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Best swords and dual-classing for human Kensai?

YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
What style and type of swords do U suggest for Kensai? ⚔️

Should I choose dual-classing to Mage or Thief at level 29?

N.B. Difficulty = HoF.

Comments

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Longsword is best, bastard sword is worst. I'd dual-wield longswords and maybe put a couple pips in fails once you've reached grandmastery in longsword and have two pips in 2wf.
    Yigor
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Longsword is best, bastard sword is worst. I'd dual-wield longswords and maybe put a couple pips in fails once you've reached grandmastery in longsword and have two pips in 2wf.

    Thanks! ? Normally, there will be 13 pips at level 28 (at least, it is so for Berserker). So, hopefully, I could have grand mastery both in longswords and flails + 3 pips for dual-wielding. ?

    What about katanas, scimitars etc.?
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,072
    For IWD, longswords and flails are the best weapon types in the game for availability, variety and (mostly) power. Scimitar selection is as bad as BG/BG2 and katana selection is poor as well, except for one which you get too late in the game to matter.

    As to whether fighter/mage or fighter/thief is a better choice for a 29/30 HoF character... easily fighter/mage if you are looking for power, though you can make it through the game pretty easily with either.
    YigorStummvonBordwehr
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,436
    The main reason to play a Kensai-Thief is super-powered backstabbing. The flat damage boosts from being a Kensai and from weapon mastery get multiplied in a backstab, for truly massive damage when you stab. Once the dual is complete, anyway. Even before that point, stealth is good at keeping enemies from hitting you - which you need when you don't have armor.

    A Kensai-Mage relies on spells for defense, to cover that no-armor weakness. Lacking a helmet doesn't hurt when the whole hit is absorbed by a Stoneskin, and lacking AC doesn't matter when you have an absolute defense going. Whatever's left over can help your offense, though most of the time you'll just hit things with your high-powered weapon attacks.

    So then, what play style appeals to you? Do you like the backstabber, constantly striking and retreating until the enemies are dead, relying on stealth to protect you? Or do you like the fighter/mage, buffing up and wading in for a few rounds as a juggernaut, then retreating if that isn't enough to finish off all the threats?

    On weapon choices, do keep backstab potential in mind if you go with the thief option. Your main-hand weapon should be backstab-capable, which means that it's a melee weapon usable by pure thieves. Probably long swords, given the recommendations above.
    Yigor
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,072
    Another advantage mages offer is summoned monsters, because HoF mode scales them up the same way enemies scale up.
    YigorBalrog99
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    jsaving wrote: »
    For IWD, longswords and flails are the best weapon types in the game for availability, variety and (mostly) power. Scimitar selection is as bad as BG/BG2 and katana selection is poor as well, except for one which you get too late in the game to matter.

    As to whether fighter/mage or fighter/thief is a better choice for a 29/30 HoF character... easily fighter/mage if you are looking for power, though you can make it through the game pretty easily with either.

    All right, first of all, I'll try Kensai specialized (aiming for the grandmastery) in longswords and flails (as suggested also by Balrog99), then will dual-class him to mage at lvl 29. ?
    StummvonBordwehrBalrog99
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    jmerry wrote: »
    The main reason to play a Kensai-Thief is super-powered backstabbing. The flat damage boosts from being a Kensai and from weapon mastery get multiplied in a backstab, for truly massive damage when you stab. Once the dual is complete, anyway. Even before that point, stealth is good at keeping enemies from hitting you - which you need when you don't have armor.

    A Kensai-Mage relies on spells for defense, to cover that no-armor weakness. Lacking a helmet doesn't hurt when the whole hit is absorbed by a Stoneskin, and lacking AC doesn't matter when you have an absolute defense going. Whatever's left over can help your offense, though most of the time you'll just hit things with your high-powered weapon attacks.

    So then, what play style appeals to you? Do you like the backstabber, constantly striking and retreating until the enemies are dead, relying on stealth to protect you? Or do you like the fighter/mage, buffing up and wading in for a few rounds as a juggernaut, then retreating if that isn't enough to finish off all the threats?

    On weapon choices, do keep backstab potential in mind if you go with the thief option. Your main-hand weapon should be backstab-capable, which means that it's a melee weapon usable by pure thieves. Probably long swords, given the recommendations above.

    Thanks for your detailed comments! ? I like to try various playstyles. ?

