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Shaman and Jaheira grouped together?

In a group with a shaman player character and Jaheira, at high levels would the player character feel redundant?

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Comments

  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    edited March 7
    I agree with @Zaxares on the statistics. But frankly, any party of six should work well enough in the game, so why not?

    For instance, I’ve played a group of six with a dualled fighter/druid Main character, Cernd AND Jaheira and enjoyed it in one of my early playthroughs. It felt very druidy. The dialogues between Cernd and Jaheira were also quite interesting.

    Post edited by Dharius on
    ChroniclergorgonzolailduderinoJuliusBorisov
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    I guess that's true. I've done parties with three mages for example.

    It just seems like it would be ungratifying for your player character to just be a less badass version of one of your companions. Like Jaheira would have more spell slots than me. So she's a better caster. But she's also got all her fighter abilities on top of that.

    DhariusgorgonzolailduderinoJuliusBorisov
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    Maybe it’s just me. I like to play with main characters with mediocre stats, just to prove what a cool controller I am. :)

    Chroniclergorgonzola
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    I usually play bards, who admittedly aren't powerhouses themselves, but that usually doesn't bother me because I'm the only bard in the group. Like if I were playing some really mediocre jester and then I brought Haer'Dalis into the group it'd be like "So why am I hear now?"

    DhariusThacoBellgorgonzolaSkatan
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Jaheira should feel more like a fighter in your situation. You can do the summons and bees while she can use buffs and ironskins to get down and dirty. It's only redundant if you use both of them as primary spellcasters.

    Okay. Thank you. That's a good way to think of it. I'll just try to customize their spells towards different roles. You've talked me into it.

    Balrog99
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,843
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Jaheira should feel more like a fighter in your situation. You can do the summons and bees while she can use buffs and ironskins to get down and dirty. It's only redundant if you use both of them as primary spellcasters.

    If you're neutral-good you can use Azuredge to good advantage too. Watch the undead melt to your fury!

    Chronicler
  • ShangerooShangeroo Member Posts: 84
    I don’t think so either. So this gives you more tactical option and creativity with Druid spells. When I had Jaheira in my party her job was just to summon bugs and then stand back and look pretty. Not sure what your party composition is, but perhaps you can have her memorize the utility spells like True sight and summons elementals and your shaman can focus on the offensive spells. Also if you’re like me, I try to stretch out as many fights as I can without resting. So even if both memorize similar the same insect spells you can use her for this purpose too.

    Balrog99Chroniclergorgonzola
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    The full group I'm planning on going with is

    Player character: Shaman
    Imoen: Thief -> Mage
    Jaheira: Fighter/Druid
    Valygar: Stalker
    Neera: Wild Mage
    Haer'Dalid: Blade

    The fun thing about this group is it covers every thief skill except Set Traps without really having a dedicated thief as such. Imoen is the only one with any thief levels at all and she basically just learned Pick Locks and Find Traps before becoming a full time mage.

    Balrog99gorgonzola
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,843
    Chronicler wrote: »
    The full group I'm planning on going with is

    Player character: Shaman
    Imoen: Thief -> Mage
    Jaheira: Fighter/Druid
    Valygar: Stalker
    Neera: Wild Mage
    Haer'Dalid: Blade

    The fun thing about this group is it covers every thief skill except Set Traps without really having a dedicated thief as such. Imoen is the only one with any thief levels at all and she basically just learned Pick Locks and Find Traps before becoming a full time mage.

    Good mix! Are you going to use Jan, Nalia or Yoshimo as your thief before getting Imoen back? Jan or Yoshimo fit your party better than Nalia IMHO, but Nalia's more like Imoen for the theme...

    Chronicler
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    I hadn't put any thought into it. Probably Yoshimo. Segueing from him into Imoen is pretty natural, since he leaves on his own around the same time as she joins. Not like you have to have the whole "I'm booting you from the party because of a 6 person party limit that exists as a gameplay mechanic but not really as a force in the story itself so our conversation is awkward and stilted because we can't acknowledge what's happening here" talk.

    DhariusBalrog99ThacoBell
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    edited March 7
    Yeah I like that party you've put together - Jaheira can use all the heavy armour you find (and so can Haer Dalis perhaps later with UAI, although it's probably not in his interests to do so) and has that useful Harper's Call ability to raise party members when needed.

