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Optimal Statline for a Specialist Mage/Cleric

IncarnateIncarnate Member Posts: 7
Hello everyone.

I'm curious as to what you guys think would be the optimal statline, when you take various factors into consideration, and you're constrained by a certain amount of attribute points rolled. Personally, I prefer making characters that are optimal game mechanically but also are well rounded and would make sense from an roleplaying perspective. I know the physical stats - Strength, Dexterity and Constitution are always important, it's just a matter of what you need. I'm well are of what the attributes offer at the various numerical levels, and that for the most part characters that have stats between 7-14 will receive either negligible penalties, bonuses or none at all, and the real penalties are between at 3-6 and the real bonuses are from 15+. With that being said, I'm also well aware that there are various ways to achieve stats that are higher or even 18's, mostly through magical items or spells/potions.

So I rolled 91 points for my new character to go solo in HoW, where the plan is to make it a human specialist mage, a necromancer specifically, which at some point will be dualing into a cleric. Personally I feel this statline is the most balanced and optimal for the character with various considered:
Main Statline: Str: 12 | Dex: 18 | Con: 16 | Int: 18 | Wis: 17 | Cha:10
Alternate Statline: Str: 16 | Dex: 14 | Con: 16 | Int: 18 | Wis: 18 | Cha:9
Please note that I consider both equally viable as a main statline.

Strength at 12 will give 90 encumbrance points and is decent for a mage.
At this point it will mainly help carry items, however it can be enhanced through spells, magical items or potions. Once the character is dualled to a cleric the strength can be further enhanced through Draw upon holy might and holy power - if needed. If I went with the alternate statline, the character would get 150 encumbrance points plus a +1 damage adjustment to melee and ranged attacks that benefit from strength.

Dexterity will offer a great ac adjustment of -4 and a missile adjustment of -2, which is very nice as the means I don''t need to use magical equipment, potions or spells to improve it. If I went with the alternate statline, I could basically just whenever the character was going into combat be casting Cat's Grace, use a dexterity enhancing potion or item. Another benefit of going with the alternate statline is that it wouldn't suddenly become encumbered because of a strength enhancing effect suddenly wearing off.

Constitution of 16, means the character will get +2 hp per level, which is the maximum either way, as it's not going to be a fighter.

Intelligence of 18 means that it will be possible to learn 9'th level mage spells, a total of 18 known spells
85% chance to learn new spells and +10 to lore.

Wisdom of 17 means missing out on a 4'th level bonus spell and +3 lore points. I could drop 1 point in charisma and receive a -1 reaction adjustment to get what the character would be missing out on.

Charisma of 10 means no inherent benefits nor drawbacks.

Which of the two statline would you prefer and why?
If you have another statline you'd prefer with 91 for the mentioned build, I'm very interested to hear it, along with your arguments for why you'd prefer it.

// Inc.

Comments

  • ThoriumThorium Member Posts: 34
    I have to double-check, did you mean HoW or HoF? Those acronyms mix up very easily :)

    I would lean towards the first statline. However, it depends quite a lot from your playstyle. Here are some of my thoughts:

    Strength: 12 is enough magic-user, but annoyingly low if you plan to deal physical damage with your character. This might actually matter quite much in the early game since you will have only a limited selection of spells. Your first way (if not counting potions) to raise this stat would be Wizard's Strength spell. It gives only 1d4 for Wizards and you would need a max roll to get 16. Nevertheless, after you survive the early parts of the game strength becomes easy to buff.

    Dexterity: it would be nice to have 18, but something like 16 could be enough. I feel 14 is a bit too low since Cat's grace would not be a reliable way to get high Dex.

    Constitution: 16 is the way to go.

    Intelligence: 18 is nice to have. You will still need to be drinking potions when scribing new spells to your book since specialist wizards suffer 15% penalty to write magic in any other than their favored school.

    Wisdom: I think 17 is enough, one extra 4th level spell means very little.

    Charisma: Unfortunately, this stat is quite useless in this game. I think that 8 is the realistic minimum for a character, and below that it becomes min-maxing (unless justifiable somehow from roleplaying perspective). So, you could maybe drop charisma to 8 or 9 even with the first statline.

