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Filling out Party: Mazzy or Jaheira?

AgamentiumAgamentium Member Posts: 4
Hey all, looking for some advice on picking my party for a second playthrough.

My first playthrough I went with the following party:

LG Undead Hunter PC
Viconia (Romanced)
Minsc
Jaheira
Aerie
Yoshimo/Imoen

Just imported a second character, and this is my chosen party so far:
CN Wild Mage PC
Anomen
Korgan
Jan



For the last two slots I'm thinking of going with Edwin, and then either Jaheria or Mazzy. Any advice? I'm much more interested in taking interesting characters with good plotlines/ party banter than I am in building the strongest party possible.

I think I'm leaning towards Mazzy since I've heard she has great interactions with Korgan, but I'm not sure if I should take Jaheira just to experience the romance.

I'm also open to changing party members in general, this just seems like a good set of characters I haven't used yet.

Comments

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 907
    I tend to go with Jaheira, as she will serve as both a fighter and a cleric. Also, as a Harper, she gets some cleric spells she otherwise wouldn't as a druid. Her personal quest/story is also fascinating, even if you aren't romancing her. From a story perspective, I think she beats out Mazzy.

    On the other hand, Mazzy is also an interesting character, and even though she got screwed out of being a true Paladin due to 2e rules, she is given some innate abilities to make up for it. Her story is centered around Trademeet and the Umar Hills region, and it's also interesting. If you have her in the party when you meet the Shadelord, she can really make a mark on things.

    Both are great NPCs, and I don't think you would go wrong with either.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • lollerslollers Member Posts: 66
    You can do both. Start with Mazzy, all her questing and banter should be done a lot faster than jahiera.

  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 144
    I love Mazzy for her “fire and forget” play style. With fighter levels, grand mastery in short bows and Tuigan she’ll be at 5APR right away.
    Almost any mage can manage at least one Improved Haste to bring her up to 10APR.
    With the exception of some bosses there is nothing in Vanilla BG2 until the underdark that will give her serious trouble. She can carry the weakest party by herself with minimal intervention from the player (topping off those arrows can be a pain...)
    But this play style is a bit boring. Late game and TOB she is reasonably competent, but nothing special

    Jaheria is an awesome all rounder. Right from the start of the game to the very end. Iron skins, insect plague, resurrection, summon fire elemental, elemental prince. Fighter and Druid HLAs
    Her quest gives one of the best items that a wizard could hope for. Also one of the most interesting characters with a ton of interesting interactions and dialogue.
    She is powerful and interesting from the very first encounter in BG2 to the final battle in TOB.

    So if you want to power-game it and just blast through; the Mazzy + Korgan combo is hard to beat (until you meet some late-game mages)
    If you want a character that rewards careful play and a deeper understanding of some of the games systems then Jaheria is the way to go.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Power wise and spending some points for pickpocket with Jan doing the Jaheira's quest gives you also 2 +2 protection rings
    if you steal from Terminsel both the 2 times you will meet him, but you have to be fast as the time before he disappears is very short

    Mazzy is a low maintenance toon that can become grand master in both a ranged weapon, making her a machine gun, and a mlee one, short swords are not the best weapons in the game, but there are good ones, including Kundane that grants +1 apr, the perfect OH weapon for her.
    Her banters with korgan are good, and she has also good ones with Valigar, that you don't plan to have in the party.

    Jaheira has a very long and interesting personal quest and can be romanced, even if not all the players are fine with doing it, is a competent fighter even without buffs but being a multi needs more time in a full party to level up, so she gets later lev 13 for the +1/2 apr, gets later enough pips to DW effectively, but then with a good club (Blackblood) and Belm OH she is very effective, and needs forever to reach 1.5Mxp to unlock her first lev 7 spell and 3M to unlock them all and become a casting goddess.
    But stil, as @iosfrustration told, having her protected by iron skins and casting insect spells to silence the enemy casters is very valuable.
    Also her elemental prince can co exist with the planetar by the mages, and this is really useful in end game battles.

    Both are good for that party, I would go with Jaheira only because it is better to use Mazzy when you have both Valigar and Korgan, to maximize the interactions, as you are particularly interested in them.

    The main problem I see with your party is that you will have 6 people, so no space for other NPCs and to get very useful items for the wild mage you need to have Neera in the party at least for some time.

