xzar (Necromancer) which is good, Dynaheir (Invoker, extra spicy fire balls, lighting and cone of colds!) is good, Xan (enchanter, extra spicy Horrors, Emotion, Charm and Chaos) is good, Edwin good (Conjurer, great for spamming Glitterdust! but he conflicts with Minsc/Dynaheir unless you do a specific thing.) EDIT: Mostly focusing on the early accesible ones... as there's Tiax and Quayle too, but way later (they're multi-class, though.)

    I normally go some sort of PC mage myself (Fighter/Mage or the like) and dual Imoen ~L4/5, so one extra mage is enough for all needs and purposes, but even if you pick no extra mage, you can make do with only two by the end of the game, unless you're playing SCS, on which having a high-level mage is kinda required, sadly.

    As for Fighter/Cleric or Fighter/Druid... there's a Fighter/Druid early in game, but the only Fighter/Cleric NPC available is late game sadly... just in case that could help make you decide.

    EDIT: as corrected by @jmerry below, Horror is for Xzar :)

    Post edited by leeux on
  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    edited July 2019
    I'm partial to fighter/druids myself, mainly for nostalgia reasons. They've been around since D&D started, but got the highlight in 2nd ed as the class kind of came into its own. BG was definitely part of that I think on acount of Jaheira being introduced right from the outset, having pretty solid stats, one of the better portraits, and a pretty important role storywise if you kept her around. The Druid experiance lvl tables pretty well, especially early on, allowing you to get to a higher caster level than you could with a cleric or mage. Though it will cap out earlier than going pure class, you can still get up to spell lvl 4 pretty quickstyle. At higher levels the fighter class will cause you to stall a little on spell progression but its not too bad and your Thaco and AC will be hardcore. Multi-Classing with druid/fighter can be kind of fun since there isnt the pressure to achieve grandmastery in scimitar or whatever like you would with Dual classingn ehich means you can play around with other weapons or fighting styles a bit more.

    All that said Fighter/Cleric might be more fun in the end. Since Dwarves can get monster status with their constitution bonus and saves, Hammers and Flails are legit in both games, and the higher level Cleric spells have a lot to offer. Even if you are mainly going heals/buffs to enhance your fighter class some of those late game summons are insane, and you'll be able to raise dead eventually to round out your role for the rest of the gang.

    Either choice will probably be a bit simpler to ease into than like a straight mage would be, since you'll still have solid combat cabities and access to all the best armor/helms/shields etc. Also a bit more flexibility on alignment if that's something of interest to your playstyle.

  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    The only con I can think of going Fighter/Druid on a PC is the fact that you'd be overlapping with Jaheira, and Jaheira has a big role in the games/story... not necessarily in BG1 (at least without mods) but it's pretty big in BG2. Unless ofc. you don't like Jaheira and don't want to take her, which is acceptable!

  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    edited July 2019
    Yeah that's a fair point on Jaheira redundancy, matched my experience in some playthroughs. Although interestingly the Druid class lends itself pretty well to mixed alignment parties if you want to roll with an evil crew. I know in BG2 I gravitated more towarda Viconia, and the shadowdruid (screw civilization) type character model. I was one of the people that pushed pretty hard for the alignment restriction to be eased, and going into 3rd edition they changed it so that you only had to be neutral along one axis. I think it makes sense since the original restriction and the description of True Neutral just kind of reads like a Druidic pigeon hole. Even Jaheira, if she was reconned post 3rd edition would probably have been neutral good (being a Harper and all) so it was already kind of moving that direction at the tail end of 2nd ed.

    Still there's something to be said about having a duo of lightning bolts to fry the opposition in BG1 hehe.

    One other thing to consider with the choice presented is that your Dwarf Fighter/Cleric will be able to Draw Upon Holy Might, even after you lose your soul abilities in BG2, which is pretty significant for a fighter type. As a fighter/cleric you will be able to max your core stats to the high heavens and just smash.

    Either option (Cleric or Druid) is pretty cool for a full playthrough though, because you can really boost up the WIS stat in BG1, so any priest or battle priest will be able to coast to the finish line with bonus spells and such. Its a good middle of the road I think if you're trying to break into spell casting. Priest is kind of the original OP class in D&D so its hard to go wrong. You'll have plenty of spellcasting options to keep from getting bored without any real downside beyond the weapons restriction.

  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    jmerry wrote: »
    leeux wrote: »
    As for mages, ofc it's Xzar (Necromancer) which is good, Dynaheir (Invoker, extra spicy fire balls, lighting and cone of colds!) is good, Xan (enchanter, extra spicy Horrors, Emotion, Charm and Chaos) is good, Edwin good (Conjurer, great for spamming Glitterdust! but he conflicts with Minsc/Dynaheir unless you do a specific thing.) EDIT: Mostly focusing on the early accesible ones... as there's Tiax and Quayle too, but way later (they're multi-class, though.)

    That list isn't entirely accurate; Horror is a Necromancy spell so it gets a boost with Xzar rather than Xan.


    True! Thank you for the correction! That's what I get for going of the top of my head and not checking :blush:

  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    Thanks, you guys! Your input has been very helpful.

    I think I'll try the fighter/cleric dwarf. I kinda wish halfling could be fighter/cleric. I've never played a shorty race. At least not longer than candle keep lol.

    Still not sure which mage to take. Maybe I'll take the Monty/Xzar duo to cover thief and mage.