    So, I would maybe go for something like Str 14, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 17, Cha 8.
  • IncarnateIncarnate Member Posts: 7
    Thorium wrote: »
    I have to double-check, did you mean HoW or HoF? Those acronyms mix up very easily :)

    I would lean towards the first statline. However, it depends quite a lot from your playstyle. Here are some of my thoughts:

    Strength: 12 is enough magic-user, but annoyingly low if you plan to deal physical damage with your character. This might actually matter quite much in the early game since you will have only a limited selection of spells. Your first way (if not counting potions) to raise this stat would be Wizard's Strength spell. It gives only 1d4 for Wizards and you would need a max roll to get 16. Nevertheless, after you survive the early parts of the game strength becomes easy to buff.

    Dexterity: it would be nice to have 18, but something like 16 could be enough. I feel 14 is a bit too low since Cat's grace would not be a reliable way to get high Dex.

    Constitution: 16 is the way to go.

    Intelligence: 18 is nice to have. You will still need to be drinking potions when scribing new spells to your book since specialist wizards suffer 15% penalty to write magic in any other than their favored school.

    Wisdom: I think 17 is enough, one extra 4th level spell means very little.

    Charisma: Unfortunately, this stat is quite useless in this game. I think that 8 is the realistic minimum for a character, and below that it becomes min-maxing (unless justifiable somehow from roleplaying perspective). So, you could maybe drop charisma to 8 or 9 even with the first statline.

    So, I would maybe go for something like Str 14, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 17, Cha 8.

    I meant HoW as in Heart of Winter, the expansion and sequel to Icewind dale.

    Yes, I agree, 12 is rather low but then again, I'd rather rely on ranged attacks anyways when out of spells, at least until I can reliably buff it. However that said, 14 seems to be a good middle ground as the extra encumbrance points is always good. Obviously, it will be easy to buff reliably once it gets level 2 cleric spells, and onwards even easier, but the tricky part is when dual to the cleric, because there are some really nice wizard spells at higher levels.

    Seemingly, if Dexterity is to be buffed using for instance cat's grace, then 17 might actually be a sweet spot, as it would always raise it to 18 at a bare minimum.

    Yep, 16 in Constitution is the way to go when there no early fighter levels.

    Yeah, it would be necessary to have the highest chance when scribing, of course the are items that enhance intelligence, though I'm not sure if any would come along my way during the playthrough.

    I got the same reasoning with 17 in Wisdom, it's nice enough to have that one extra 4'th level spell, but I think that extra attribute point could mean a lot more in the long run if placed meaningfully.

    With regards to charisma, there actually are dialogue options that are based on charisma, where not having another character as the acting face of the party, I may get stuck with some poor choices - I think there is already one after speaking to Wylfdene the first time, where not having enough will result in a battle being outnumbered and surrounded. Plus, that particular situation, you get awarded more XP for avoiding the fight than you would killing them. So it's possible it could be a good amount of XP tied to having high enough charisma and choosing the right dialogue options.
  • ThoriumThorium Member Posts: 34
    Incarnate wrote: »
    I meant HoW as in Heart of Winter, the expansion and sequel to Icewind dale.

    Oh, my bad. Seemingly I have read way too many HoF solo threads. :) But yeah, when starting from HoW, the first statline seems to be even better since you can count on spells in the beginning.

    About the right moment for dual classing: I guess you are planning to do also Trials of the Luremaster? Probably it would be nice to have 8th or 9th mage spells if you go there?
  • IncarnateIncarnate Member Posts: 7
    Thorium wrote: »
    Incarnate wrote: »
    I meant HoW as in Heart of Winter, the expansion and sequel to Icewind dale.

    Oh, my bad. Seemingly I have read way too many HoF solo threads. :) But yeah, when starting from HoW, the first statline seems to be even better since you can count on spells in the beginning.

    About the right moment for dual classing: I guess you are planning to do also Trials of the Luremaster? Probably it would be nice to have 8th or 9th mage spells if you go there?

    No worries, I know how it is.
    Exactly, having a lot of spells to rely on is a lot of help, hence why strength isn't that important. However more strength is always nice when doing solos as you have no other mules to carry your stuff. But even at low level with a low strength like 12 and when being out of spells, a sling and of lot bullets will be a real asset.

    Yes, I plan on to do that as well. Besides, having access to 8'th or 9'th if doing a playthrough again with that character on harder difficulty, I'm sure those will come in handy. Since that's established, the real question here is what's feasible with the amount xp that is possible to be earned, because there is no point in dualling too late if I can't earn enough to make the class benefits active again. Obviously, it's going to be a sacrifice between getting as many high level spells slots at not gimping the character too much.
    As when I actually dual, I won't have access to all those nice spells until after the level I dualled it.
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