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Custom party for BG1+SoD only

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After playing through the first game multiple times with several NPC's, I am planning to play BG1+SoD with a custom party on SCS-Core rules. Trying my best to do with 3 custom and 2 NPC's.

Since it is BG1+SoD only, Monks, Druid/Shaman, Paladins, Sorcerers (ouch) and almost all Dual classing options get zero love from me. My planned party is as follows.

1. "Xull" Half Orc Fighter/Thief.

My protagonist, per se, because this dude could actually truly benefit from DuHM. All tomes except Wis and Int. I think he will put his thief points first into Open locks, Find traps, Detect Illusion in that order. My caster will make him invisible when he has to backstab someone so no MS/HiS. Why Find traps second? Not that many dangerous traps before Chapter 6/Durlag Tower. Pips into Dual Scimitars for that awesome Drizzt gear (and since no importing to BG2, no consequences too). Level-up pips into Darts for some quick and dirty dart of wounding/stunning plays.

2. "Artemis" Half-Elf Ranger/Cleric

All 3 wisdom tomes for her (the only one to benefit from it). Pips into Maces/Fails & Free TWS. Tempted to turn on Druidic book for SoD (too many enemies). Could make her a Dwarf Fighter/Cleric if someone could explain how they would be better in SoD compared to Ironskin/Insect plague.

3. "Ulgrim" Gnome Fighter/Illusionist

The self-buffing and utility caster tank. In terms of BG1+SoD, I believe he is unrivaled and the lack of skull-trap doesn't seem to hurt much. The extra spell slot goes a long way w.r.t to the buffs. Starting pips into Longbows and Longswords. Later pips into TWS.

4. Edwin. Duh. I don't want to rile up something, but I believe he is better than any sorcerer one could create for BG1 (no 5th level spells in BG1 and only 2 in SoD). And he already has the best school and tops that with one more spell a day with his amulet.


6. Kivan/Minsc -> Coran -> Corwin for absolute ranged mayhem. I had no idea how strong ranged was till I looked into the end game kill stats. Coran had 23% of the kills and Corwin had 27% (more trash mobs in SoD I suppose). Mind you I just used regular arrows throughout the game except against those immune to it. I can't imagine how much more it would be if I regularly stocked them up with magical arrows. I don't think I can make a custom ranged character that much stronger than the NPC's.

6. Quest NPC.



How is this composition? Might be slightly on the overkill side, but I just want to experience multiple non-NPC classes in one run, that's all.

XDarkStrikerX

Comments

  • XDarkStrikerXXDarkStrikerX Member Posts: 77
    Seems fine to me and pretty balanced. I know you left out Druids by choice and have enabled druid spells for R/C, but since your 6th slot is open, they have some great advantages for BG1 and SoD compared to other classes. A single class druid will have access to level 5 spells during BG1 and a single class or multi will be able to get level 6 slots in SoD.

    For BG1, this means notably pixie dust, magic resistance, insect plague, Mass Cure and True seeing.
    For SoD, Conjure fire elementals, Fire seeds (great AoE for SoD), Harm, Wonderous Recall.

    For the Dwarf Fighter/Cleric, it's going to have much better saves so without the druid spell change, it can be a better choice and will level faster. Now that you enabled them, getting the druid spells and racial bonus makes up for it i think.

    ShadowBlaze
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    I can do without the druid spells R/C for BG1, but want to experience the full potential of it, especially in SoD. Also Yeslick was present in a playthrough, so I kinda have an idea of what a min-maxed Dwarven F/C would be like.

    Hmm, never thought of a solo Druid till now. Could be interesting. I imagine a druid as a weaker Cleric, given the awful spell selections and weapon restrictions. And apart from F/D (Jaheira), no other multi/dual class combo exists. Will give it a go and try to break that image.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,048
    edited June 20
    Might be a "little" on the overkill side? FM/FI is the strongest character in the game with RC a fairly close second, and you have both in your party along with the game's strongest NPC (Edwin) and a FT which is also among the game's strongest options though not quite as strong as FM or RC. The main question you'll face is not whether your party is viable but whether it's so much stronger than BioWare/Beamdog intended as to trivialize the game's content, unless you're doing things like capping party member STR at 17 to preserve a bit of challenge.

    ShadowBlaze
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    jsaving wrote: »
    Might be a "little" on the overkill side? FM/FI is the strongest character in the game with RC a fairly close second, and you have both in your party along with the game's strongest NPC (Edwin) and a FT which is also among the game's strongest options though not quite as strong as FM or RC. The main question you'll face is not whether your party is viable but whether it's so much stronger than BioWare/Beamdog intended as to trivialize the game's content, unless you're doing things like capping party member STR at 17 to preserve a bit of challenge.

    Yes, I agree it seems overkill. This is why I am slid the difficulty up to Insane+ SCS, with damage increase turned off for now. Thankfully I can slide the difficulty up/down if I find the game a bit easy or too tough in-between ;)

    My goal was not to trivialize the game, but to experience multiple power-house and unique classes in one run.

