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How do you manage Thac0 on a shadowdancer?

I often hear the complaint that while Shadow Dancers can get a backstab every round, their Thac0 is too low to actually land the backstab most of the time.

Is there anything you've found effective for mitigating this weakness?


  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,644
    edited April 17
    Backstabs get +4 to hit from being invisible, plus they negate Dex bonuses, plus you get another +4 if you attack a ranged enemy in melee. I've never had much difficulty hitting in backstabs with any sort of thief.

    But then, I run in parties, and usually go for the squishies first with my backstabbers. They're more vulnerable, after all. If you're backstabbing everything, some targets are tougher to hit. Heavily armored monsters like doom guards and battle horrors might take multiple tries. But you're still hitting them a lot better than you'd hit without the backstabs.

    As an extreme case, consider Imoen at level 5 versus Nimbul. Backstab with the +2 short sword: 90% chance to hit, guaranteed kill if you do. Shoot a normal arrow with a +1 shortbow: hit on a 19, definitely don't kill.
    Post edited by jmerry on
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,916
    if you are a half-orc you can start with 19 STR which gives you a +3 to hit bonus ( as apposed to 18 STR's +1 to hit bonus )

    thieves can also wear the gauntlets of ogre power which can set their STR to 18/00

    also, having 18 STR and getting the DuHM special ability in chapter 6 and 7 can make your STR 19+ which helps as well

    so i guess this doesn't help much in the early game ( unless of coarse you are a half orc )

    the gauntlets of weapon specialization helps a little bit with their +1 to hit, and +2 to damage

    and perhaps using staff as your backstab weapon, the +3 version is relatively cheap and easy to get, and comes with that nice +3 to hit bonus for being a +3 weapon

    or if you are a power gamer/evil you can kill drizzt for his scimitars which are arguably the best single handed melee weapons in bg1
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,351
    Chronicler wrote: »

    Is there anything you've found effective for mitigating this weakness?

    No. Playing single class thieves is a boring choir if backstabbing in melee is the primary MO. As soon as I found eekeeper I never looked back.
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