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When to dual-class?


My main is a level 3 Berserker and Imoen is also level 3. I want to dual class both of them to mages. At what level the dual-classing should be made?

Thank you very much.


  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 658
    edited September 24
    For a fighter it is usual to dual at 7, 9 or 13. At 7 and 13 you get an extra 1/2 attack per round. At 9 you max fighter HP. If you are impatient to complete the dual then dual at 7 (done in BG, mages get more powerful as the series goes on so you have a more survivable version of the most powerful class). 13 will see you complete the dual in mid BG2 probably (and maybe late game depending what quests you do), it will be more powerful but the downtime is huge and the benefits may not be worthwhile if you are mainly using mage abilities in the endgame. 9 is a mid point that sees you done fairly early in BG2 and also gets you an extra weapon proficiency point.

    Imoen depends on how many thief skill points you want as well as marginal HP benefits - see this thread

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,516
    Much depends on how you want to play your characters. If you want to essentially be a mage (even in BG1), but with the added protections available from using rage, then dual the berserker now. Waiting until level 7 does give you more HPs and much better fighting abilities, but if you're not planning to use those much then playing most of BG1 before you recover your berserking abilities may not be worth it.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 658
    @Grond0 I agree, especially if they are only playing BG, but it would be worth considering whether it would be more beneficial to use a specialist mage instead of a low level dual

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,105
    I'll add one slight variation to the list of possibilities ilduderino provided for your fighter/mage dual: if you have SoD, then a level 10 dual right as you start BG2 is a good deal, and a level 9 dual early in SoD isn't. The key to this intermediate option is that the experience rewards shoot way up in BG2 as compared to BG1 - including that you get a hundred times as much experience for scribing scrolls. If you temporarily dismiss the rest of your party and learn a bunch of spells, that's a huge chunk of the downtime dealt with instantly - possibly all of it for a level 9 or level 10 dual.

    Mechanically ... dual-classing at level 10 instead of level 9 is worth a one-point THAC0 improvement and (if you're playing with maximum HP) a one-point HP loss. It's only a consideration because of experience curve concerns, and only if you have SoD with its 500K experience cap.

  • RidcullyRidcully Member Posts: 87
    Interesting thread. I've always played a F/M multi class. However am on my first run through of Fighter and then duelling. Plan is to dual at lvl 9 which I think will tie in just around when I pick up Khalid in SoD and mean I start BG2 with both classes active, assuming I hit the 500k max in SoD (not tried it yet). Main reason for doing this was so I could get grand master which comes in at lvl 9

    With regards to Imoen, personally I dual her at lvl 5. If she was playable in SoD and more of BG2 then I might consider a different approach

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,289
    edited October 1
    Typically when dual classing in BG1, there are two directions you can go.

    You can level as high as possible in your first class, and still regain your class levels.

    Or you can level as high as possible in your first class and still reach max potential in your second class.

    So the experience cap in BG1 is 161,000. Levelling Imoen up to 7 requires 40,000 experience. She'll then need 90,000 to reach Mage Level 8, regaining her thief levels. 13, 000 total. If you were to level Imoen up to thief level 8, then mage level 9 would be unobtainable.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the highest level a mage can achieve in BG1 is 9, which requires 135,000 experience, leaving 26, 000 experience left over. Levelling a thief to 6 requires 20, 000 experience. This means if you level Imoen to 6, you can dual, and be as powerful as any single class mage and have a bunch of thief levels to boot.

    Now, for your player character however, if you're going to be importing them through the campaign that opens up all sorts of options. You may not even choose to dual them in BG1 at all. The others have already covered the major benchmarks for the fighter class.

    Edit: All that being said, that's "optimum". In practice a lot of the time you just duel her when she's learned the thief skills you want, or when you've found a replacement thief. She's often around level four or five when you head on down to Cloakwood and get Coran, and once you've got him to cover your thieving needs that's a primo opportunity to have Imoen move away from thievery. What are you gonna do with those extra thief points anyway? You've got Coran for that now.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 890
    edited October 1
    I generally find that if you are going to dual Imoen at all, waiting until she is level 6 is optimum for a couple of reasons - but primarily because she will have enough skill points to actually master both finding and setting traps. If you are planning on taking her as your only thief to Durlag's Tower, those two skills are extremely useful. Because she will be a mage, you can generally ignore hide in shadows, as she can simply cast invisibility on herself, or locks, because she can cast knock.

    As an aside, this is one reason why I find the XP caps pointless. There simply isn't enough content in the game to reach above a certain point unless you literally grind for years (game time). Even a solo player, who isn't sharing XP with a party, will naturally find an XP cap all the same. Assuming you could reach ~200k XP without the cap (a reasonable amount based on my play throughs), a solo player could maybe get to 1.2M XP.

    That sounds pretty extreme, but due to the way the requirements increase, that only gets our PC a few extra levels for most classes. Level 12 on average. For a solo player, that seems perfectly reasonable for the final fight that they will take on without the aid of a party.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,105
    My latest run, with a full party and SCS/Insane difficulty for generally higher monster counts, got the protagonist to just under 300K XP. No real grinding with rest spawns and the like, just a very completionist attitude and tricks like delaying the party recruitment. I didn't pick up a second party member until 32K XP, and then didn't add the rest of the party until more than 20K past that.

    How many extra levels would this have been worth, if I had actually lifted the cap instead of running ironman-style past it to preserve the experience? One on each side of the protagonist's multiclass. Two for the dual-class party member (Shar-Teel, F6-T9 becomes F6-T11). One each for two others. And none for the ranger and paladin. Raising caps really doesn't do much for levels.
    Chronicler wrote: »
    ...Or you can level as high as possible in your first class and still reach max potential in your second class.
    This is the philosophy of that Shar-Teel dual, with a side of gaming the proficiency system so as to reach grandmastery in her chosen weapon. A F7-T8 dual would also be viable, but it would only reach four dots. Same attacks per round, no need to save up levels for long periods of time, but one point less in the backstab multiplier, one point less damage, and 25 fewer thieving skill points to invest.

  • KvotheRM8KvotheRM8 Member Posts: 54

    My main is a level 3 Berserker and Imoen is also level 3. I want to dual class both of them to mages. At what level the dual-classing should be made?

    Thank you very much.

    Imoen at level 6, so she can eventually cast level 5 spells.

    Don't dual rage mage until level 9.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,012
    The berserker-mage build is probably the most overpowered build for an full saga playthrough. And if you want to maximize that, level 9 is considered the ideal point.

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