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Teach me how to cleric

Good Morning All,

I'm getting the itch to replay through the saga again. And while I still have my Blade/Bard I want to play through with.

I figured I'd also like to give a shot with a dwarven fighter/cleric.

I've always viewed clerics mostly as healbots first.

But at least in 5e, it seems they're a lot better in a defensive support party/self buff tank(y) type roll.

I realize BG doesn't have tanks persay, but if I'm going to main one, I'd like to kinda branch out of my cleric ness.

Also, any good party ideaas are welcome. I considered taking both evil dwarf fighters, just because my LG Dwarf would want to keep an eye on them. I also like the idea of Mazzy in BG2. And I've never taken Jan period.

(Coming from a primarily Paladin player. Cavalier mostly, I'd play inquisitor, as RP wise that's my favorite. But I miss the lack of priest spells).

Also, hello to all the old forumites that might have missed my snarky paladin presence. :)

Comments

  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 2,097
    I think Mazzy, Keldorn, and Korgan are a good trio. Korgan fits oddly well with lawful good fighters, despite the fact that they are of diametrically opposed alignment. This would make you a melee-oriented party, but I find those fun come TOB.

    Dragonspear
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    I typically run Melee heavy comps anyway.

    Round it out with Jan and........Imoen I guess?

    Dunno who I'll run BG1 with.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    (When I beat the game with my Wizard Slayer.

    My party was Keldorn, Anomen, Valygar, Mazzy, Imoen. So ya, melee blenders are common for me)

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 869
    The thing to watch out for with clerics - and particularly fighter/clerics who go into melee - are spell casting times. A lot of cleric spells cast slowly, and you don't have any way of stopping the enemies from damaging you and disrupting your spells. As such, spells you cast in combat should be quick to cast - like Armor of Faith, Draw Upon Holy Might, or Neutralize Poison. Slower spells are for before or after the battle.

    The entry-level play style for a fighter/cleric ... buff before the battle, smash during the battle, heal after the battle. Refinements come as you learn the character, and aren't so easy to describe.

    With the ideas you're putting out there ... it sounds like you might want a "small" party. Some mods might be advisable if you're going to run with that theme - move some characters in BG1 so that Alora, Tiax, and Quayle are available before the big city, add some NPCs for BG2 so you can fill the party out completely.

    jsavingDragonspearDinoDin
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,579
    edited July 20
    The second-level cleric spell Hold Person is extremely good in Baldur's Gate 1. It can almost singlehandedly win you many tough fights in BG1 (e.g. against groups of assassins, or against powerful fighters like Greywolf and Taurgosz Khosann).

    If your cleric doesn't have any qualms about casting Animate Dead, it's an amazing spell. Five Skeleton Warriors can win many encounters in BG1 and SOD on their own.

    Fighter/Clerics are also great for buffing and attacking. Draw Upon Holy Might gets you a great Strength score, allowing you to deal high damage at long range with a sling.

    WarChiefZekeThacoBellDragonspearAerakar
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    I'm normally not a big Animate Dead/Summoner person.

    But using hold person and other disables is something that I would like to work on :)

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 895
    Next to fighter/mages, fighter/clerics are probably the strongest characters in the game so they're certainly a solid choice for your next run-through. However, like FMs, the degree to which FCs help your party is highly dependent on how well you play them.

    The name of the game with FCs is to leverage your high APR through cleric buffs that substantially improve your strength and your survivability. The unfortunate cost to that is a slower run-through, because of the sheer number of buffs you'll need to be applying by mid-levels. If you aren't a patient player, then you'll find yourself either doing without those buffs (in which case there's little point to being a FC) or else wasting rounds during combat trying to apply them (which may well fail anyway due to the casting-time issue @jmerry mentioned).

    It's completely correct that as an FC you'll also be able to cure wounds and remove conditions. But as anyone who has tried to cast "slow poison" can attest, trying to do that in lieu of attacking is not usually going to be a great choice. Your condition removals will likely fizzle during the battle, and even if they work, the condition may well be reapplied the following round because you stopped focusing on DPS.

    Edit: I missed @OlvynChuru's comment the first time through but in BG1 you should absolutely throw out a start-of-battle hold person when appropriate, just as a FM might start a battle with the sleep spell.

    Dragonspear
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    @jsaving and @OlvynChuru

    That's fair, and it's one of those that I know it's a good spell.

    But I kinda view it as that versus Bless and DUHM

    Level 2 is a remarkably strong cleric level spell wise.

    @jsaving

    I feel like I'll prolly end up playing him like a better version of a Cavalier paladin in terms of having better Self/Party support buffs and some enemy disables.

    With the fun occasional damage spell likes Holy Smite.

    Although, if I plan on using holy smite, that makes it hard to use the evil dwarf fighters =/

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,115
    edited July 20
    F/C dwarves need very few, if any, buffs. Their saves will reach the negatives before anyone else and with few item boosts. They pack fullplate, 17 DEX to 18 with tome and exceptional STR. Any buff you cast is gravy for BG1, but quite rarely actually needed. I tend to play FC Dwarf as a plain melee fighter (ie, not as the main party buffer), thus spending most of their spells on themselves and having a second cleric for the rest of the party buffs, heals, summons etc.