    I agree that Yoshimo works best before Imoen. Hexxat, Nalia and Jan are characters I'd consider as a party thief if you don't intend to take Imoen along at all, or just like a lot of extra thieves in the party (and I do ;) )

    The only thing I'd consider changing is introducing a Cleric to turn undead (which I think is incredibly useful in BG2/TOB, but not so in BG1), so if I was playing I'd probably substitute Aerie/Anomen/Viconia for Neera, but I guess it's a matter of how you choose to play the game, so it's not essential. Of those though I'd probably choose Aerie, for the conversations with the other characters, and the mage class which complements your party.

    Chroniclergorgonzola
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    In one of the players handbooks I read that shamans don't tend to get along with clerics. Clerics don't tend to respect the spiritual world, viewing it as beneath the realm of the gods. Shamans and druids tend to get along pretty well. Spirits aren't like druids main thing but they respect the role spirits play in a natural ecosystem. It seemed like a good hook for a party.

    Also I I tend to take 1 enhanced edition NPC in every group. I just like them. So if I got rid of Neera, I'd have to work Rasaad into the party, and it would just throw the whole thing into disarray really quickly.

    Dhariusgorgonzola
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 475
    I've recently played a no-cleric party for my werewolf run (fighter-thief protagonist, Jaheira, Cernd, Rasaad, Jan, Haer'Dalis) and it went fine. Undead can be troublesome, but you can always just fight them.

    There are a few notable holes in the druid/shaman spell list - no restoration, no resurrection, not many buffs. Jaheira gets her personal noncombat variant of Raise Dead, but that's it until HLAs. Also, there's some very tough competition for 5th level druid slots. With all the vampires in BG2, make sure to pick up plenty of scrolls of restoration. You'll also want to buy that rod of resurrection from Ribald ASAP.

    Now, once you get to HLA spells... "Mass Raise Dead" is really Mass Resurrection, with a very quick casting time. It is an utterly fantastic spell, even better than its description.

    DhariusChroniclergorgonzola
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    edited March 7
    @Chronicler Fair enough.

    Otherwise there are some mage and druid spells that might help against Undead, like that Level 7 spell Control Undead (I think that's what it's called). Negative Plane Protection and Restoration are also very important against Shades and Wraiths - but luckily there are a lot of Restoration scrolls out there that can be used by anyone who can read :) Or you could just visit a temple I suppose.

    Chronicler
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    edited March 8
    @jmerry gah you beat me to it regarding the need for Restoration. Ah well :)

    Post edited by Dharius on
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    jmerry wrote: »
    I've recently played a no-cleric party for my werewolf run (fighter-thief protagonist, Jaheira, Cernd, Rasaad, Jan, Haer'Dalis) and it went fine. Undead can be troublesome, but you can always just fight them.

    There are a few notable holes in the druid/shaman spell list - no restoration, no resurrection, not many buffs. Jaheira gets her personal noncombat variant of Raise Dead, but that's it until HLAs. Also, there's some very tough competition for 5th level druid slots. With all the vampires in BG2, make sure to pick up plenty of scrolls of restoration. You'll also want to buy that rod of resurrection from Ribald ASAP.

    Now, once you get to HLA spells... "Mass Raise Dead" is really Mass Resurrection, with a very quick casting time. It is an utterly fantastic spell, even better than its description.

    Wait, Shamans/Druids can't cast restoration?

    That's the spell that undoes Level Drain, right?

    Ah geeze. I'm kind of put out by that if that's true and I've got that right. I guess I could just go to a church every time it happens but I might have to reconsider some stuff.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 475
    You don't have to go to a church for restoration, at least regularly. In BG1 (pre-SoD), there's no level-draining enemies. In BG2, there are plenty of scrolls you can buy or steal; that party I mentioned had a stack of something like 30 by the end of the game, and that's with using them after pretty much every encounter I took drain in. Those scrolls can be used by any literate party member, and all you have to worry about is the usual fatigue cost.

    Negative Plane Protection, at least, is on the druid/shaman list. It only lasts five rounds, but that's the same as for clerics.

    Chroniclergorgonzolaiosfrustration
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    Another solution is to take Dorn rather than Neera, as he can turn undead (or rather control them), has constant Negative Plane Protection, and is an EE character. But he’s very hard work in BG2, and quite unsavoury in his quests...be prepared for reputation to fluctuate if you take him.

    Chronicler
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 437
    The Shaman could chant “She’s a good, she’s a good, she’s not true neutral, she’s a good”, whilst Jaheira takes care of business.

