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For the love of god help me understand ho to play this game

Ok so i'm new at this whole D&D rules stuff and i'm getting my ass kicked, i really want to play this game as it is regarded as one of the best RPG's of all time but i just don't understand it.

First i would like to read a basic guide on D&D, second i would like advice as to how to play BG II, and also i want specific advice on how to defeat "shades", i'm doing Hexxat's quest but the tomb is FILLED with shadows and ghosts that i just can't hit with normal weapons, but my mages aren't strong enough to beat those things consistently.

Thanks in advance.

BlackbɨrdAerakar
«1

Comments

  • BroninBronin Member Posts: 29
    edited March 21
    https://www.pocketplane.net/volothamp/home.htm
    The above link is for the Infinity engine games (the original games rather than the Beamdog enhanced editions). Still, I think it is a good guide and should help.

    You need magic weapons for "shades". The spell scroll enchanted weapon provides a cheap early option if you don't have much money. A mage can scribe the scroll (unless they are an Invoker). A potion of genius is recommended to increase the chances to scribe scrolls without failure then you can use the spell afterwards upon resting.

    Post edited by Bronin on
    Grond0ArviaJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • DGDKamiDGDKami Member Posts: 34
    All right guys thanks for the advice, let me look for those magic weapons then

  • BelfaldurnikBelfaldurnik Member Posts: 212
    The learning requirements are kinda high for this game. There are many pitfalls, not limited to foes with innate abilities and immunities.

    Your best friend would be the huge PDF manuals for this game. Additionally, the Wiki - and perhaps old walkthroughs that add some strategies/tactics for specific tasks/quests.

    And ultimately, play slowly, cautiously and with attention to detail. It is not a hack'n'slay game, unless you activate Story Mode.

    PokotadunbarJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 828
    edited March 22
    We joke about this a lot in the No-Reload thread, but your most powerful weapon in the entire game is the fact that you can save and reload (can't S&R under combat or during conversation, but other than that it's open season). Information is your ally, ignorance your greatest foe. If getting killed gets you valuable information for that encounter, then take the death and try again with the new knowledge.

    The second most valuable weapon in your arsenal, and the one you'll be using the most, is the spacebar. Pause the game, take a breather, take stock of the situation, issue your commands, then unpause.

    If a combat is giving you trouble, set it aside and come back to it later. Baldur's Gate 2 doesn't have a strong line of progression, so the difficulty curve is whatever you choose it to be (and Hexxat's quest is infamously difficult for the early game). Following the plot breadcrumbs will see you stronger, though it should be mentioned that spending that insane amount of gold is a minor point of no return - once you spend it, be prepared for a long series of adventures before you can get back to Athkatla.

    Be aware of your arms and armor. +4 is good, +3 with special effects is better.

    StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,602
    Also, save often. This allows you to try different tactics in an encounter that you lost, try to find better tactics in an encounter that you won and, most importantly, retreat gracefully if you're outgunned.

    StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisovAerakar
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,903
    Speaking of "special effects" on weapons ... if you've done the quest in the Copper Coronet back rooms (and you should), you can buy the magical throwing axe Azuredge. It's a +3 weapon (though with poor damage), which does extra damage to undead enemies and forces them to save or die on every hit. If you have a character capable of wielding it (good-aligned fighter/paladin/ranger/shaman, not also a druid or cleric), then you should absolutely buy it and use it when appropriate. Even without proficiency, that instant kill effect makes it worthwhile against undead - such as those you face in Hexxat's quest.

    Rules of thumb on enchantment levels ...

    Everyone should have a magical weapon, as soon as possible. And the game obliges. Just in the starting dungeon:
    - A +1 dagger, good for Imoen.
    - A +1 staff, decent for Jaheira.
    - A +1 long sword.
    - A unique weapon suited to your protagonist; either imported from BG1 or matching their proficiencies, usually +2.
    - A +1 bastard sword.
    - A unique +2 two-handed sword, good for Minsc.
    - Yoshimo's +1 katana, usable only by him.
    - A small quantity of +1 ammunition.

    And once you're out of the dungeon, the merchants around Athkatla sell +1 weapons of almost every kind at reasonable prices. Plus a few +2 or better weapons, which are considerably more expensive. And you'll keep finding magical weapons wherever you go.

