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Class selection for entire saga run with SCS, w/o XP cap, full party

ZoltanavrZoltanavr Member Posts: 9
Hello everyone! I’m going to start new run of entire saga ( bg1ee, sod, bg2ee) with SCS and other mods w/o XP cap in full party. So far my list of potential protagonist looks as the following:

Swashbuckler
F/M/T
Dual Kensai/Mage
Cleric/Mage
Dragon Disciple
Blade


What is your recommendation for smooth and reliable play through full saga?

Thanks for detailed answers for the best choice of the protagonist!

Comments

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,366
    Swashbuckler -> Mage dual is a fun choice that comes somewhat close to the power of fighter/mage or F/M/T. It's also quite powerful, if not as powerful as those other choices. But it is in the same vein as most of your list.

    It also enables extreme flexibility in your party composition, as your protagonist covers all the necessary bases themselves. Invest thief points in find traps, maybe even placing traps, and skip the stealth skills. Pairs well with a ranger NPC, especially Valygar.

    As has been noted elsewhere, the best overpowered protagonist along the lines your listing is Berserker -> Mage dual.

  • shylamanshylaman Member Posts: 159
    Anything fighter/mage is a solid choice. I dig the gnome Fighter/Illusionist. Shorty saving throws rock. Spirit Armor, Mirror Image, and eventually Stoneskin make for an epic tank for any fighter/mage combo. Swashbuckler mage is a good choice, too. I prefer multi class over dual myself. I hate the down time of the dual class.

  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    edited July 18
    Since you are power gaming with xp cap off, may I suggest the following changes ?

    1. In place of Cleric/Mage, make it a Ranger/Cleric with the Druid book option "ON". So much better than the cleric/mage and almost as powerful as the Fighter/Mage combos. And your party already has more than enough Arcane casters.

    2. DD kit benefits over a Sorcerer aren't that relevant, especially in a party. I would go with Vanilla Sorcerer for that extra casting of a spell per level, which would matter in the higher spell levels.

    3. An Orc Fighter/Thief would be better than a Swashbuckler and even be able to Backstab when the option is present.

    4. The FMT and the Blade almost server the same purpose. Would replace one of them with an Inquisitor for its Dispel and Truesight.

    Post edited by ShadowBlaze on
  • ZoltanavrZoltanavr Member Posts: 9

    DinoDin wrote: »
    Swashbuckler -> Mage dual is a fun choice that comes somewhat close to the power of fighter/mage or F/M/T. It's also quite powerful, if not as powerful as those other choices. But it is in the same vein as most of your list.

    It also enables extreme flexibility in your party composition, as your protagonist covers all the necessary bases themselves. Invest thief points in find traps, maybe even placing traps, and skip the stealth skills. Pairs well with a ranger NPC, especially Valygar.

    As has been noted elsewhere, the best overpowered protagonist along the lines your listing is Berserker -> Mage dual.

    After reading comments here and on Reddit I tend to select Berserker9 >Mage or F/M/T.

    1st option is great in BG1 and SOA & TOB. The main concern for me is downtime during entire SOD.
    2nd option looks great to me as every new level gain will make me stronger as a son of Bhaal. The issue is that I do not know how much XP I will get and will I get 9th level spells.

  • ZoltanavrZoltanavr Member Posts: 9
    shylaman wrote: »
    Anything fighter/mage is a solid choice. I dig the gnome Fighter/Illusionist. Shorty saving throws rock. Spirit Armor, Mirror Image, and eventually Stoneskin make for an epic tank for any fighter/mage combo. Swashbuckler mage is a good choice, too. I prefer multi class over dual myself. I hate the down time of the dual class.

    My main concern with F/M is lack of thieving abilities through entire saga.
    P.S. I got too much discussions on turnip 😄

  • ZoltanavrZoltanavr Member Posts: 9
    Since you are power gaming with xp cap off, may I suggest the following changes ?

    1. In place of Cleric/Mage, make it a Ranger/Cleric with the Druid book option "ON". So much better than the cleric/mage and almost as powerful as the Fighter/Mage combos. And your party already has more than enough Arcane casters.

    2. DD kit benefits over a Sorcerer aren't that relevant, especially in a party. I would go with Vanilla Sorcerer for that extra casting of a spell per level, which would matter in the higher spell levels.

    3. An Orc Fighter/Thief would be better than a Swashbuckler and even be able to Backstab when the option is present.

    4. The FMT and the Blade almost server the same purpose. Would replace one of them with an Inquisitor for its Dispel and Truesight.

    The list I mentioned is not my party set-up - it’s protagonist options I consider for full saga run with SCS w/o XP cap.

  • XDarkStrikerXXDarkStrikerX Member Posts: 77
    You seem to really want to have mage spells for your protagonist and want some mage spells on top judging from the classes you listed. Just so you know, you can tank all traps and open all locks with a mage class with proper buffs. Some rare traps will re-trigger if not disarmed but it's not the majority of the cases at all, and those traps can be used to damage enemies as well so you can consider that.