    DinoDiniosfrustration
  • AgamentiumAgamentium Member Posts: 4
    edited October 27
    @gorgonzola I'm thinking of picking up Neera for a while, doing her quests to get the gear, and then replacing her with Edwin. Can I go through that questline quickly, or is there a lot of waiting on timers?

    And that's a fair point about waiting to grab Mazzy for a separate playthrough with Valygar. Plus from the hour or so I've had Jaheira and Korgan in the party together it seems like they have some... lets say entertaining dialogue together. Really don't seem like huge fans of each other.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 714
    edited October 27
    Mazzy for the win, she is one of the best npcs and you have used Jaheira before. Anomen is very rude to her but she has great banter with Korgan and Valygar if you can work him in.

  • Adam_en_tiumAdam_en_tium Member Posts: 51
    DinoDin wrote: »
    TBH, since your party already has two mages, including your own single class mage, I actually might suggest *both* Mazzy and Jaheira instead of Edwin. I think that will give you a more well-rounded party. Especially considering the types of loot that drop in SoA and ToB will favor a load out like that more than a three mage loadout. But that's just my own personal taste.
    Or even Mazzy and Valygar for nice banters

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,334
    Mazzy is a wonderful character, a really good fighter and one of the few for the amazing short swords this game has to offer.

    However, if you haven't romanced Jaheira before, I highly recommend it, because hers is a very interesting and well-written story (if you get over the fact that it happens rather quickly after the incident at Chateau Irenicus).

    gorgonzolaiosfrustration
  • AgamentiumAgamentium Member Posts: 4
    edited October 28
    So, after thinking it over I think I'm going to grab Neera for a bit to get the wild mage gear, and then use both Jaheira and Mazzy for the rest of the playthrough, with my final party being:

    CN Wild Mage PC
    Anomen
    Korgan
    Jan
    Jaheria
    Mazzy


    Little sad I'm missing out on Edwin, and I suppose I'll miss out on some Mazzy/Valygar interactions, but that's just an excuse to play this game a third time in the future.

    Thank you @DinoDin. Was so set on Edwin I hadn't even considered grabbing both of them.

    DinoDiniosfrustration
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Agamentium wrote: »
    @gorgonzola I'm thinking of picking up Neera for a while, doing her quests to get the gear, and then replacing her with Edwin. Can I go through that questline quickly, or is there a lot of waiting on timers?
    Neera's quest, like the other EE introduced npc's, ends in ToB, no way that you can do it quick.
    But surely if you pick her you can start the quest so you can get some useful wild mage items, and fight an interesting battle.




    DinoDin wrote: »

    TBH, since your party already has two mages, including your own single class mage.............
    Not a wrong suggestion, but IMHO it really depends on if reload on bad surges is allowed or not.
    I, even if I don't play no reload, never reload cause of bad surges, it defeats the wild mage concept, that is great power coupled with great risk, reloading you get only the pros and not the cons of the class.
    So I NEVER use my wild mage to buff the party and if possible I use his PI instead of the true character, this way I had never to reload and I never got a surge that I could not deal with.

    So it depends completely on your willing or not to reload, if you like to reload a wild mage and a helper
    multi mage like Jan is plenty enough, if you decide to don't do it I suggest you to bring with the party Imoen, Edwin or at least Aerie.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,901
    @gorgonzola "Neera's quest, like the other EE introduced npc's, ends in ToB, no way that you can do it quick.
    But surely if you pick her you can start the quest so you can get some useful wild mage items, and fight an interesting battle."

    The SoA and ToB quests are separate. Neera's SoA quest has no timers and contains 2 locations for the critical path. Because of the lack of timers, its one of the faster companion quests to clear.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    You are correct, once you meet her in SoA you can rush trough her quest, but I would not say that it is separate from the ToB one.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,176
    Mechanically, it is. You can just pick Neera up again in ToB and rush through that quest as well. Once you can leave Saradush, you can trigger its start at any time, and there aren't any timers on that quest either.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • AgamentiumAgamentium Member Posts: 4
    Just finished up Neera's SoA quest and got the wild mage robe. Was pretty short like people were saying.

    Lanneth fight was interesting, somehow managed to successfully Reckless Dweomer twice in a row to keep casting true sight.

