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dualing imoen and picking up the canon party

I'm in BG1 with my character and Imoen. I picked up Jah and Khalid and just finished the Nashkel mines. We did the side quests in Beregost, but no real exploring. We are around level 2 to 3 at this point. The plan is to make a beeline for Cloakwood and clear it before Imoen hits level 7. Then, when I dual her, we can explore the rest of the wilderness and then start BG city. The idea being she gets her levels back by the time I need a thief again. Depending on where we're at after Cloakwood, we may do the Ice Island or the top half of DT if Imoen still needs to hit level 7.

As for picking up Minsc and Dynaheir, I'm not sure the best time for this considering the timing of Imoen's Dualing. My top two choices are right now or after the bandit camp. Cloakwood would might be a little tough with just the four of us and picking up a Ranger before heading into a deep forest seems story appropriate.

Has anyone every done this before (dual Imoen, and play without a thief during the downtime). How did you cover it? Thanks!


  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 771
    edited August 2020
    The way you have it planned sounds good apart from that I sometimes finish the whole game with less xp than you will need to complete the dual at that high level - so this relies on you spending a lot of time outside the main quest to level up, to a point where you basically won’t advance much in xp thereafter for finishing the rest of the main quest (and presumably Durlag’s Tower), without removing the xp cap.

    You may well therefore be better off dualling Imoen at a lower level (totally fine if you push up find traps and then open locks if you can do that too (the former being absolutely essential, the latter being very very helpful but can be covered with knock spells), this is likely to be the best option for ease of life) or actually rushing the main story so as to complete Candlekeep before dualling and then level Imoen doing side quests before it would be helpful to have completed the dual in the endgame. Whilst it is easy to be distracted in Baldur’s Gate, the main quest can be moved forward very quickly.

    If you are planning on doing Durlag’s Tower, it is essential to have a thief at that point.

    However, subject to all this, with some care you can manage well without a thief from the end of the Cloakwood Mines until you return to Candlekeep (when being without an active thief would be very bad).

    You can fill the gap with Coran or Alora, that’s what I tend to do now. In the EEs you can spend their thief skills as you like much more freely to plug whatever skill gap, I tend to use one temporarily just to pickpocket the usual targets.

    Leaving out Minsc and Dynaheir for longer is totally doable and you will overall level faster (much more useful if you do dual Imoen at level 7) but I would want to add them in for the rp experience, especially the first time I used the canon party.
    Post edited by ilduderino on
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,079
    edited August 2020
    Having a thief barely matters except in Durlag's. I always dual Imoen and I time the dualing so she'll get those abilities back right before I want to clean out the tower. Typically I'll stick pretty closely to the critical path until she clears Centeol's forest area of web traps. At that point she duals to mage and I backtrack to handle the game's many optional outdoor areas (Bassilus etc) before continuing through the Cloakwood.

    Once she gets her thief abilities back then I head to Durlag's followed immediately by the return to Candlekeep.
    Post edited by jsaving on
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    jsaving wrote: »
    Having a thief barely matters except in Durlag's. I always dual Imoen and I time the dualing so she'll get those abilities back right before I want to clean out the tower. Typically I'll stick pretty closely to the critical path until she clears Centeol's forest area of web traps. At that point she duals and I backtrack to handle the game's many optional outdoor areas (Bassilus etc) before continuing through the Cloakwood.

    lolwut? How do you get past the absolutely asinine number of traps, some of which aren't skippable, without a thief? I suppose you can use potions and just take the hits, but man, that's a rough road to ride compared to having a proper thief clear the place first.
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 771
    edited August 2020
    I wouldn’t want to be without a thief below Candlekeep (if I want the tomes) or in the Nashkel or Cloakwood mines to name but a few areas. It is fair to say that there are sections of the game where they contribute less but I don’t think it’s correct that they only contribute in Durlag’s Tower.
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,858
    If you are intending to dual Imoen at the point you hit the big city then I think you will still want a thief in your party because there is a lot of stuff to do that really requires a light fingered companion. And later, when you head back to Candlekeep, you are definitely going to want to have someone on board who is good at finding traps and opening locks.

    My advice would be . . .
    When you get to Baldur's Gate head to the Hall of Wonders at night . There you will meet one of the best characters in the game. She will be an excellent stand in until Imoen remembers how to pick a pocket and disarm a trap.