  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    edited July 2019
    Right on! I think you'll have fun. Montaron has good voicing and handles the crawls and cash grabs pretty well. I think the debate early on for me is always whether to keep him on slings or go with a bow or crossbow. Arrows and Bolts are easier to pick up on the fly sometimes than bullets so I'm always torn there. Dagger I think you can pick up later but its useful too. Some kind of heavy ass plate and shield too in case things get tight. Go suck your blade always motivates hehe. Xzar has a harder time getting out from under Edwin's shadow (with his insane amulet), but Necromancy can get the job done, you lose out on Illusion but Illusion isn't as important if you already got a heavy fighter/healer running the show.

    One last thought on Fighter/Druid's Woodland Being... I said Charm above but its actually Mental Domination, which is more potent and fun. Her full list is Barkskin, Hold Person x2, Call Lightning, Miscast Magic, Cause Serious Wounds, Mental Domination, Mass Cure, Confusion, and Hold Monster. All ready to go when she is called. That's a sav Nymph for sure! She allows the player to focus on other spells at the lower levels and handles pretty well in combat from the backfield.

    Something to think on for the next run maybe. Since there's always a next run haha. If you like how the priest types play.

    Fighter/Cleric is hard to argue with, especially given the main arc of the game.

  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    Thanks again, @Black_Elk . Maybe I'll go crossbow with Monty. I've never really used crossbow before.

    I have to ask, is your name a call out to .hack//?

  • Black_ElkBlack_Elk Member Posts: 30
    Haha neah I don't have the chops, but I'm into legends and lore, so its like a Heyoka holler I use for gaming in D&D and A&A.

    Yeah, crowsbows are killer. The one in Beregost is pretty clean for milestone goals. If you had a time backstabbing with the shadowdancer last run maybe drop for the crossbow instead of the armor and use him as a switch hitter tank to ranged depending on the combat. You can bust locks and do detection pretty well if you're not spliting too much on stealth. I think he'll be solid for support.

  • butteredsoulbutteredsoul Member Posts: 168
    If it's not too late, I wonder if you'd like combining your previous attempts into a Fighter/Thief? You can backstab, archer like a pro, and melee away if needed. Mine was very busy because he was my only thief, and was usually scouting, disarming traps, opening locks, picking pockets, and detecting illusions.

    I loved mine all the way through, and I played a halfling as well!

    Whatever you do, I hope that you dig it!

  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    A good thought, @butteredsoul . I've been spoiled by HiPS, though. Maybe a dual shadow dancer=>fighter is in my future. Would be a true ninja :D Sounds like Monty is gonna be busy, though.

    After three hours of rolling, my dwarven fighter/cleric got some sweet stats. 18/88,17,19,12,18,8!

    I named him Larg.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,795
    If fighter/cleric gets boring for you I'd recommend a cleric/ranger. They've got a bit of everything. You get access to druid spells, can stealth if you like, and get 2 free pips in two-weapon fighting. I find them very entertaining and if you un-nerf the class, you can get access to all of the druid and cleric spells just like in vanilla. That gives you Insect Swarm, Ironskins, Summon Fire Elemental and Nature's Beauty to name just a few of the awesome spells that opens up.

  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    Can ranger/cleric be unnerfed on Android?

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,795
    Not sure, I play on PC. Somebody like @JuliusBorisov might know, though.

  • GusindaGusinda Member Posts: 1,774
    @ElysianEchoes, there's no probs in 'unnerfing' the Ranger Cleric. Just add the following line to you baldur.lua:

    SetPrivateProfileString('Game Options','Cleric Ranger Spells','0')

    I an guessing here but you may have to start a new game for it to take.


  • BalladBallad Member Posts: 203
    I recently tried a Dwarven F/C and boy was it powerful. What everyone seems to forget is the saving throw bonuses dwarves get based on their CON, which is already high. Add in cleric buffs, and you'll have one hell of a survival machine.

    An unnerfed R/C will always be the most powergamey option, given it's essentially three classes rolled into one. However, I'd rate the Dwarven F/C not far below it and definitely higher than the nerfed version.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,795
    Ballad wrote: »
    I recently tried a Dwarven F/C and boy was it powerful. What everyone seems to forget is the saving throw bonuses dwarves get based on their CON, which is already high. Add in cleric buffs, and you'll have one hell of a survival machine.

    An unnerfed R/C will always be the most powergamey option, given it's essentially three classes rolled into one. However, I'd rate the Dwarven F/C not far below it and definitely higher than the nerfed version.

    If you want to make it even better than the Cleric/Ranger, EEKeeper it to Dwarven Defender/Cleric. Now that one is ludicrously powerful!

  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    @Balrog99 , Defense stance + armor of Faith = win? Lol

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,272
    @Balrog99 , Defense stance + armor of Faith = win? Lol DoE and Hardiness :P

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,531
    edited August 2019
    "Defensive Stance may not be used in conjunction with Hardiness"
    It's right there in the in-game description of the two abilities - no stacking those two. If you try, using either ends the other. Still, the DD gets a passive boost to physical resistance, so that combined with Defensive Stance, Armor of Faith, and Defender of Easthaven, it reaches over 100%.

    But then, why stop at physical immunity? Add the Helm of the Rock, Cloak of the Lich, Ring of Fire Control, Ring of Gaxx, Black Dragon armor, and a charge (Protection from Magical Energy) from the Cloak of the Dark Moon - that's immunity to every type of damage.

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