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What's more fun: Paladin or Fighter/Cleric

Heya :)

I am completely new to the Balder's Gate games. My favourite type of character to play in rpg games is a religious knight kind of character. I started my first playthrough of Baldur's Gate II as a paladin, but it occurred to me shortly afterwards that I could have also gone for a fighter/cleric.

So, my question is: Which one of these builds is more interesting to play. I am not looking for the strongest build or the most efficient min-maxed path through the game. I am sure there are arguments to be made for whichever of these builds is the strongest, but that's not what I'm looking for.

Which build do you think offers a more fun and interesting experience of the game from start to finish? :)



  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,340
    paladin i would say

    with fighter/clerics you are going to be very restrictive of weapons choices, but with paladins the sky is the limit ( unless you are a cavalier ) and in fact there is a two handed sword in BG 2 that is strictly made for them and them only, its a cool sword, so if you are into two handed swords its a sword you will definitely want

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,589
    I would go for paladin as well, though I would argue that cavalier is the most fun to play, mainly because of the massive advantages it brings (immunity to fear and poison, plus resistance to acid and fire). If you want to be able to go toe-to-toe with dragons and demons then cavalier is your guy.

    Of course, as a paladin you access to spells is far more restricted than the fighter cleric and if you like spellcasting and having the ability to buff your character before battle then the latter might work better for you.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,113
    edited September 2019
    In play, a paladin has very limited spellcasting - only up to level 4 spells, up to three slots per spell level, and no bonus slots from high wisdom. A level 8 cleric with 18 wisdom already has more spell power, aside from caster-level dependent effects, than a paladin at the BG2 experience cap.
    Going through the lawful good fighter/cleric options:

    Fighter dual-classed to cleric. You can pick up a companion that already does this in (Sir) Anomen, and he's a good introduction to what it's like. You're at pretty much full power as a cleric, so you can do fun things like make liches explode with Turn Undead or dispel all the buffs of even boss-level caster enemies. As a warrior, you get the bonus attacks and can go up to grand mastery in your chosen weapon(s), but you don't gain access to warrior high-level abilities to really fight well in the late game. Fighter kits are an option here, but the only one that really plays well is the berserker - which can't be lawful.

    Fighter/cleric multiclass. There's a BG1 companion with this in the form of Yeslick. This is the option for non-humans, and all but elves and halflings can do it. You're less powerful as a caster, with slow access to high level spells and reduced high level spell slots in the long run, but you also continue to progress as a warrior. Your saving throws take longer to develop unless you play as a short race (dwarf power!), but you gain access to both the warrior and priest high-level abilities.

    Cleric dual-classed to fighter. This is a bit of an odd choice, since doing it in that order gives up a bunch of HP, but it's actually closest to the paladin experience in the long run. In exchange for a few levels off your fighter progression, reduced HP, and the weapon restrictions, you gain limited but still substantial casting ability. I'd probably take 9 to 11 levels of cleric, for access to at least fifth level spells and possibly sixth at the cost of one to three levels of fighter in the long run. Cleric kits are an option here, and any of Helm, Lathander, or Tyr would be glad to have a paladin-type. There's a discussion of the build in the thread here.

    Paladin. It's restricted to specialization in weapons like the fighter/cleric, it doesn't get casting at all until level 9, and it levels slower than a pure fighter. Think of it more as a five-sixths fighter/one-sixth cleric combination than the half fighter/half cleric multiclass. In exchange, it gets some extra abilities, interesting kits, and the ability to use nearly any weapon in the game. There are even two paladin-only weapons for the endgame, in Carsomyr and Purifier (two-handed sword, bastard sword). Sadly, you can only upgrade one of them since they share the same upgrade item.
    Both BG1 and BG2 have paladin companions, in Ajantis and Keldorn. Keldorn has the Inquisitor kit, which drops spellcasting in favor of some powerful anti-caster innate abilities.

    They're all interesting enough to play, and there's no reason you can't build a party with more than one of them.

    Post edited by jmerry on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,730
    Paladin, no contest (for me anyway). One of the most fun classes to roleplay.

  • BertleBertle Member Posts: 39
    There's no real right or wrong choice for classes in BG as you can be successful with any (though some require more creativity while others are more point and click). The points made here really summarize the different feel to the two choices, so go with whichever seems to fit your style most!

    All that being said - paladins are way more fun but their stronghold sucks compared to the fighter or even cleric stronghold. But if you're going to do a "lawful good" style playthrough, I say go the full paladin!

  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 483
    For the most fun, i'd go with fighter/cleric.

    Paladin is more of a.. well, as you say, religious knight. If that's your thing, then Pallies fit the bill very well.
    But for spells and divine powers, paladins kind of only have Armor of Faith and lay on hands up until you get to 3 million xp or more (basically Throne of Bhaal), and you unlock some High Level Abilities, such as Smite.

    In other words, for very large portions of the game Paladins are really just Fighters with Armor of Faith self buff and a juicy twohanded sword in BG2..

    However, the cavaliers are some of the most powerfull single classes/kits there are, especially in the hands of a new player, as they have immunities and resistances without buffs - that many other class combos struggle to get even with buffs.. so for straight forward liberal dispensing of buttkicks of justice, Cavaliers sure are a good choice.