    Many dangerous enemies require +2 weapons to hit; a +1 weapon will often come up short. For example, stone golems and most vampires need +2.

    A few enemies need +3 to hit; you can get away with not having +3 weapons all the time, but you'll want at least one +3 option for everybody eventually, even if they're not great with it. Iron Golems and Balors fit here.

    A very few enemies require +4 to hit. They're all high-level bosses, and the only one you could possibly encounter relatively early is the demilich Kangaxx. By the time you face any of them, you'll have some +4 weapons to use.

    There is only one enemy in the entire game that requires +5 weapons to hit, and you probably won't have any when that encounter comes up. You're better off not fighting it at all, especially since you get better rewards that way.

    There's one enemy, encountered in two places, that requires a nonmagical weapon to hit. Enemy mages also frequently cast Protection from Magical Weapons. For this reason, it's a good idea for your warriors to have a nonmagical weapon available to switch to. Or, you could have your own spellcasters take down that mage's defenses with a Dispel or Breach effect.

    Grond0JuliusBorisovAerakar
  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Depending on what you have or haven't done so far, you might want to take a closer look at the Promenade, Slums, Bridge and Docks areas, in roughly that order. Most of the quests you can get (and deal with) there are relatively easy, bring you some nice equipment and a few very valuable early level-ups which can be a great help to tackle the harder stuff like that Hexxat quest. Don't want to spoil it too much, but if you just explore those areas thoroughly most of them have at least 1 or 2 nice questlines in them which should all be easier to deal with than Dragomir's tomb so early in the game.
    Unless of course you stumble upon some creepy looking sarcophagus with a bunch of statues around it, then don't touch that thing and get the hell outa there ;)
    Oh, and take some time checking out your options in the different spellbooks (mage, cleric, druid, depending on who's in your party?), sooo much useful and important stuff in there, knowing at least some of the good spells (or some of the situational ones, like "Free Action" versus the shades) can make your life ever so much easier.

    Grond0JuliusBorisov
  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 177
    Well when i first tried to learn 20 years ago i read the big manual that came in the game box but i dont know if you can get it anymore

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,980
    Aaezil wrote: »
    Well when i first tried to learn 20 years ago i read the big manual that came in the game box but i dont know if you can get it anymore

    You can find a download, but the Adventurer's Guide referred to above covers the same information better and with fewer errors.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Allanon81Allanon81 Member Posts: 226
    If all else fails Fireball!

    LelandGaunt
  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    BAAM!
    One day... one day...

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,903
    Allanon81 wrote: »
    If all else fails Fireball!

    Unless it's one of the many enemies that's immune to fire (such as a shadow fiend, found in the dungeon referenced here), or it's a mage that put up a Minor Globe of Invulnerability, or it's an enemy that's innately immune to low-level spells like a rakshasa, or it's a magic-immune enemy like a golem ...

    No, if you seek to kill things with fire, the humble fireball is only the beginning of your journey.

    A sampling of enemies I've killed with fire in my current run, so far:
    - Stone and clay golems
    - Mages that started the battle with Protection from Fire
    - Kangaxx
    - A black dragon
    - A shadow dragon
    - Bodhi
    - The sahuagin priestess that wears the Cloak of Mirroring
    - Shangalar
    - The Unseeing Eye
    - A Balor
    - Thirty illithids
    - More than fifty beholders
    - More than a hundred drow

    And I'm just getting started on the hordes of ToB. There's one particular seemingly impossible achievement I have my eye on ...

    StummvonBordwehrPokotaGrond0JuliusBorisov
  • SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,555
    DGDKami wrote: »
    Ok so i'm new at this whole D&D rules stuff and i'm getting my ass kicked, i really want to play this game as it is regarded as one of the best RPG's of all time but i just don't understand it.

    First i would like to read a basic guide on D&D, second i would like advice as to how to play BG II, and also i want specific advice on how to defeat "shades", i'm doing Hexxat's quest but the tomb is FILLED with shadows and ghosts that i just can't hit with normal weapons, but my mages aren't strong enough to beat those things consistently.

    Thanks in advance.

    At the end of the day, it might be a good idea to play BG1 first before you jump straight into BG2 (I'm assuming that you didn't only because you said you were new to D&D?).

