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How overpowered can you get in BG:EE?

What are you favorite OP builds in the first game? And more specifically how broken can you make a rogue?

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  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    Rogue? Fighter/Thief with boots of haste is some classic cheese. Nothing too complex. You just backstab the enemy, run away before they can do anything, stealth again and come in for another backstab.

    Like it's probably not the most gamebreaking thing on paper, but at the same time almost nobody in BG1 can do anything to stop you. You just backstab with impunity.

    ThacoBellTacticalTruthmonicoBlackraven
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,003
    edited March 2020
    I would echo @sarevok57 that the answer to this question depends on whether you're doing a BG1-only run or playing through the entire saga.

    For BG1 a 19 strength is probably the most OP character creation decision you can make. So half-orc fighter/clerics, fighter/thieves, or berserkers will be super-strong. Though an 18/00 strength fighter/mage is an even better choice power-wise as he can protect himself with mage buffs and disable enemies with sleep. Or you can go with an 18/00 strength fighter/mage/thief if you're looking for versatility as well as power.

    But if you have even the remotest thought you might take the character into BG2, where strength-boosting items and spells are plentiful, I'd jettison all the half-orc ideas and go with either a kitted fighter dual or a half-elf fighter/mage/thief which remains the game's most versatile character throughout the saga.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,803
    edited March 2020
    Archers are pretty kick-ass in BG1. They get bonus to ranged attacks and can achieve grandmastery in longbows, shortbows and crossbows, which really shines until Throne of Bhaal (and is still useful even then for all but the toughest bosses). They also have stealth. Handy if you're playing solo or use a more tactical battle strategy. If you play an elf they'll even get a hit bonus with bows and a little stealth bonus to boot.

    Edit: In BG1 you can only get to mastery in bows/crossbows but still better than anything but a vanilla fighter (a human used to be able to achieve grandmaster in BG1 by dualing from fighter to thief but I'm not sure that's possible in the EE).

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,510
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Archers are pretty kick-ass in BG1. They get bonus to ranged attacks and can achieve grandmastery in longbows, shortbows and crossbows, which really shines until Throne of Bhaal (and is still useful even then for all but the toughest bosses). They also have stealth. Handy if you're playing solo or use a more tactical battle strategy. If you play an elf they'll even get a hit bonus with bows and a little stealth bonus to boot.

    Edit: In BG1 you can only get to mastery in bows/crossbows but still better than anything but a vanilla fighter (a human used to be able to achieve grandmaster in BG1 by dualing from fighter to thief but I'm not sure that's possible in the EE).

    ooooo its possible, it just requires a little bit of trickery that is all, see my above post :)

    Balrog99
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,550
    To correct an earlier post: you can't be a fighter 7/thief 9. That would require 64K + 110K XP, exceeding the 161K XP cap in BGEE (without SoD). If you want to grandmaster a weapon, you need to be a fighter 6/thief 9, and to level up from thief 7 to thief 9 in one step. The game won't let you take the fifth dot if your level in the active class is lower than 9.

    For thieves, dual or multi classes are generally the way to go. A pure thief just doesn't have as many options as a combination with another class, and you'll have more skill points than you know what to do with in the long run anyway.

    For direct combat or backstabbing, build a fighter/thief. The strongest general-purpose backstab build is a fighter (berserker) 6/thief 9 dual class, with grandmastery in a melee weapon as outlined above and a focus on stealth skills. Equip them with boots of speed and a good weapon, and you're good to go. How much damage can you do? Using the +3 staff and Legacy of the Masters gauntlets with two-handed style, that's 48-68 + strength damage on a backstab, or more if you enrage.
    Now, if you're planning to continue your character into BG2, this becomes much less attractive. You're better off waiting until level 7 (an extra half-attack), level 9 (easy grandmastery and minimal downtime), or level 13 (maximum long-term power) to dual-class in that case. Also, going with kensai or wizard slayer kits becomes much more attractive with the promise of eventually wiping out their drawbacks.
    A fighter/thief multiclass is simpler to build and can get amazing saves as a dwarf or halfling, but they lose a bit of damage potential by being limited to specialization. Also, they only hit thief level 8 at the BG1 cap, for 3x backstabs instead of 4x. The multiclass, with the same equipment I noted above, ends up at only 27-42 + strength backstab damage.