    ChroniclerDhariusiosfrustration
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    Yeah, the druids in Baldur's Gate only really seem to be True Neutral because their class demands they be.

    True Neutral doesn't tend to be a very adventurous alignment. One who doesn't skew strongly towards good or evil, law or chaos, is likely just some unassuming farmer or merchant tending to their own affairs and not gallivanting around crusading for some grand cause.

    The problem is definitely with the 2e rule set on this one. Obviously we want to make druid characters for our game, but the rules dictate that the druids not be any alignment likely to actually participate in the events of the game. So we'll just put that alignment on their character sheet and then ignore it I guess.

    Dharius
  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 93
    Good and Evil don’t really have much difference in the truly neutral worldview. The opposite of Good is Evil. The opposite of evil is good.
    But the opposite of Neutral is - everything that is not neutral. Neutral defines itself by what it is not.

    That being the case perhaps it really was too hard to write a true neutral character that anyone wanted to play (there are not too many Cernd fan clubs). Maybe they gave up and True Neutral became “not really any alignment”

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,372
    edited March 8
    Shangeroo wrote: »
    When I had Jaheira in my party her job was just to summon bugs and then stand back and look pretty.
    really? my jaheiras are in mlee all the time, DW speed weapons for 8-10 apr when improved hasted.
    different players different styles, but every style is good as long as it works for the player.

    Chronicler wrote: »
    The fun thing about this group is it covers every thief skill except Set Traps without really having a dedicated thief as such.
    skull trap and later delayed fireball can do the trick in many situations, later haer dalis can use the hla traps.


    Dharius wrote: »
    The only thing I'd consider changing is introducing a Cleric to turn undead (which I think is incredibly useful in BG2/TOB, but not so in BG1)
    i agree about turn undead being super useful in bg2, but only with a high level cleric so viconia or anomen, in my experience aerie works only in little parties, in large ones is too under leveled to be really useful and when she becomes so vampires are already a joke.

    but going without clerics there are some other options beyond the ones already mentioned by others.
    1. blade's defensive spin, with it and maybe some spell that further improve haer dalis ac he will be hit and level drained only on critical misses. when he is in my parties is the main tool i use to deal with the vampire encounters in the town and in the early dungeons, if i am not wrong using also luck make him 100% safe.
    2. PFMW, when becomes available gives for its duration a complete protection against the vampires attacks so their level drain (stoneskin does not work).
    3. adzuredge is very good as it work ranged, but the mace of destruction and the amulet of power are even better as make immune to level draining, be sure to have them and to equip who tank with them. and the sword you loot from the lich in the city gates area is super useful as well.
    4. vanilla vampires don't see trough invisibility, it can be used to place your toons in the best positions to have the protected ones attacked, but also to save your party when they are ambushed, like when you enter the graveyard area for the bodhi's final battle. a mage with rov and aop can cast mass invisibility fast enough that is possible that the party goes invisible before some one is level drained, or potions can be used.
    5. having haer dalis with defensive spin, a mage with pfmw or someone with one of the 2 items that protect from level drain tanking it is very important that the rest of the party uses ranged weapons that can hit the vampires, for the mages MMM is the best anti vampire weapon, high enchantment, high apr and fire damage.

    with clerics or without them in the party i can not remember the last time i had a toon level drained by a vampire, and i routinely fight all the vampires i find, even the completely optional ones. before learning how to deal with them they was my worst nightmare, "give me dragons, give me liches, but please not vampires", now i see them only as a little annoyance that need some tactics and precautions.
    unless we are talking of undead sola with the (not EE compatible) solaufein mod, that is an undead that deserves respect and fear.
    if you romance solaufein you have to fight against him in the last battle with bodhi while he is half lich, half vampire, uses SI divination, abjuration and alteration, so non way to target him with spells or dispel magic/RROR. and being a multi FM he attack you with his level draining attacks while using PFMW and being immune to the normal weapons as every respectable lich is. to avoid that he level drains and kills half party you have to use really sound tactics when you don't go for the utter cheese route

    Dharius
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    edited March 8
    Yes, in 2e there appeared to be two types of True Neutral:

    * the one for the vast majority of commoners, villagers and humans and half elves in cities. However, most of these tended towards good over evil (but are not defined as such), owing to the need to socialise and form groups to promote healthy communal living, and cared little about excessive lawful or chaotic behaviour, and
    * The more abstract version associated with druids, who seem to view good and evil and law and chaos as illusions, or perhaps just sides of a coin, and should remain in balance to preserve the universal status quo etc. Etc. Yada yada

    I’d argue that these are actually two separate alignments and philosophies, but were bundled together for convenience in 2e as you say. Luckily in 3e, druids began to be allowed to develop their own variations on the philosophy, just like bards and barbarians do. Cernd and Jaheira are probably best defined as True Neutral with good tendencies, or perhaps even NG, and don’t fit very well in evil parties. The shadow druids are probably True Neutral, with some showing evil tendencies.