    There are some stark differences in the gameplay between each game, but playing BG1 (even if you don't play all the way through) will at least give you a chance to learn the basics in a somewhat slower paced game.

    BG2 can be quite an unforgiving game to jump headlong into.

    LelandGauntJuliusBorisov
  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Yeah well, the recommendation to play BG1 before going to BG2 might be an obvious one, but it can also be a tough one because both games are so very different in many regards:
    - where BG2 has lots of grand questlines and mountains of greatly written dialogues between characters, in BG1 you'll spend lots of your time with very basic fetch quests and your companions aren't really much for "personality" (tough there seems to be a mod named BG1NPCs mod around that might fix the latter)
    - the early stages in BG1 (until your characters get around levels 2-3) can be very hard in their own way when you still have very low hit points so that even relatively weak enemies might still one-shot you. In BG2 you probably won't die just as quickly, but the difficulty for new players there might rather come from that HUGE amount of different options, skills and especially spells at your disposal, so that complexity might seem pretty overwhelming.
    - the world in BG1 is much more "open" than in BG2, which gives a great feeling of exploration on the one hand but on the other hand it can also lead to pretty hard surprising encounters all over the place (like all those strong mercenary gangs who eat low-level adventuring parties for breakfast). BG2 has a few of those "oh crap!" encounters too (like the famous Lich in the tavern basement), but not so many of them and if you "clear" out one area after another (optimally most of the city stuff first and most of the outside areas later) you probably won't stumble into quite as many unpleasant surprises.

    But with all that said, yes it's true, if you want to get a better grip at the different game mechanics and the strengths and weaknesses of specific classes, it might not be the worst idea to start out at level 1 in BG1 (if you're okay with not-so-talkative companions and rather simple quest design). Especially when it comes to learning to master the various spellbooks, things might go much smoother if you take the approach of slowly getting them one spell level after another (with enough "training time" in between) instead of starting out with already dozens and dozens and dozens of them like in BG2.
    Plus, fighting things like ghasts or sword spiders or even sirines (some of the tougher BG1 enemies) is a much more straightforward experience than fighting things like dragons or liches or high-level mages (some of the tougher BG2 enemies). Yes, the former might have a dirty and possibly dangerous trick for you, but it's usually just that ONE trick they got, while the latter often tend to throw around with 10 different VERY dirty and VERY dangerous tricks ;)

    So, long story short... well... ehm... yeeeah, initially I had kinda planned to disagree, but turns out that at the end of the day I do have to agree with @SharGuidesMyHand : if you're looking to learn the basics and rules of the game it might really be a good idea to start with exactly those basics aka start with BG1 (just be aware that you might have to wait a while for the stuff that makes BG2 so great which is mostly related to companion dialogues and quest design). If you mostly stick to the main quest "road" for a while till your characters each get 1 or 2 level-ups before you start delving farther into the deep dark woods you should be fine ;)

    Grond0PokotaJuliusBorisov
  • DGDKamiDGDKami Member Posts: 34
    Guys, i didnt notice i got so many responses since the last time, thank you very much for all of your help, im getting better at this game

    BroninLelandGauntJuliusBorisov
  • LelandGauntLelandGaunt Member Posts: 83
    Yeah, it can really seem pretty "much" at the beginning if you've got no experience with Baldur's Gate (or similar games like that), but if you keep at it and gradually learn about the mechanics it totally pays off in the long run, trust me. I'm a relative noob here myself, only started playing back in december. I'm more used to the more modern style RPGs, stuff like Fallout, Witcher, Gothic or Elder Scrolls, with games like KotoR and a bit of Pillars of Eternity probably "closest" to this thing here, so yeah, for quite a while I was very much overwhelmed by all those different rules and mechanics and whatnot. But now that I got at least the basics plus maybe a little more I'm just totally enchanted here and BG2 is quickly becoming a pretty strong candidate for my "favorite game of all times", finally I understand why this game is still praised so much these days ;)

    Grond0StummvonBordwehr
  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,836
    If you're looking for a strategy guide to character creation, spells, and companions, I recommend PlayItHardcore's guide. I always use it as a quick reference guide if I can't remember something.