    A thief/mage meshes very well; there's a reason BG2 gives you multiple options in this category. Going dual-class thief into mage effectively gives you a full-powered (generalist) mage with a better weapon selection and some utility thief skills, as seen with Imoen's BG2 incarnation. The multiclass option gets you a full-featured thief in exchange for slowing down access to high-level spells, as seen with Jan. If dual-classing in BG1, level 6 is probably the best time; you'll reach mage level 9 just before the XP cap.

    A cleric/thief is a bit of an oddball without much obvious synergy, but it's still plenty powerful. Clubs and staves are the only cleric-legal backstabbing weapons, but that's OK because staves deal so much damage. I'd recommend trying out Tiax before building a PC version. Also, note that there's not enough room on the action bar for everything you can do; thieving gets bumped off to the special abilities button. I recommend hotkeying it if you're running a cleric/thief.

    The thief kits?
    A swashbuckler is an alternative to a fighter/thief. It's great in the long run, and an interesting option to dual away from, but it takes a while to come into its own. In BG1, a multiclass fighter/thief will have more attacks per round, equal THAC0, and the option to wear heavy armor for better AC - because you're not going to use thief skills in combat unless you're backstabbing anyway.
    An assassin gets poison, a small combat boost, and bigger backstabs eventually. The higher multiplier isn't a match for the damage boost fighter-thief dual classes get. In exchange, you lose out on skill points - you'll probably focus on stealth first, and that means it'll be a while before you're any good at the other skills.
    A bounty hunter is all about the traps - too bad Yoshimo's not very good at the skill. If that's something you like, go for it; it's not something that can be duplicated otherwise.
    A shadowdancer gets the truly amazing ability to hide while being watched, at the heavy cost of a lower backstab multiplier and an inability to set traps. It's powerful with patience, and very much its own thing.

    Of course, there are many paths to power. I just had Imoen celebrate getting her thief skills back by backstabbing the worgs at Seawatcher - four swings, three hits, 195 total damage. Ogre form for the smash. Completely wasteful, but fun nonetheless.

    But really, the character I've built that most dominated BG1 was a simple shapeshifter druid. 16 Con, 18 Wis, 18 Cha, and the other stats hardly matter. Tons of spellcasting power, up to True Seeing and Insect Plague for tough fights. Saves as good as a paladin. Werewolf form in combat for 3 APR, fast movement, high damage, excellent AC, and magic resistance. And... well, I built a whole werewolf-themed party around that and a mod exploit. Then I dropped him in BG2, because he wasn't even my Bhaalspawn and I could take Cernd instead.

    monicoGrond0Aerakar
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 571
    Totemic Druid: fast level up, good spells, at XP cap, special summons are immune to most spells & normal weapons.
    It was probably my easiest solo game, and it was so easy that I did it poverty + no-direct damage from PC (summons did all the damage, while PC only buffed/debuffed) until the final fight (here I used Stunning Darts).

    Funnily, it is an almost easier solo if you play LoB as your summons are buffed too.

    Cheese fact: start your Totemic Druid (or any other druid for that matter) in the Black Pits, they can get up to lvl11 (instead of lvl10 in BG1 cap) and access to level 6 spells: summon Fire Elementals along your Totemic Spirits, they can clear almost any enemies (Fire Elementals are immune to normal AND +1 weapons).

    OlvynChuru
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,877
    As the OP asked specifically about thieves, I thought I would flesh out slightly what @jmerry said about shadowdancers. If you put all your skill points into stealth and keep to dark areas you will only fail to hide about 1% of the time. That allows you to backstab enemies with impunity if you're willing to be patient enough, allowing you to complete BGEE without anything ever attacking you, much less doing any damage.

