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Would my Kensai(9)->Thief having problem hitting late game enemies?

MangamancerMangamancer Member Posts: 17
And would he be able to backstab reliably throughout SoA?
I kinda worry that his thac0 might not be good enough.
Dualing at lvl.13 is out of the question for me though, Since I would rather play F/T instead.

Also, how many points should I invest in His and Ms before I stop and invest in other skills instead.

Post edited by Mangamancer on


  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,113
    With +3 from Kensai, +3 from GM, and a base of 10 from Thief 21, that's an effective THAC0 (before strength and enchantment bonus) of 4. Better than a priest, worse than a full warrior. When striking from stealth, as you should be as often as possible, that goes down to zero - almost as good as a paladin or ranger. You'll be fine, aside from maybe a few enemies. The Kensai 13 version is only 3 points better in THAC0, and I never had any issues with that.
    Earlier in SoA, you're two points worse in THAC0. When striking from stealth, that puts you on par with a level 16 fighter. You'll be fine.
    The incentive for going to Kensai 13 isn't just the slightly better THAC0; the improved saves, extra damage, and extra 1/2 attack also play a huge role.

    How much stealth? Go for 100/100 - there's usually a shadow you can hide in somewhere nearby. Then come back later for more, so you can hide in broad daylight. There are a number of items that improve stealth that might factor in to that 100/100; the most likely for you to use is the Mercykiller ring.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,646
    edited September 2019
    i did never run a K9->T, but i have some experience with F9->M, that thac0 wise is worst as at high levels the second class thac0 is the one used.

    late game: is not so mlee effective as in soa, and start to miss a lot more. still there are 2 things that can really help him. GM in the MH weapon and crom OH.
    stacked they give a 10 thac0 boost and a 19 damage boost (only 5 of it multiplyed in the stabs).
    for a 2Hweapon user the best str belt gives less boost, but both the staff of the ram, for stabbing and raw damage, and carsomyr, to dispell and get MR, are highly enchanted weapons.
    a level 9 dual is perfectly viable up to the end, still competitive in mlee, not as good as in soa ranged as the returning weapons lack of very high enchantment and the str thac0 boost is not applyed (a very high dex can help) and the thieving skills, spike and time trap, regular ones, assassination and the rest, are still powerful. and some rogue HLA make him more resilient boosting st and making him immune to death spells.
    going to 13 gives end game only a -2 thac0 compared to 9, not a so huge difference.

    about stabbing to hit from invisibility gives thac0 bonus and with the correct build he should be able to stab very effectively trough all soa and even in some tob battles.

    you will have fun.

    EDIT: i agree with @jmerry about the better kensai bonuses at 13 and the +1/2 apr.
    my solution for the apr problem is kundane OH in soa then crom when available. and GM.
    crom's str bonus make every hit way more effective and with kundane, gm and dw you get 4.5 apr that is not bad.
    i would probably prefer a multi FT, no down time, no glass cannon until hla, hla earlier and from both the pools outweight the kai and backstab super damage, but K->T is fun to play, even if a little triky, needing more finesse.
    again your will have fun.

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,113
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    i did never sun a K9->T, but i have some experience with F9->M, that thac0 wise is worst as at high levels the second class thac0 is the one used.
    Base THAC0 on a dual or multi-class character is the best of the values among each of the component classes, and the same is true of base saves. A Kensai 9/Thief 13 has base THAC0 12 from being a fighter and 14 from being a thief, so that's 12. A Kensai 9/Thief 21 has base THAC0 12 from being a fighter and 10 from being a thief, so that's 10.
    The mage dual is stuck with the fighter 9 THAC0 forever; base THAC0 for a mage stops at 13, at level 22.

