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Full Trilogy playthrough, I want the full experience (have the cake and eat it?) suggestions?

I'm an old gamer returning to this amazing setting after a long time. I've played most of the original games at release: BG, TotSC, IWD1 and 2 but never finished BG2.

Now I'm back and looking for suggestions for a comprehensive playthrough. Last time I played I created a full 6 person group from the start and never took any companions. This time around I'd like to experience this but at the same time be able to create at least a few characters of my own. As of now I intend to play it without any mods, unless you make me reconsider. :)

My initial thought was going for four player created characters since I want to be able to make a small group where I have most of the possible spells and abilities avaliable and a group proficient to handle themselves in combat. This in my inital draft:

Half orc fighter/cleric, (warhammers/flails/two weapon prof.)
My "tank" and getting those priest spells eventually

Gnome Illusionist/Thief (longsword/shortbow) (pure thief instead?)
My thief to find traps/pick locks and hopefully do some damage.

Sorceror, for all those cool high level spells, eventually (wild mage?)

Druid, for all those cool high level spells and shape shifts. (fighter/druid half elf perhaps?)

Does this seem viable? I'd like to pick up some new members and complete their stories, will having two slots free be enough? Will my 4 player team be able to handle BG2 content with some recruited assistance? which weapon proficiencies do you recommend? Any suggestions appreciated.

Best regards, Carolus.


  • Silver_ArrowSilver_Arrow Member Posts: 22
    edited May 13
    I will assume that you are not picking characters on the role-play basis.

    Half orc fighter/cleric: very good, but everything that he can do well the berserker 9 > cleric can do better, period :smile: . So, if you're looking for something even more OP, then this is what you'd want to choose instead. You'll have yourself one of the strongest characters in the game. Flails (Warhammers) ,two weapon prof. - sure.

    Sorcerer: Many things can go wrong with this class unless you take your time to research sorcerer "must have" spell selection. If you are willing to do so, then OF COURSE YES, TAKE HIM! Otherwise you'd be better of with some mage. If you have a good understanding of spells then skip this comment :)

    Druid or Fighter/Druid: Druids stumble around levels 13-15, so if you want
    all those cool high level spells
    then I'd suggest you drop the multiclass out of the equation and go for either pure druid kit, like Avenger, or Berserker 9 > Druid dual class.
    Note: Fighter/Druid multiclass actually gets even better overall, but that would be way later into the game, more likely in TOB, so no cool high level spells for a long long time.

    Gnome Illusionist/Thief: I mean, if you like them :) go for it. I guess having a sorcerer on the side will compensate for some Illusionist limitations. But !! I assume you will be playing on some casual difficulty settings like core or whatever, so um I doubt you will be actually using all these cleric+druid+illusionist+sorcerer spells in each fight. Therefore, I'd say its a micromanagement overkill, plus lets not forget about 2 more companions. So if it was me, I would actually go for some single class here. I mean, to handle the rest of the content not covered by your other 3 characters you'd need some thief kit. Based on the party composition you can skip the swashbuckler. Pick what intrigues you the most from the rest of thief kits. (Shadowdancer and Bounty hunter are nice)

    P.S. If you're willing to squeeze in an extra character and leave only 1 spot for a companion in your party, I would suggest to pick another single class character that doesn't require much micromanagement.
    For example:
    Dwarven defender, Barbarian: if you want immortal characters :wink:
    Monk?!?: depends on your taste, maybe you like monks :) even though that's the weakest pick here.
    Archer: would be my favorite pick here, so many people underestimate this beast. Just have him at the back and forget about him. Later in the game open his stats sheet and realize half of total damage and kills is on him :wink: Or you could just install an archer thief kit, hence, still have 2 spots for companions, I've heard it's supposed to be good, but I haven't played it, so I can't vouch if this kit will have same damage performance, or worse, or better.
  • CarolusCarolus Member Posts: 2

    Thanks alot for your comprehensive suggestions! I posted the same question on the Baldur's gate reddit where almost everyone thought that playing just one character and build a group of companions would be a better way to experience the full trilogy and better immersion.

    I tend to play good guys in a RPG setting so leaning towards a Paladin or possibly that fighter(berzerker)->druid combo for later stages of the story.

    I really like you talking about mircomanagement too, since I think I like not having to care all too much about that in every fight through the game so characters that can handle themselves pretty autonomous might be something I should look into.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,644
    I'm a bit more flexible than "one created character" myself. Sometimes I've done two, sometimes I've done zero. But never more than two on any serious run. Whatever theme I'm running, it's not usually hard to fill out most of a party with recruited characters, and get the interactions between them as well as their quests.

    On that note, the mod "The BG1 NPC Project" is highly recommended. It adds BG2-style banters between NPCS, along with (generally small) individual quests for them, to BG1.

    Also, if you put in that many characters with optimized stats built for power, you can make the game too easy. I'm pretty much breezing through things with my current party - that has five out of six characters single-classed, and none of them with the inflated min/max stats that player-created characters usually have. Even Dorn, who starts with 19 strength, only starts at 14 constitution. They've just cleared Watcher's Keep down to the final seal level, while still in SoA, and only that last level, running on no rest since the beginning of the previous level, caused any character deaths. (Anomen got feared and then beaten down by the green dragon. Korgan got focused down by the Aurumach Rilmani during its Time Stop.)

    Story-wise, the main plot is heavily focused on that single protagonist. They're the Bhaalspawn, so everything happens to them and they get the extra powers. Recruited NPCs, especially in BG2 or with the Beamdog-created NPCs, have personal quests. And there's no quest content for additional player-created characters.

    What sorts of things push me to adding a second player-created character? In my "Kill It With Fire" run, in addition to my Dragon Disciple protagonist, I added an Avenger druid for the BG1 portion, so she could turn into a fire salamander and be another fire-immune front-liner. Casting fireballs into melee was the whole point, and while I could make one melee character fire-immune (Jaheira) with equipment, I needed class abilities that none of the standard companions has for a second.
    In BG2, I killed the Avenger off and took Cernd in her place.
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