Greetings to all of you Baldur's gate fans! Especially to those who recognise that BG and sequels are, indeed, the best games ever made in the history of mankind.
After almost 15 years of hiatus, I have come back to play BG recently, with EE editions and I am finding it every bit of a brilliant experience as it was back in the old days when the game just came out. Anyway, I am around midway through the SoA (I actually have never finished this game, but going well so hard...on 'core' difficulty, of course) and, as is my tradition, I am already planning for the next playthrough. I strictly refuse to play the game as anything other than a mage, cleric, druid, fighter/cleric or fighter/druid (no fighter/mage as I don't like how OP it is). Since I have always enjoyed arcane casters, it will definitely be a specialist mage.
So, I have this vision that mages as a class are good in doing 5 things:
a) debuff/crowd control enemies
b) buff their own party (haste, improved haste, protection from fire...)
c) face tank (via PfMW, PfME, spell immunities and turning etc)
d) deal lots of damage
e) participate in mage fencing
My current sorcerer is a little bit of everything, but I feel like he doesn't do any of these things perfectly. So I want to do a playthrough with a specialist mage who will focus on two or three of the above, and then have another mage that will do the rest. Supported by other party members, of course. So, I have two questions:
1. Which school specialisation is the best for two or three of the above? And which complements well with other (good-aligned) mages in the game?
My initial idea is to roll an Enchanter to do a), c) and e). Enchanter should be good in crowd control, as most of the spells in their school have saving throws, so, in theory, their specialisation should help them land more often. Also, since they can cast Abjuration spells, they still can do most of the self-buffs that will make them good tanks (I was so proud in my current playthrough when I single-handedly defeated all the beholder and elder orbs in the lair in Underdark with SI: Necromancy, SI: Enchantment, Spell Turning, skull trap and some crowd controllers). And also, from the RP perspective, I find my ideal spooky mage to be not someone who can deal tons of damage, but someone who can control minds of others and turn them one against the other.
However, there are some problems too. Firstly, it is quite hard to get a good roll, with needing 16 in that pointless charisma. Taking into account that I possibly want to use wish too, there is literally no proper dump stat (I think it is quite a bad idea to use strength as a dump), so I need a roll of around 95 or so to be competent. Also, I would miss some evocation spells - not damage ones, this wouldn't be a damage dealer, but things like fire shields (they look pretty and I am shallow, don't judge me), web, stinking cloud... Finally, and this is the biggest problem, I heard that when you reach ToB, every squirrel and their mother will have 150% immunity to magic and save vs. spell in the range of -50, so it becomes next to impossible to land any of the cool enchantment crowd controls such as feeblemind.
The alternative would be an Illusionist, which is also cool from the RP perspective (but not as much as Enchanters).
So, what are your experiences in the whole saga with Enchanters in this role? Does it make sense or is it better to go with the Illusionist (no clue what their stats look like).
2. With SCS (which I totally want to try) and their supposedly massive improved enemy targeting, does the concept of a 'face tank' become pointless? For example, if I turn all my buffs on and run in front of the group to meet beholder, will they just (after a few shots of their rays, which at the rate they are firing lasts for around 0.01 sec) realise they cannot hurt me and then ignore me and obliterate the rest of my (unprotected) party? Or, in general, does it make sense anymore to have a character whose main point is to be able to sustain a barrage of fire (and not being able to land any crowd controllers because of the saving throws) if the enemies will just ignore him and focus on the other party members?
Sorry for the long-winded post! Also, just to say - I play with reloads, as I am not into this solo-no-reload-SCS-on-insanity-level-from-BG-to-ToB-with-level-1-monk stuff...Not that I don't admire people who can do it, but I am just too old for that.