    I find FC dwarf the easiest of all classes to play, they are practically invulnerable in vanilla EE. SCS might be different, I have little experience there, but with the right items they will be formidable even if their buffs are dispelled with resists. hardiness, DoE and negative saving throws.

    One of my favorite runs was a 4 man shortie party in BG2, charname, Jan, Korgan and Mazzy. Had to drop Mazzy on certain evil quests but other than that they stuck together throughout and it was very easy and enjoyable. Charname went flails and warhammer dualweild but in the end I ended up often using a shield instead for much of the game to crank the AC up to ludicrous levels. BG1 is a breeze for any class with APR and fullplate AC, so just run with whatever. Kagain and your charname can handle anything, the rest is just gravy. For a 4 man party, dualclassed Imoen and Yeslick would keep it 3 shorties and a sibling. Quale if you are going full shortie, but then you won't have a thief so maybe Alora.

    So my advice is very biased since if I had to choose just one char to play ever, it would be a FC dwarf. Warhammers in BG1 and add flails and dualweilding in BG2. You know all the items already I'm thinking of, ie FoA, DoE etc. Shield of harmony is nice too, but I tend to give that to Korgan most often since he needs it more.

    Spells are the obvious ones, but STR stacking is of course nice but very rarely needed. from BG1 to mid-ToB I think I bothered with that just a few times. It's just overkill and I'm to impatient to watch all those ridiculously slow magic animations for clerics. Rightous magic is all you need really most of the times and a few defensive buffs, ie chaotic commands, when the situation asks for it.

    If you play like this it's not as essential to max out WIS for bonus slots, but more slots is always nice and much more needed if you are the only cleric.

    DragonspearAerakar
  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 851
    For BG1, the level one spell "command" or single-target sleep is excellent. It works on virtually every enemy save for the TotSC content, undead and a few other strange monster types. But it can work on many of the tougher opponents, such as the bounty hunters.

    IMO, the noob cleric protagonist build is actually the Viconia build. A sling-focused cleric who can sit on the back line or mid line. The skill books in BG1 can reward a spell-focused cleric by giving you potentially enormous spell casting ability by its end. Slings options are somewhat weak in BG1, but in BG2 there are alot of early options that can help you get a super low thaco, that will allow you to effectively snipe spell casters in between casting.

    A great thing about using cleric as protagonist is there's only one character that can't fall in battle. You don't have to worry about saving your healer and your protagonist. This is part of the reason I favor sling and casting focused cleric protagonists.

    Dragonspear
  • Very_BigSwordVery_BigSword Member Posts: 192
    Skatan wrote: »
    One of my favorite runs was a 4 man shortie party in BG2, charname, Jan, Korgan and Mazzy. Had to drop Mazzy on certain evil quests but other than that they stuck together throughout and it was very easy and enjoyable. Charname went flails and warhammer dualweild but in the end I ended up often using a shield instead for much of the game to crank the AC up to ludicrous levels. BG1 is a breeze for any class with APR and fullplate AC, so just run with whatever. Kagain and your charname can handle anything, the rest is just gravy. For a 4 man party, dualclassed Imoen and Yeslick would keep it 3 shorties and a sibling. Quale if you are going full shortie, but then you won't have a thief so maybe Alora.

    It is tricky to do shorty runs in BG1 because of conflicts. The dwarves Kagain/Yeslick and the gnomes Quayle/Tiax will fight to the death. Best bet might be Alora, Montaron, Quayle, Kagain with Xzar or dual classed Imoen. Yeslick is excess to requirements as you are already a Dwarf F/C. Tiax is fun but you already have enough thieves so Quayle's arcane casting wins the slot. Plus he can do the cleric combat casting while your F/C emphasises buffs and heals.

    DinoDin wrote: »
    For BG1, the level one spell "command" or single-target sleep is excellent. It works on virtually every enemy save for the TotSC content, undead and a few other strange monster types. But it can work on many of the tougher opponents, such as the bounty hunters.

    Couldn't agree more. Command is a beast of a spell. Trivialises Ankhegs, Ogre Berserkers and the like and pretty much instant casting. And as Viconia shows, neutralises Flaming Fists no problem when you have the need >:)

    DragonspearDinoDinAerakar
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    edited July 21
    FC is an excellent choice, even if I personally prefer single class clerics, or F -> C combo. I mostly run fighter-heavy parties, so fewer APR for a cleric are more than compensated with being able to cast much higher level Dispel Magic and Turn Undead. Higher level Turn Undead for a single class cleric or F -> C trivialises some of the more annoying BG2 fights with level-draining monsters and Dispel Magic makes mages sitting ducks.

    As for FC, you will be a beast in late BG1 and through BG2. Protection from Evil + Chant + Defensive Harmony makes some hard melee fights much easier. For damage dealing, in addition to your fighter capabilities, you can use Holy Smite and later Flame Strike, Bolt of Glory, Sunray and Fire Storm. Not to even mention Righteous Magic + DUHM combo to bump strength to 25 easily and deal max damage for 1 round per level. Animate Dead is amazing too, even if I never use it for RP reasons. And the best part is - Wisdom is the easiest stat to bump high, with all the tomes, Hell Trials, Decks and Machines. So you can have gazillion of spell slots, allowing you to have your buffs on almost constantly.

    In short, clerics, fighter/clerics and fighters -> clerics rock!

    DragonspearDinoDin
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