    Fighter/cleric however is.. well, first and foremost, extremely newbie friendly. There's not one single situation you can't solve with the right buffs (that typically last quite long) and a beefy weapon.
    The others mention a twohanded sword for Pallies, but there's a hammer and a flail available to any class that can wield such weapons, that will transform your fighter/cleric into a lean, mean killing machine..

    Also clerics have a huuuuge array of tactical choices. There are so many ways to use the buffs and offensive spells combined, that you can pretty much alter your approach from fight to fight, where as paladins will be paladins (face-tank evil doers and swing a really big sword)

    The others mention fighter/clerics having poor spell casting prowess, but here's a fact for you:
    Max caster lvl is lvl 20. If your caster class is 35, you still cast spells (as in 1D6 for every 3 caster levels) as if you were level 20.

    Paladins lag 8 caster levels behind.. meaning they don't reach Caster level 20, until character lvl 28.. which is pretty close to end of the game for paladins (level slow)

    a fighter/cleric will reach lvl 20 for cleric class (probably) before paladin gets to 28, despite being multiclass, because the clerics level quite quickly..

    In other words; fighter/clerics will reach maximum casting power, as a single class cleric - but also be a badass fighter with buffs and offensive spells a plenty.

    Example: Paladin and F/C both can cast Armor of Faith for 20% damage reduction and Draw Upon Holy Might to get beefy stats, then waltz in and kill shit.

    A fighter/cleric however, can deploy a Blade Barrier at the same time.. meaning you not only become a killing machine, you do ridiculous amounts of damage just standing there with the blade barrier..
    To top it off.. you can cast BB, and then cast Sanctuary - and it works. You can cast both, then walk into any group of enemies and just watch as they get slaughtered without a single attempt at killing you, because of sanctuary.. (you need to cast BB first, then sanctuary due to it being an offensive action)
    It's an extremely cheesy tactic, but it requiers only 2 spells and you can beat very nearly every single encounter in the game like this..

    A half-orc fighter/cleric is one of easiest extreme power houses to play, and i think they work magnificently as a religious knight type of character, because you get so much more divine powers than a paladin does..

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 666
    I really like fighter/clerics

    You aren’t tied to being a human and you can role play in a number of ways depending on your god, alignment, race etc

    I find paladins quite restrictive to rp. You can headcanon all sort of reasons why your paladin is romancing Viconia or are travelling with Dorn but it doesn’t really stand up

    F/C can do the D’Arnise Keep quests, one of my favourites. In contrast, I dislike the paladin stronghold

    Also using a cleric means you fill the cleric gap in the canon party, can have a good cleric in early BG and there is less need to take Aerie or Anomen in BG2, both of whom I find very irritating

    With self buffing you can be a great slinger (there is a great thread analysing this) and you can still use crushing weapons which are often the best and feature the iconic mace of disruption, crom faeyr and flail of ages

    Animate dead is one of the best summons. You can end up with ludicrous strength levels and get the nice holy symbol

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,646
    paladins are good from a RP point of view and have their own power, surely are not a bad choice.

    but i would go for FC, multi or even better the 2 possible dual class forms, mainly for the reasons @Khyron tells.

    i would add that is true that the cleric is limited in the weapons he can use, but one of them, flail of ages, is one of the best weapons in the game, you can have it in early soa and is good up to the end game, an other, the defender of estheaven, gives a very useful damage reduction and is the perfect companion of the other as they share the same weapon proficiency, dual weld them and you are set to go, from almost the start to the very end. as ranged the sling has few apr, but stacking an enchanted one and enchanted bullets and having good str each hit do a lot of damage.

    talking of str a cleric has buffs to bring it at 25, thing that gives +7 thac0 and +14 damage, and from mid soa he can do it multiple times, with added benefits like increased HP, better con for even more HP, and maxed damage roll (a weapon that roll 1d6 for damage always roll 6).

    the multi is balanced and has no down time, good fighter (with hla at high level) and good divine caster, a lot of utility for the party and effective as frontliner.

    the dual from cleric is interesting, and i would start from the lathander kit and dual at 11 to have 2 cast of the boon, that can stack giving you +2 apr for 11 rounds (it lasts x rounds at x cleric level up to 20 rounds).
    this, the fighter hla and thac0 and a good, but not special divine casting capability make it fun to play.

    about the dual from fighter read this thread of mine about anomen
    a charname can have better proficiency choices (GM in flail as soon as possible, at least 2 pips in DW and the rest in sling), better stats, and possibly can dual at 13 instead of 7 for a better apr and better thac0 not buffed. also 9 is a good dual point, but the dual into cleric is the one that suffer less if done early as there is a spell of the buffing sequence that give the thac0 of a fighter of your cleric level.
    you can also start with the berseker kit, really useful.

    i would say paladin or multi fc if you hate to buff and prepare for battle, dual from fighter if you want to go for the real power and you are willing to learn how to use effectively a cleric and his spells, the ones that buff him and the ones that protect the party, damage the enemy and summon helpers.

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