  • XDarkStrikerXXDarkStrikerX Member Posts: 77
    Well there is no wrong way to play. Especially on insane SCS, depending on your approach and overall knowledge it can be very challenging with a party of 6 powerhouses or a cakewalk with a solo level 1 character with minimal stats. If the goal is for you to have fun, you can't go wrong with your own choices. Some people like to play some impossible multi/dual classes for this reason.

    Also it's not like you'll simply be able to right click auto-attack your way through, you'll just have more tools available than a regular NPC party and ironically, less on some situations due to the slower leveling of 6 characters. That's the charm with this game, it's customizable enough to be enjoyable for all of us.

    ShadowBlaze
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    edited June 21
    Your party composition looks quite good, if a bit on the powergaming side, as others have noted. As a sixth slot, I would definitely consider a druid, as others have noted. While druid spell selection is undoubtedly trash in the first 4 spell levels (which isn't to say that there aren't good spells there), levels 5 and 6 are quite good. Plus, SoD is an ideal setting for some of the druid-only spells, probably the best setting you will find in the whole saga. For example (but you already know all this), there is a fair number of hard encounters that are happening on the outside, so Call Lightning becomes actually useful (as opposed to SoA, where you might as well just not bother with it). Also, Insect Plague is lethal because you face armies of enemies with casters in the back, so carving your way to the casters before they spam you with their annoying powers is much easier with Insect Plague (save for the armies of undead, since Insect Plague won't affect them). Finally, while druids are very mediocre in BG1, druid kits are actually some of the best ones. I especially recommend Avenger, as their mage spells are very good and fill the druid spell slots where otherwise you have almost nothing worth memorising (Web at level 2 and Improved Invisibility at level 4).

    The only issue I can see you running in with SCS insane are those annoying invisibility-potion-spam-drinking thieves that will backstab you to death, which leads me to this, in relation to Edwin...
    And he already has the best school

    This is kind of accepted folkloire, but I strongly disagree with it. In fact, if I was to chose a mage specialisation, and especially for a solo run, I'd much rather pick a Diviner. Conjuration spells are pretty garbage - a bunch of summons that you probably never use, apart from Fire Elementals, with the only spells I would consider very useful being Ghost Armor, Flame Arrow and Power Word: Stun. But I could live without any of these, especially since GA and FA are at level 3, and there is a bunch of better spells at that level anyway. You give up Divination spells, but that relies on having a full party and having others memorise these spells or use a thief with high detect illusion skill. I could live without FA, GA and PW:S (having other similar spells to compensate for that), but without any mean to reveal invisible creatures...You are dead when you first encounter a higher-level mage or a group of thieves, especially with SCS. But, again, this is mostly relevant to solo runs.

    ShadowBlaze
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,882
    If you're looking at a spell school for its positive traits in a kit, it's the spells with saves that matter. Which, for Divination, is absolutely none of them. An illusionist can use divination spells just as well as a Diviner, and illusionists can multiclass if they're gnomes.

    Having a conjurer as your only mage hurts, because of losing access to Detect Invisibility. Casting speed 2, always works - that's your tool against backstabbers. If you have another mage in the party that isn't a conjurer (which this party does), you're fine.
    You do get a partial substitute in Glitterdust. More effective if the enemy fails their save, useless if they make it.

    That said ... yeah, conjuration isn't all that great. I took a look at the spells for my Dragon Disciple in the run I recently completed. The only conjuration spells he took were Melf's Acid Arrow and Glitterdust. And if I did the run again, I'd take Detect Invisibility instead of Glitterdust.

    XDarkStrikerXShadowBlaze
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    Well there is no wrong way to play. Especially on insane SCS, depending on your approach and overall knowledge it can be very challenging with a party of 6 powerhouses or a cakewalk with a solo level 1 character with minimal stats. If the goal is for you to have fun, you can't go wrong with your own choices. Some people like to play some impossible multi/dual classes for this reason.

    Also it's not like you'll simply be able to right click auto-attack your way through, you'll just have more tools available than a regular NPC party and ironically, less on some situations due to the slower leveling of 6 characters. That's the charm with this game, it's customizable enough to be enjoyable for all of us.


    Yep, the best thing about this is we can cater the game to our style. Some like to solo, some prefer full parties with SCS, some just like the vanilla game at LoB etc.
    jmerry wrote: »
    If you're looking at a spell school for its positive traits in a kit, it's the spells with saves that matter. Which, for Divination, is absolutely none of them. An illusionist can use divination spells just as well as a Diviner, and illusionists can multiclass if they're gnomes.

    Having a conjurer as your only mage hurts, because of losing access to Detect Invisibility. Casting speed 2, always works - that's your tool against backstabbers. If you have another mage in the party that isn't a conjurer (which this party does), you're fine.
    You do get a partial substitute in Glitterdust. More effective if the enemy fails their save, useless if they make it.

    That said ... yeah, conjuration isn't all that great. I took a look at the spells for my Dragon Disciple in the run I recently completed. The only conjuration spells he took were Melf's Acid Arrow and Glitterdust. And if I did the run again, I'd take Detect Invisibility instead of Glitterdust.

    Hmm, I am levelling up Detect Illusion on my F/T because of it. Never used that in any of my BG1 playthroughs and heard it saves the Detect spell slot and is actually faster than any spell dispelling.