    Aerakar
  • kuchikirukiakuchikirukia Member Posts: 7
    If you're new to D&D I'd suggest playing Neverwinter Nights 2 first. 3.5E rules are just soooooooooooo much better. BG2 is a great game but the 2.5E rules are an absolute mess. Increasing your armor decreases your armor and increasing your to-hit decreases your to-hit and increasing your saves decreases your saves...
    Warriors being the only ones to get additional attacks and the massive difference in THAC0 between warriors and everybody else is also really unbalanced.
    As has already been pointed out, BG2 is also unforgiving. Any mage can wipe your party if unprepared since if you don't know how to take down their protections you sit there hitting nothing as they empty their spellbook into you, and you can accidentally run into high-level encounters at any time.

    NWN2 has a linear campaign with encounters scaled to its progress, and it has a much better rule set. Once you get a handle on Armor Class, Attack Bonus, and spell Difficulty Class in a system that's actually good you can come back and translate that into the mess that is 2.5E and have a much better understanding of what's going on.

  • Allanon81Allanon81 Member Posts: 226
    If I remember correctly BGEE, BG2EE, IWDEE, SOD all use 2nd edition rules. 2.5? Does that exist?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,980
    v3.5 was a specific upgrade to 3rd edition rules, but there was no equivalent v2.5 - just 2nd edition.

    Whether you prefer 2nd or 3rd edition rules is a matter of taste. Personally I much prefer the 2nd edition rules used in Baldur's Gate to the 3rd edition used in NWN. I'm also not convinced that learning the 3rd edition rules first would be easier. I agree they are slightly more logical in their format, but they're also more complex (and to my taste unnecessarily so). I may well be biased as my main tabletop experience of the game was 2nd edition and that probably makes those rules more comfortable and familiar to me. However, I suspect it would be as easy or easier for most people to go from 2nd to 3rd edition than vice-versa.

    sarevok57StummvonBordwehr
  • IseweinIsewein Member Posts: 400
    I disagree, 3.5 can seem even more daunting with its vast array of choice right at character creation. I suggest the best way to learn is to start with BG I, not II, right off the bat. A lot of things come much more easily when learned by doing rather than reading, and keep in mind that in BG II you start with all the skills and spells you would usually have gotten to learn slowly over the course of the whole first game. It's also simply a really good game in its own right - epecially with the BG1 NPC mod installed.

    PokotadunbarithildurnewStummvonBordwehr
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,903
    Also, by the nature of the Baldur's Gate series as computer games, you don't need a thorough understanding of the mechanics to play it. All of the actual calculations are automated, including the numbers that show up on your inventory and character record screens. You just need the basics - lower AC is better, lower THAC0 is better, lower saving throw numbers on your character record are better, higher damage numbers are better, bigger +N values on enchanted items are better.

    Pokotasarevok57dunbarStummvonBordwehr
  • kuchikirukiakuchikirukia Member Posts: 7
    edited April 11
    Not having anything to do with the mechanics interferes with understanding what's going on and your ability to optimize.

    >Save vs Spell: 15

    Ok, so is this a success or a failure? Is that a die roll or a modified die roll? If modified, modified by what, and from what?
    (2E's base values are completely random.) Oh, and is higher better or is lower better?
    It's completely opaque what's going on.

    3.5E may have more customization, but it's from an understandable base. Saves start from zero and you need to roll to beat them as they increase, instead of increasing saves decreasing them and decreasing saves increasing them and having no idea what base you're rolling from. In 3.5E spell levels add to save DC making higher level spells harder to resist, giving them an innate scaling advantage over lower level spells (unlike a BG Cleric's level 7 Confusion being the exact same as a Wizard's level 4 one, completely invalidating the concept that higher tier spells should generally be more powerful). A higher casting ability stat will increase your save DC's, but if you don't understand how that's an advantage to you you're still led to increasing your casting stat by the fact it gives you bonus spells, so the system leads you by the hand.