    Alignments are just a basic way of seeing morality and values anyway, but are needed in D&D to classify characters easily, just like the ancient greeks used air, earth, fire and water to define the elements. It turned out to be complete nonsense, but it was a reasonable start...

    gorgonzolaChronicleriosfrustration
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 371
    @ilduderino that sounds a lot like Ebeneezer Goode...I see what you did there...

    I never understood what those lyrics meant, of course...

    ilduderinoiosfrustration
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    Dharius wrote: »
    Yes, in 2e there appeared to be two types of True Neutral:

    * the one for the vast majority of commoners, villagers and humans and half elves in cities. However, most of these tended towards good over evil (but are not defined as such), owing to the need to socialise and form groups to promote healthy communal living, and cared little about excessive lawful or chaotic behaviour, and
    * The more abstract version associated with druids, who seem to view good and evil and law and chaos as illusions, or perhaps just sides of a coin, and should remain in balance to preserve the universal status quo etc. Etc. Yada yada

    I’d argue that these are actually two separate alignments and philosophies, but were bundled together for convenience in 2e as you say. Luckily in 3e, druids began to be allowed to develop their own variations on the philosophy, just like bards and barbarians do. Cernd and Jaheira are probably best defined as True Neutral with good tendencies, or perhaps even NG, and don’t fit very well in evil parties. The shadow druids are probably True Neutral, with some showing evil tendencies.

    Alignments are just a basic way of seeing morality and values anyway, but are needed in D&D to classify characters easily, just like the ancient greeks used air, earth, fire and water to define the elements. It turned out to be complete nonsense, but it was a reasonable start...

    I mean, it seems kind of obtuse to argue that good and evil, law and chaos, don't exist in the world when these are measurable and testable qualities.

    Take that anti-chaotic sword and whack a few things with it. Can you observe the difference in how it impacts its targets. Are the targets it impacts differently in keeping with our societal understanding of what "chaotic" means? Well there you go. Chaos is real.

    It'd be like basing an alignment around being an atheist. In a world where the gods hold press conferences and praying good enough gives you superpowers.

  • ShangerooShangeroo Member Posts: 84
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    Shangeroo wrote: »
    When I had Jaheira in my party her job was just to summon bugs and then stand back and look pretty.
    really? my jaheiras are in mlee all the time, DW speed weapons for 8-10 apr when improved hasted.
    different players different styles, but every style is good as long as it works for the player.


    I’ve only used her it was in full parties and I never felt I really needed her to fight. And I think I’ve only kept her in 3 play through to my recollection as she’s really not my favorite. I used her I played a Necromancer, a F/M in two play thoughs pre EE and a bezerker/mage in another in EE. That later one I also had Korgan so between the 2 of them, everything was already dead. Even with having 5 others, I tend to focus on tactics with my main char doing most of the work either killing via spells or melee or a combination of both so she wasn’t needed other than to summon insects(5th lvl spell which is better than the 7th lvl imo, I prefer duration vs dmg for that spell).

    Chroniclergorgonzola
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 732
    @Dharius In 2e true neutral and unaligned were the same alignment, which was called TN.

    @Chronicler Druids have always been unable to cast the staple cleric spells lesser restoration, zone of sweet air or raise dead. However Jaheira has the latter two on her spell list making her the only druid in the game who can more or less fill in for a cleric.

    @ilduderino Based on their actions you are totally right to say the Shadow Druids are neutral evil while Jaheira is neutral good. In fact one of the very first BG1 mod requests was to change Jaheira's TN alignment to match her NG actions.

    gorgonzola
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,192
    A couple people have seemed to imply the contrary, so I just think it's worth noting that one of the special Shaman exclusive spells they get is a resurrection spell.

    It's apparently quite convenient, since spontaneous spell casting means you don't need to devote any spell slots towards it. You can just use whatever spare slots are left after the battle's over to revive the fallen.

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