    I'll create a character that can be dual-classed both to mage and thief and will export it at lvl 29. In this way, I could try both options, eventually restarting with the imported char. ?
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    Here's the description of my Kensai arrived at Kuldahar (ch. 1):

    Alburt, human, true neutral, current lvl: 8
    STR=18/96, DEX=CON=INT=18, WIS=10, CHA=4
    3 pips in dual wielding, 3 pips in flail/morgensterns
    Using two Giving Star+3 morgensterns (good for healing during melees)! ?

    N.B. Well, I transferred 1 Giving Star from my Berserker game (by importing then removing Berserker).

    Should I have some proficiency in maces in order to use Three White Doves vs undead efficiently ‽
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    After thinking it over, I've decided to get grandmastery in flails and maces (since I have already 2 Giving Stars as well as Three White Doves). At lvl 29 I'm planning to dual-class my Kensai to Mage. Well, Kensai/Thief would be for another time. ?

    Do you approve such choice? ?
    StummvonBordwehr
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    Good news: it seems that it's possible to reassign proficiencies of your char when the 1st class becomes available after dual-classing. In particular, it means that, after dual-classing Kensai to Thief at lvl 29 with grandmastery in flails and maces, I could also assign the grandmastery to longswords (or something else) at lvl 29/30!

    Please correct me if I'm wrong! ??
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    edited August 2021
    Yigor wrote: »
    Good news: it seems that it's possible to reassign proficiencies of your char when the 1st class becomes available after dual-classing. In particular, it means that, after dual-classing Kensai to Thief at lvl 29 with grandmastery in flails and maces, I could also assign the grandmastery to longswords (or something else) at lvl 29/30!

    Please correct me if I'm wrong! ??

    You could put your initial thief proficiencies in longsword and maybe single-weapon style but then you wouldn't be able to level up after 3rd level thief if you want to 'stockpile' the proficiency points and use them all at level 30 for grandmastery. I think that would be extremely boring myself. Flails and maces can't be used to backstab either so if you want both, I'd just stick to playing mage.

    Edit: To explain better, you can add the pips to your initial class once it's activated but you'd have to assign the pips at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 24th and 28th levels if you actually level up your thief normally. You'd be stuck with a 3rd level thief all the way until you have enough xp to level up to 30 if you want to spend those proficiencies in grandmastering longswords. Well, I guess you only need 4 more pips so you could level up to 15, which would be more palatable.
    YigorStummvonBordwehr
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    Also, unlike in BGEE & BG2EE, your kensai will not be able to use throwing weapons in IWDEE so axes and daggers are less sexy...
    Yigor
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    You could put your initial thief proficiencies in longsword and maybe single-weapon style but then you wouldn't be able to level up after 3rd level thief if you want to 'stockpile' the proficiency points and use them all at level 30 for grandmastery. I think that would be extremely boring myself. Flails and maces can't be used to backstab either so if you want both, I'd just stick to playing mage.

    Edit: To explain better, you can add the pips to your initial class once it's activated but you'd have to assign the pips at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 24th and 28th levels if you actually level up your thief normally. You'd be stuck with a 3rd level thief all the way until you have enough xp to level up to 30 if you want to spend those proficiencies in grandmastering longswords. Well, I guess you only need 4 more pips so you could level up to 15, which would be more palatable.

    Thanks a lot, your explanations are really insightful! ?

    Well, I'll try first Kensai/Mage, it should be easier anyway. ?

    Hmm... accumulating XP to level up directly from lvl 15 to lvl 30... doable but probably boring and tedious. ? I'll decide later. ?
  • YigorYigor Member Posts: 223
    Balrog99 wrote: »
    Edit: To explain better, you can add the pips to your initial class once it's activated but you'd have to assign the pips at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 24th and 28th levels if you actually level up your thief normally. You'd be stuck with a 3rd level thief all the way until you have enough xp to level up to 30 if you want to spend those proficiencies in grandmastering longswords. Well, I guess you only need 4 more pips so you could level up to 15, which would be more palatable.

    I got an idea. I could take Kensai/Thief in a duo game with my Berserker/Cleric. So, levelling up directly from lvl 15 to lvl 30, won't be boring. Also I could make a trio with my uninspiring Wizard Slayer (and dual-class him to Mage at lvl 29). In the beginning, most of useful actions will be undertaken by Berserker/Cleric, 2 other dudes will just watch and get XP. LoL ?

    Maybe, I'll unify my characters in advance and restart a new trio HoF party today. ?
    Balrog99StummvonBordwehr
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