    I would consider Mage/Thief honestly or as you listed swashbuckler already, dualed to mage at level 5 which will allow you to reach level 9 mage in BG1 anyway (not relevant due to your xp cap off) and max Find Trap while getting a pretty decent amount of Detect Illusion, or you could level a bit more and also max it and it wouldn't change anything in the long run. Just max find trap to 100 after dexterity as invisibility/staff of the magi cover stealth while bashing and knock covers open lock. You're still going to be able to buff your pickpocket skill if needed with potions but it's never needed for anything unless you want to break the economy. You already get a very good blade during BG2 and a Cleric/Mage so i wouldn't choose them as protagonist. FMT is good but level extremely slow in a full party, only take it if you really want those short duration high APR and Thac0 mislead backstabs as it won't offer anything else really unique except that especially if you're taking Haer'Dalis with you. Even with XP cap off it's going to be some real work on a full party to reach high enough levels to make it overcome the 2 class multis or duals, it's more of a small party/solo class.

    Other choices are already listed, things to consider is that even with the xp cap removed, leveling speed matters more and more the bigger your party. This gives an early advantage to dual classes for a full party if you don't mind the downtime and are prepared for it but they will end up lacking compared to multis in the long run assuming that you'll get enough xp.

    Berserker/Mage is always solid going full fighter in bg1 and mage caster in bg2, Fighter/Illusionist is insane but level slower trading better spell progression for ridiculous endgame melee potential, best class in the game from my experience and opinion. Sorcerer or Dragon Disciple end up strong but the spell choice is a chore, not that strong for BG1 due to the lack of versatility but having access to all known spells without scrolls and eventually all level 9 spells at all time is an insane advantage. All of those classes honestly make the rest of the party useless most of the time however as they're so strong by themselves. It really depends on who you want for the rest of the party really. If you cover the thief part with other party members, Fighter/Cleric is very good, Totemic Druid is good too but doesn't scale well, Cavalier and Dwarven Defender are very good fighters, Archer is fun an solid for the whole trilogy, totally insane for BG1 and scale well into ToB with proper gear and tactics. Possibilities are endless for a smooth and reliable playthrough, especially with xp cap off, it's going to be unbalanced for sure and you should end up stronger than you should.

    Zoltanavr
  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 39
    Zoltanavr wrote: »
    The list I mentioned is not my party set-up - it’s protagonist options I consider for full saga run with SCS w/o XP cap.

    BIG oops, sorry about that. Anyways, I would suggest a Ranger/Cleric with Druid books on or a variation of Fighter/Mage for powergaming purposes.

    Since XP cap is off, FMT is also a solid choice.

    Zoltanavr
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,048
    edited July 18
    FM would be the game's single strongest class and FMT its most versatile, so either of those are always solid choices if you are looking for an especially powerful MC. Cleric/mage and blade are also toward the upper end power-wise, but aren't as strong as FM/FMT and are already available in-game with Aerie and Haer'Dalis, if that matters to you.

    Single-class thieves are always below-average power-wise so I'm having a hard time understanding why swashbuckler would be a list of especially strong protagonists. Though others are certainly right that any thief dualed to mage would be plenty strong if you're wanting your MC to cast 9th level mage spells.

    Also having a hard time seeing dragon disciple on this list, for two reasons. First, mage protections are so strong that you do not need the extra hit points offered by the DD, whereas having fewer spells per day will hurt in some situations notably the endgame. Second, while sorcerers are great in games like IWD where scrolls are scarce and the need for strategy is minimal, their fixed spellbooks really hurt in BG2 where you ideally want to be swapping between numerous spells on a situational basis.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,882
    The extra hit points on the Dragon Disciple? Not that important, but nice all the same. Same with the AC - mages don't generally go for AC protection, but a DD can stack things like Spirit Armor, Blur, and Improved/Mass Invisibility for extremely good AC. The permanent, undispellable, fire protection? Now that's a big deal; there are a lot of party-unfriendly fire spells you can unleash on the battlefield if you build the party right. And if you go for Project Image/Wish use, lower spell counts aren't an issue at all in the endgame.

    Switching between spells? Sure, I'd like a mage in the party that can do that. But being able to stack lots of instances of a single spell is great too, especially for buffing purposes. My last party, with a Dragon Disciple protagonist, was running around with Spirit Armor and Protection from Magical Energy on the whole party, all the time once Wish was in play. And with a PI-using sorcerer, that doesn't get in the way of spells like Stoneskin and Pierce Magic at the same level. Call up an image to cast the buffs, then kill it off and fight with the other spells you can cast in that slot.
    That party also had multiple divine casters, enough to add Death Ward, Protection from Evil 10', and Chaotic Commands to the buffs everybody got.

    The run I'm referring to is fully documented in the playthroughs forum. And it's definitely the most powerful party I've ever built. Dragon Disciple protagonist, final BG2 companions Anomen, Cernd, Isra (mod Cavalier), Jaheira, and Nalia.

    While you probably don't want to duplicate that exactly, there's a philosophy that goes with it. Plan the whole party, not just the protagonist. For that party's fire theme, I decided in advance not only who would be in the long-term party but how they would protect themselves with fire.

  • ZoltanavrZoltanavr Member Posts: 9
    edited July 20
    So finally after all replies here and on Reddit I decided to have my full saga playtrough (BG1EE, SOD, SOA and TOB) with SCS and no XP cap & full party with elfish FMT as I do not want to have downtime in SOD or SOA, not be much dependant on companions' thieving abilities and lack of XP cap should allow me to get decent XP to enjoy HLAs and 9th level arcane spells.

    Post edited by Zoltanavr on
    StummvonBordwehrshylaman
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