    In order to ensure you can stealth again immediately after attacking (to avoid any chance of retaliation), activate something while you're still in stealth (such as clicking on a weapon as if you were going to force-attack). That will start the stealth cooldown timer, without you actually leaving stealth. With a bit of practice you can get into the habit of backstabbing before you come out of stealth, but with the stealth cooldown already expired so you can restealth immediately. Initiative does affect this, so there is a slight chance of that timing failing - in that case (or if your attempt to restealth fails), just activate your shadowstep ability and run away. In the unlikely event you have to do that more than once in a combat, you can use a potion of invisibility to escape instead.

    Aerakar
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,003
    edited March 2020
    Yeah, shadowdancers give you some of the functionality a MT or FMT would have, letting you repeatedly go invisible and then backstab. It's an entertaining run-through all things considered, though shadowdancers overall are a lot weaker than MTs or FMTs.

    Post edited by jsaving on
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,550
    edited March 2020
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Initiative does affect this...
    Initiative is generally very important to backstabbers; even if you're not playing a shadowdancer, it's key to avoiding retaliation. Strike and retreat, rinse and repeat.

    The part of initiative you can affect? Weapon speed and proficiency bonuses. Zero is the best possible here. The basic numbers, for backstab-capable weapons:
    Staff 4, Katana 4, Long Sword 5, Scimitar 5, Wakizashi 3, Ninja-to 4, Short Sword 3, Club 4, Dagger 2.
    Each point of weapon enchantment: -1.
    Two-handed style: -2 for one dot, -4 for two dots.
    Weapon proficiency: -1 for four dots, -3 for five dots.
    Kensai kit: -1 per four levels.
    The easiest way to reach zero in BG1? Use a +2 or better staff with two-handed style, or use a +2 or better dagger. Weapons of this quality can be purchased as early as chapter 1, in Ulgoth's Beard and Beregost respectively.

    Post edited by jmerry on
    Grond0Aerakar
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,877
    jmerry wrote: »
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Initiative does affect this...
    Initiative is generally very important to backstabbers; even if you're not playing a shadowdancer, it's key to avoiding retaliation. Strike and retreat, rinse and repeat.

    The part of initiative you can effect? Weapon speed and proficiency bonuses. Zero is the best possible here. The basic numbers, for backstab-capable weapons:
    Staff 4, Katana 4, Long Sword 5, Scimitar 5, Wakizashi 3, Ninja-to 4, Short Sword 3, Club 4, Dagger 2.
    Each point of weapon enchantment: -1.
    Two-handed style: -2 for one dot, -4 for two dots.
    Weapon proficiency: -1 for four dots, -3 for five dots.
    Kensai kit: -1 per four levels.
    The easiest way to reach zero in BG1? Use a +2 or better staff with two-handed style, or use a +2 or better dagger. Weapons of this quality can be purchased as early as chapter 1, in Ulgoth's Beard and Beregost respectively.

    That's all true, but some people may not be aware that there's also a random part of initiative that you can't affect (details here if anyone is interested) - which is why it's not always quite as easy for a shadowdancer to backstab and restealth as it might appear.

    Aerakar
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 958
    Grond0 wrote: »
    That allows you to backstab enemies with impunity if you're willing to be patient enough, allowing you to complete BGEE without anything ever attacking you, much less doing any damage.

    Makes me wonder if anyone has ever played a (very reloady) game where nothing has even accomplished an attack roll, let alone damage.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,877
    edited April 2020
    Quickblade wrote: »
    Grond0 wrote: »
    That allows you to backstab enemies with impunity if you're willing to be patient enough, allowing you to complete BGEE without anything ever attacking you, much less doing any damage.

    Makes me wonder if anyone has ever played a (very reloady) game where nothing has even accomplished an attack roll, let alone damage.

    The main difficulty with doing it as a thief would be the travel ambushes. However, I quite often make an incidental attempt to avoid being attacked or taking any damage as an arcane character. That's very possible, even in no-reload.

    Post edited by Grond0 on
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