    Robe of Goodman Hayes seems very useful on my wild mage, although I wonder how much I'll use it once I can afford the robe of vecna.

    iosfrustrationgorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    I usually have an other main mage when I go with Neera, I like heavy magic parties, and I switch the RoV between my mages depending on how I plan to fight the particular battle, so I use robes of archmage, RoV and Robe of G.H. and give the Vecna one to the mage that has to cast faster or later in the game to the one that is planning to use a PI and Improved Alacrity.

    In your setting where the wild mage is the main mage I would wear the Robe of GH as the always on Chaos Shield is pretty useful and switch to the RoV when I plan to cast intensively so is worth to cast the shield from spell. It needs a little planning as they use the armor slot so can not be switched if in enemy sight.

    By the way the RoV can be obtained pretty early as you have Jan in the party, he can not stole it, but can sell and steal all the valuable loot you get from a fence and do the same with the robe when you acquire it, with decent reputation this makes possible to buy the expensive items that can not be stolen early even avoiding to sell and steal from the same fence a single item many times.
    But after all the RoV becomes really powerful only after Improved Alacrity, as it allows to cast a lot of spells under it, the low level ones are fired at machine gun pace, before a little planning is plenty enough as the mages are any way restricted to 1 spell/round.
    The dwehomers ignore completely that limit so when an intensive use of them is planned RoV can be a good option.

  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 98
    @Agamentium You'll probably never give up Robes of Goodman Hayes on a wild mage as they're bis. If you haven't checked out the wild surge table you should but pretty much wasting a round putting up the shield is huge. That said I recommend 2 mage parties, even if the 2nd is a multiclass such as Jan. Jan gets a bad rap and I don't know why because he's amazing and fills the thief slot. Vecna are definitely wasted on him but better than nothing and since he's your utility mage anyhow, it's not the worst to speed up his casting. Most of his spells should be glitter dusts, hastes, chaos, and other things so it's not the worst to put them on him.

    As for Mazzy vs Jaheira, Jaheira's romance is awkward, easy to screw up, and she's not actually that good of a character. Everything she does, others do better. Her only grace is that she can be a decent but not great tank with iron bark. However druids make very bad meta tanks with iron bark being such a long cast, and having fewer layers than the mage version or solo druid version. Cernd in caster form makes a better tank than Jaheira imo and Cernd as a ranged support is also 10x better than her. Jaheira's combat stats are extremely weak so even decked out over the course of a game she'll do very little damage compared to others, even with a staff equipped however staff Jaheira is a bit stronger than Cernd since she can damage, stay out of range, and cast, while Cernd has to pick and commit. Druids have some beastly high level spells so her selection will always be incredibly limited.

    Meanwhile there is Mazzy and while people complain she has bows, she is wicked with a bow and will rack up the kills. Her banter with Korgan is also A+ and she is the only good character who gets along with him. She is all around one of my preferred Companions.

    gorgonzola
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,176
    Tanking with Jaheira is fighter-style AC tanking. Heavy armor, 17 Dex, and her starting proficiencies encourage you to go weapon/shield. With so many other key spells at level 5 and the limited number of spell slots, you're not likely to memorize any instances of Iron Skins until high levels late in the game. When you do, it'll be a spell to cast before combat, not something you renew during combat. Your physical protection spells during combat are resistance boosters - Armor of Faith, Hardiness, Earth Elemental form.

    With that in mind, Mazzy's basically just as good at tanking once you get her some levels and a melee weapon. Mazzy lets you switch between archery and tanking, Jaheira lets you switch between druidic casting and tanking.

    I just finished a run with Mazzy. My next run will feature Jaheira. Switching the two would make both parties worse, because the other character isn't suited to the theme.

    The characters don't really belong in direct competition with each other; this is a question of what roles you're looking to fill, not what character fills a given role better.

    ThacoBellgorgonzolaDinoDin
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Jan gets a bad rap and I don't know why because he's amazing and fills the thief slot. Vecna are definitely wasted on him but better than nothing and since he's your utility mage anyhow, it's not the worst to speed up his casting.