  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 432
    So, I can't bring along another thief without dropping party members and I'm playing with the canon party. There's just no space. I have to work out her down time around the course of the game. There is a sizable chunk where you can get by without a thief (i.e. all the wilderness zones). I just need to figure out the best way to squeeze as much as I can during her downtime without getting totally off course with the story. The way I see it, she needs 90kxp to get caught up. So, that's 360kxp in a party of four (if I really put off Minsc and Dyn, which I doubt I want to do) or 540kxp in a party of six (which is a crap ton of xp for BG).
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    Well, you *can* if you are careful about it... Pick the paired party member you want to temporarily "drop off" at a house you don't otherwise need to visit. They won't be able to talk to the PC and take their companion with them.

    When you want them back, just say it was all a huge misunderstanding and they will return as though nothing happened. Tenya's house is a good choice. It's cozy, comfortable, and of no use other than this.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,079
    edited August 2020
    I'd personally suggest dualing Imoen at 6th rather than 7th level, which cuts the necessary catch-up XP by 1/3 and also ensures she'll have cloudkill for the final battle. If you stick pretty closely to the critical path then you'll hit 6th level somewhere between the bandit forest and Centeol. At that point you dual and then double back to do essentially every outdoor area in the game, where you generally don't need a thief. If you run out of outdoor content before fully regaining her thief abilities then you can proceed through the rest of Cloakwood (though ideally you would get them back before flooding the mines).

    However if you are not willing to sub characters then I wonder if it would make more sense to roll a FT/FMT/MT/IT for your main. Those are among the strongest PCs and any of them would negate the need to worry about Imoen's downtime.
  • RidcullyRidcully Member Posts: 116
    edited September 2020
    Using an unmodded game ie Xp limits in place. Easier to explain if describe my typical route first.

    Pick up Kivan, pick up Jaheira & Khalid, pick up Ajantis and clear Ankhegs. Then get to cloakwood as soon as possible. Having swapped out Kivan for Minsc and Ajantis for Coran.

    I usual dual Imoen at lvl 5, which means dual classing after having done all the traps but before the Centeol battle at Cloakwood 2. I then get as far as the Wyvern cave and then go back to rescue Dynaheir, otherwise you run out of time. I drop Dynaheir off in Nashkel and then reform the rest of the party and carry on. I then clear the rest of left side of the map inc Cloakwood and then the right side. Leaving Gullykin / firewine ruins and Ulcaster till last. By this point her thief skills are back so can be used in the dungeons. That leaves only a couple of places that have traps. 2nd floor of cloakwood mine, and the web traps at East of Larswood. Both of which have ways around.

    I've just tried the same but dual classing at lvl 6. However I don't like it as you don't get the thief skills back till half way round BG city.

    If Imoen was usable in SoD or her stats in the BG 1 end save impacted her stats at the start of BG2, then I'd make an effort to find a solution, but since this doesn't happen I'll stick with lvl 5 dual class from now on

    With regards to canon you could do it this way and just carry on with Dynaheir instead of Coran. I just use him for his pp skills and being an awesome archer. What I tend to do though is having completed TOSC I'l drop the entire party and get the EE characters + Safana and Dynaheir, to do the EE quests. before dropping them and going back to my original party for the final battle. This means that both join in SoD with more HP than if you hadn't used them in BG. Also it means that Dynaheir has a full spell book (as much as her stats allow) rather than just the few you get given as a new starter in SoD.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,235
    As an alternative, you can not dual Imoen. Dynaheir is enough mager-y for BG1, and SoD has Imoen's mage training as a plot point.
  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 878
    The canon party was my first BG1 completed playthrough before SoD existed. I found it worked very well, and I didn't dual-class Imoen in it either.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,818
    If all else fails, there are places you can grind respawning monsters and rest spawns for experience. I've done this to finish out an Imoen dual before, using the ankheg farm. Just don't make this plan A, because it's seriously boring if you do too much of it.
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,090
    edited September 2020
    In games where my PC is a mage, I just don't dual Imoen. Left undisturbed, she becomes a solid thief, and as Thacobell pointed out, Dynaheir is perfectly acceptable as the party mage as well. If you can put up with him, so is Edwin.

    In my current game, where my PC is a C/T, I dualed her at 6, then headed off to Durlag's Tower and Ulgoth's Beard. She was back in business in no time. Also, because my PC is a thief, I made them both specialists. My PC is the trap master, while Imoen focused on hiding in shadows and pickpocket. I presently have Aura in the party for locks, but Imoen can use knock for that.
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