    The reason I like Edwin over any of my own mages is not because he is a conjurer, but because of the sheer firepower he is able to provide alone. 2 extra spells every level at the cost of a few divinity spells (none of them are necessary in BG1, I believe) is just awesome, especially Web+ Malison followed by Chaos and Cloudkill. And he is funny too :D


    @VanDerBerg Creating an avenger for SoD alone, hope I am able to realize its potential :)

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    edited June 22
    If you're looking at a spell school for its positive traits in a kit, it's the spells with saves that matter. Which, for Divination, is absolutely none of them.
    That's true, of course, but also Conjuration would hardly be the top school even by that metric. For BG1 + SoD, Enchantment, Invocation, Necromancy and Alteration would certainly top it. In fact, I would rank Conjuration towards the lower end in almost all of the metrics (overall usefulness of the spells you can cast, viability for solo etc.), except the "school whose opposite school's spells are most easily compensated for by other classes" metric, which is the one people use when declaring Conjuration as the best school.
    If you have another mage in the party that isn't a conjurer (which this party does), you're fine.

    True, of course, but do you really want to dedicate level 2 slots of F/I to Detect Invisibility as opposed to filling them with Blur and Mirror Image in SoD? For this party configuration, I'd personally rather pick Baeloth (for flexibility in switching between buffing them fighters with Haste, disabling enemies with Slow or destroying them with Fireball/Skull Trap) or Dynaheir (for stiffer Web and Stinking Cloud saves and max damage Fireball). Although, Dynaehir loses the Enchant Weapon spell, which may or may not be very important for the final confrontation.
    Creating an avenger for SoD alone, hope I am able to realize its potential :)
    You'll realise its potential by filling your level 2 slots with Web and letting Edwin (should you choose to keep him) memorise Melf's and Invisibility as his level 2 spells :) And, of course, shapeshifting into Sword Spider and make short work of almost anything that is not immune to web. Or by putting on Protection from Lightning and spamming Lightning Bolt (especially nice in the Temple of Bhaal and Dragonspear Castle basement). Or by dropping Improved Invisibility onto your fighters. Or by putting on Protection from Fire and transforming into Fire Salamander and letting Edwin/Baeloth/Dynaheir and F/I throw Fireballs at you from distance (my favorite way of dealing with the army of nasty spiders in that cave). And this is only Avenger-specific stuff, not to mention general druid spells like Insect Plague, True Seeing, Pixie Dust, Call Woodland Beings etc.

    EDIT: Protection from Fire before transforming into Fire Salamander won't work because of its Fireshield, but taking potion of fire resistance or having someone throw PfF on him afterwards will.

    Post edited by VanDerBerg on
    ShadowBlaze
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,882
    Hmm, I am levelling up Detect Illusion on my F/T because of it. Never used that in any of my BG1 playthroughs and heard it saves the Detect spell slot and is actually faster than any spell dispelling.
    A thief's Detect Illusion works once per round, and you don't have very much control of when in the round that is. Instant, but after an unpredictable delay. And thieves often start out stealthed without the help of potions. Detect Illusion doesn't help against that invisibility, because it's not an illlusion.

    DI is still great, of course. But it's better against mages than against backstabbers.

    ShadowBlaze
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    jmerry wrote: »
    Hmm, I am levelling up Detect Illusion on my F/T because of it. Never used that in any of my BG1 playthroughs and heard it saves the Detect spell slot and is actually faster than any spell dispelling.
    A thief's Detect Illusion works once per round, and you don't have very much control of when in the round that is. Instant, but after an unpredictable delay. And thieves often start out stealthed without the help of potions. Detect Illusion doesn't help against that invisibility, because it's not an illlusion.

    DI is still great, of course. But it's better against mages than against backstabbers.

    Never knew that! Yet to start BG2, so this info helps!

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    True Sight/Seeing is annoying for overlapping reason because, as far as I understand it, it is basically Oracle once round. Which thieves easily counte by taking invisibility potion straight after the spell triggers (probably not intentionally, but it always looks that way to me) and then they have six seconds to backstab you. Luckily, there is a very nice mod Tweaks and Tricks that has True True Seeing component, which makes True Sight/Seeing run constantly for a turn. It also has other nice components, such as insta trap detection, which make dungeon crawling far less tedious. Plus uncheesing of Mislead and Project Image.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,882
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    Which thieves easily counte by taking invisibility potion straight after the spell triggers (probably not intentionally, but it always looks that way to me)
    It's the way they're scripted. Am I visible? Do I have an invisibility potion? Is my aura free? If yes to all three, drink. The conditions for this, of course, usually become active the moment the sneak is revealed.

    True Seeing/Sight sets a state called "CANNOT_TURN_INVISIBLE" on the creatures it effects. This state does not actually prevent anyone from becoming invisible. In fact, the only impact the state has is that party members won't automatically drink invisibility potions while it's active. No non-party creature scripts or spell effects pay any attention to that state. A wasted opportunity.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 212
    Ah, I see. Well, luckily True True Seeing (and Spell Revisions, I think) fix this and probably use that state.

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