    As for Mazzy vs Jaheira.... Her only grace is that she can be a decent but not great tank with iron bark. However druids make very bad meta tanks with iron bark being such a long cast, and having fewer layers than the mage version or solo druid version. Cernd in caster form makes a better tank than Jaheira imo and Cernd as a ranged support is also 10x better than her. Jaheira's combat stats are extremely weak


    jmerry wrote: »
    Tanking with Jaheira is fighter-style AC tanking. Heavy armor, 17 Dex, and her starting proficiencies encourage you to go weapon/shield.

    About Jan being him a specialist mage and this make him a very good support mage as compared to a pure class one is behind as spell levels, but not so much as spell slots, as he gets 1 spell/level compared to the other multi like Aerie.
    The RoV is very useful on him as not only he can cast damaging spells fast, but he can breach enemies fast or improved haste a fighter whose haste has been dispelled really quick. This, his shorty bonuses and his special equipment that combined with the thief equipment you normally find in the game make him almost as good as a single class dedicated thief, if not for the stab multiplier that takes a little more to rise.
    Properly used he is really effective and a great addiction for many parties.

    So I would use the RoV on Jan and the RoGH on the wild mage in all the situations but the hardest battles, makes your secondary mage fast and spares slots and time for the wild mage as he has not to cast the shield. But for the hard battles where a lot of spells are cast I would give the RoV to the wild mage, then he or better his PI can cast really fast and eventually spam dwehomers even before Improved Alacrity is obtained, as the dwehomers ignore the 1 spell/round limit, in those situations Jan can switch to his custom robe or a robe of the archmage.

    About Jaheira she absolutely needs a STR enhancing item, 15 is indeed too low for a fighter, but then I find her super strong.
    It is true that has less iron skins then a pure druid for a long time, but when you have good AC those skins last long as only a successful hit eats a skin.
    And ranged I find no comparison with Cernd, better Thac0, more APR, up to 2.5, 5 when improved hasted, and are attacks that do damage as the sling gets STR bonus and gets damage bonus from both the launcher and bullet enchantment. Mazzy is a machine gun with her short bow, but Jaheira, even if she has only half APR is not so far behind as her alpha with the right setting is far superior. Cernd is good as caster and can tank as long as his skins last, is not a physical damage dealer.

    I mostly use Jaheira with 2 weapons, belm OH and the +3 mace from Trademeet MH, but she has always a shield ready when tanking becomes more important then dealing damage fast.
    She is a capable warrior trough all the game and a druid, even if it takes a very long time to become the goddess she is end game, past the 6M xp threshold, when she is as good as any other fighter, if not for the lack of GM, and gets all the druid slots, before she anyway gives to the party the insect spells and good summons.

  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 98
    I didn't know dwehomers ignore 1 spell/round limit, that's actually very handy information so maybe I'll try it out, maybe on a noreload play through ^_-. As for Jaheira, I find her health pool the biggest issue for her. I don't feel she needs str and I think that's a huge misconception especially on harder difficulties. Now I haven't tried dual wielding or using a two hander on her and that might be spicy and worth a str item but usually I feel it's better used on someone else.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    There are many STR enhancing items in the game, but not so at the beginning, basically you have the belt sold by Ribald, the mace that gives 18 str and the gauntlets, for the other belts you have to wait.
    But if you go with jaheira the other 2 physical damage dealers of your party, the ones that are fighters so have more then 1 apr are Korgan, that is strong by himself and Anomen, that not only is strong, but has clerical spells like DuHM to increase his strength. From mid game on Anomen can go to every hard battle with 25 STR without needing any item. So with that party I would probably give the belt to Korgan, that as single class with GM has potentially the most attacks each round, but the gauntlets are perfect for Jaheira, Anomen that has her same APR as her, as can get GM but will never get lev 13 fighter, is strong enough for the minor battles and can become the strongest in your party with his own buffs when needed.

    An item should be given to who more benefits of it, let's take Korgan that has 18.77 STR, with the gauntlets he would go to 18.00 gaining 1 point of thac0 and 2 damage, give them to Jaheira and she gains 3 and 6, Korgan becomes only slightly better, she receives a huge improvement.

    Mages and thieves have only a single attack/round, the damage bonus of a high STR is wasted on them, at least until you get more belts, maybe to give the best STR item to Jan before he stabs is a good idea as it makes his thac0 better, not much for the added damage as the STR one is not multiplied, but then he can give it back to who normally use it, as it does not use the armor slot it can be done on the fly while in combat.

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