    So, then, a kensai 9/mage dual ends up with 2 points worse THAC0 than a kensai 9/thief dual - except that you don't get to be invisible unless you use a spell for it. Another four points - now we're talking something serious.
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    going to 13 gives end game only a -2 thac0 compared to 9, not a so huge difference.
    Three points of THAC0, actually - two from the fighter levels overtaking the thief levels and one from the kensai bonus getting bigger.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    You should be amazing in most of SoA, ie the quests typically done early should be a bit of a cake-walk (probably do Nalia's quest very early, unless you really want to have the thief stronghold, because the shield amulet is great to have around. Consider the odd spell like Barkskin that can be used buff AC until you get UAI. Potions work too. You probably will do well enough in the Underdark, but you will be ineffective vs tough foes from then on, but remember you have access to UAI to do things beyond hitting stuff, as well as traps, Detect Illusion, access to a dispel weapon (then again, you aren't likely to be proficient, but mage AC is often bad), and when worst comes to worst, just let your PC concentrate on the mooks when you can't think of how he can help.

    Imho, hoard decent spell scrolls to use at high levels, even buying some as needed. Thief PCs can accrue a lot of money by robbing certain stores/picking pockets.

  • MangamancerMangamancer Member Posts: 17
    Could you guys recommend me how my spending on thief skill points should look like when he is at lvl 10.
    if possible I want my character to be able to pickpocket too.
    No need for find traps or open locks, I have Jan for that.
    How many points should I invest in pickpocket?
    Should I keep it low and spam potion of thievery instead?

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,113
    Recommended pickpocket investment: let Jan do it. He's already competent in it when you get him, and he can max out Find Traps/Open Locks/Detect Illusion in a single level up with his gear. Stealth skills are a low priority for him due to all those invisibility spells he gets, so that just leaves Pick Pockets and Set Traps for him to invest in early.

  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 594
    Lol, i'm playing a Kensai to dual with Thief too, but i plan to dual him at level 24 :D
    Anyway, not for powergaming purposes, i agree with dualing at level 13: +4 damage means +20 damage at full backstab multiplier, then a full APR from your fighter class alone is something amazing to have (especially if you use 2-handed weapons). In SoA achiving level 14 in thief class is quick.

  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 594
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    Fighter 9 needs 250k xp, 13 needs 1.25M.
    Thief 10 needs 160k, 14 needs 880k, uai to finally use armor and the other gear needs 3M xp in the rogue class in both cases, but happens 1M global xp later for the dual at 13.
    I forgot to add that late dualing (level 13) is a pain for full parties, otherwise it's easy doable:
    In my playthrough, as i wrote, i'm playing a kensai too and i started SoA with 840k xp (level 11), i'm still in Waukeen's promenade and i'm already at 950k.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,646
    also i don't own sod and start at the lowest soa xp possible, so for me even reaching 840k xp is a long way, while i am ready to dual at 9 in a couple of low difficulty quests.

    starting at a relatively high xp, running a small party, maybe using tricks like recruit jan to steal scrolls and have him or an other npc (aerie?) learn and erase them while only the mage and charname are in the party, having quest mods that add XP and a completionist attitude or not really affect how a high level dual is worth or not.
    not only for the challenge of the down time, but, and maybe mainly, for the role charname can cover in the party trough the game.
    a K->T that can not stab or use traps in half of soa, has to wait the late part of it to be fighter and thief at the same time and can finally equip all the forbidden gear only in late tob imho defeats the purpose of the build, as in the last tob battles will not be much stronger then other much more easy builds.
    but in setups where he level up much faster everything changes...

  • DaevelonDaevelon Member Posts: 594
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    but in setups where he level up much faster everything changes...
    That's the point; after so many years i can afford to dual very late for meta-gaming reasons, and for xp i exactly do what you wrote, i steal scrolls and make different character learning them.
    For first experiences i always advice to multi-class, dual class can be annoying and uneffective in some cases: for example, i can compare a fighter/thief multi to a kensai/thief dual only if the dual occures in high levels (13+), otherwise i think that the multi is non only much more easy but even stronger in many ways.

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