    3.5E has a greater number of options but they're individually less impactful (meaning it's harder to truly gimp your character) than 2E where you need to have exacting knowledge just to be anything approaching viable. A 14 STR warrior is completely viable in 3.5E. Meanwhile in 2E, the difference in damage just between 17STR and 19STR is equivalent to TWELVE ability score increases in 3.5E. (NWN2 is a huge Monty Haul campaign but even there you top out at +8 items in the OC and +10 in Mask of the Betrayer, so you literally never gain an item that's more impactful than knowing to click "half-orc" in BG and maxing the strength, or to have the metagame knowledge that there's a tome of strength in BG1 so you can take a gimped 18STR character up to the God-tier 19.)

    2E is a colossal mess and nobody should try learning D&D from it, you should learn real D&D and then come back and see just how terrible 2E is compared to it.

    Flashburn
  • kuchikirukiakuchikirukia Member Posts: 7
    edited April 11
    How did I manage to completely nuke my post with an edit?

    Anyway, it was a very lengthy post saying that while 3.5E may have more options, they're individually less impactful than you have at just character creation in 2E, and since they're building off understandable mechanics they're not hard to follow. 2E is a colossal mess right from the start.

  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,789
    How did I manage to completely nuke my post with an edit?

    Anyway, it was a very lengthy post saying that while 3.5E may have more options, they're individually less impactful than you have at just character creation in 2E, and since they're building off understandable mechanics they're not hard to follow. 2E is a colossal mess right from the start.

    It was caught by the spam filter for some reason. I have restored it.

    JuliusBorisovSkatan
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    edited April 12
    2E is a colossal mess and nobody should try learning D&D from it, you should learn real D&D and then come back and see just how terrible 2E is compared to it.

    As much as I love BG 1 & 2 and would pick them any day over NWN 1 & 2, this is very true. I prefer pretty much every aspect of 3.5 (if that's what NWN is based on) to that of 2. If you screw up in character creation in BG, you are making your life infinitely harder (unless you are already a veteran who knows the game inside out, in which case you have probably deliberately screwed up in order to make the game more challenging). Multiclassing is way better in NWN - there is no God class (fighter/mage or fighter/cleric) and any-other-class. Skills and feats make classes much more interesting to play - you have at least some finesse with your fighter now, it is not just clicking 'attack target' and sipping tea while waiting for everything to be dead, as in BG. Shame the original NWN campaign is such utter boring garbage.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,785
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    2E is a colossal mess and nobody should try learning D&D from it, you should learn real D&D and then come back and see just how terrible 2E is compared to it.

    As much as I love BG 1 & 2 and would pick them any day over NWN 1 & 2, this is very true. I prefer pretty much every aspect of 3.5 (if that's what NWN is based on) to that of 2. If you screw up in character creation in BG, you are making your life infinitely harder (unless you are already a veteran who knows the game inside out, in which case you have probably deliberately screwed up in order to make the game more challenging). Multiclassing is way better in NWN - there is no God class (fighter/mage or fighter/cleric) and any-other-class. Skills and feats make classes much more interesting to play - you have at least some finesse with your fighter now, it is not just clicking 'attack target' and sipping tea while waiting for everything to be dead, as in BG. Shame the original NWN campaign is such utter boring garbage.

    nwn 1 uses 3E rules and nwn 2 uses 3.5E rules

    but when it comes to "no god class" this is where i find 3rd edition to be even more broken than 2nd edition and you can EASILY make characters that can kill everything on the screen while drinking tea

    a fighter ( or barbarian ) bard/ dragon disciple with a scythe will have huge AC, enormous STR and wreck everything it fights ( in fact i had one of those go against the red dragon in NWN without any buffs and still win without using any healing potions during the fight, i think the dragon's name is klauth )

    then you have fighter/monk/weapon master use scythe and GG, critical hits dealing way over 200 damage in HotU ( only over 100 or so damage before level 21 )

    infact multi classing in 3rd is what makes that edition broken thanks to all that level dipping, in NWN 1 its a bit more sane because you can only be 3 classes but in NWN 2 they bumped it up to 4 and the OP madness is even higher, in NWN 2 you can be a figher/bard/dragon disciple/weapon master scythe user, and at that point you are practically unstoppable

    infact every run i have with NWN in all the campaigns i do them solo style because A) team AI is absolute garbage and they are just in the way for the most part and B ) you get less XP using them and C ) because this is 3rd edition they really aren't even all that necessary granted how strong characters become in 3rd edition

    StummvonBordwehr
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