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Which of these parties would you prefer?

1. Pc fighter
2. Branwen/Yeslick
3. Coran
4. Dynaheir
5. Minsc
6. Kivan

Or

1. Pc fighter
2. Branwen/Yeslick
3. Coran
4. Imoen dualed at level 2
5. Ajantis
6. Kivan

Or

1. Pc inquisitor
2. Branwen/Yeslick
3. Coran
4. Imoen dualed at level 2
5. Khalid
6. Jaheira

Choosing to dual her at level 2 just to have a straight up mage. Screw her thief abilities. Safana will temporarily cover that until Coran is recruited. There’s no traps before you reach cloakwood besides in Nashkel Mines, Firewine Ruins, Ulcastyr school, a cave in Seawatcher, and a cave in Lonely Peaks. Exploring the wilderness to gain levels and get magic weapons will be the path before getting Safana and taking on the Nashkel Mines.

Comments

  • The_Baffled_KingThe_Baffled_King Member Posts: 79
    The first party looks a bit short-handed towards the beginning of the game, so if I went with that lineup then I'd want to take some combination of other early-game NPCs along, at least until I arrived in Nashkel to recruit Branwen and Minsc. On the plus side, I'm a big fan of sneaking around, so two rangers and a fighter/thief sounds like fun.

    The second party doesn't have the same problem as the first, but it seems a little bland to me in terms of the classes used. I'd also be a bit concerned about taking Kivan early on if you don't plan on doing Nashkel fairly quickly, due to the quest timers involved, but from the rest of your post I'm guessing you've factored that into your plans?

    The third party has a good mix of classes (I like having three spell-casters in a six-person party), fills out nicely at the start of the game, and generally looks pretty effective. I'd still avoid it like the plague, but that's only because I've played with the Khalid/Jaheira/Imoen lineup too often!

    You haven't mentioned whether intra-party banter is important to you, or if you're using any mods, so I'll leave it at that.
  • ZeroxSP7ZeroxSP7 Member Posts: 5
    @The_Baffled_King

    First party I’ll have Imoen as thief until Coran is recruited. Then Ajantis will fill out the 6th slot until I get Kivan. And yeah I’ve factored in the quest timers.

    For the second and third parties, Xan could be a replacement for Imoen. I only chose Imoen because I don’t like being restricted from using certain schools.

    Party banter doesn’t matter to me. I’m not using any mods either. I play on PS4.
  • The_Baffled_KingThe_Baffled_King Member Posts: 79
    ZeroxSP7 wrote: »
    First party I’ll have Imoen as thief until Coran is recruited. Then Ajantis will fill out the 6th slot until I get Kivan.
    That definitely helps. I mean, to be fair, one can mostly do what they want in unmodded BG1, especially if they're willing to run away, and/or cheese fights, and/or heavily rely on player knowledge. The less likely you are to do that, the more likely you are to benefit from taking Khalid/Jaheira, Xzar/Montaron, or Beregost NPCs along to Nashkel.

    With the second party, it does occur to me that Ajantis and Yeslick will be fighting over the dex gauntlets - and I don't know if your PC might end up wanting them as well?

    For the third party, I'm far less keen on it without mods. I use Icewind Dale spells, which provide a much-needed improvement for druids in my view. I also sometimes give Jaheira her BG2 dexterity of 17; without that, she'll also be fighting Yeslick for the dex gauntlets (although it's worse with Ajantis, as he's basically just a front-liner).
  • ZeroxSP7ZeroxSP7 Member Posts: 5
    @The_Baffled_King

    PC won’t want the dex gauntlets. And yeah that’s a concern of mine. But my plan for that party is to make Ajantis specialized in two handed swords in addition to his bastard swords. He would get the strength gauntlets and would pretty much just be missing out on 1 point of AC compared to Minsc. At least he gets better saving throws and paladin abilities. I try to tell myself that that all makes up for it. But idk. I’m not sure.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,741
    edited May 17
    Without mods, party banter really isn't an issue in BG1. It's just not there. Except maybe in SoD.

    One concern I look for in building a party - don't double up too much on weapons. You can support two longbow archers, but a third will require using inferior equipment. For most melee item types, you probably shouldn't have more than one warrior focusing on them. Although archers' backup weapons don't count as much.

    With that in mind, what do the characters you're considering focus on?
    Player character: anything. You haven't specified that, after all.
    Yeslick: slings and hammers with a shield. Branwen can use them too.
    Coran: longbows, with longswords for melee.
    Dynaheir: irrelevant, but starts with sling proficiency
    Minsc: two-handed swords or maces, longbows. Can also pick any specialty completed at level 6.
    Kivan: longbows, halberds. Can also pick any specialty completed at level 6.
    Imoen: irrelevant, but will probably use a shortbow most of the time.
    Ajantis: bastard swords or two-handed swords, longbows. Can also pick any specialty completed at level 6.
    Khalid: longswords, longbows. As a pure fighter, he can go beyond specialization and really focus on one of those.
    Jaheira: clubs, slings. Can also pick any specialty completed at level 6.

    They all look like solid parties heavy on combat power, with plenty of archery. Any of them should have an easy time with most of the game's challenges. Though if you pick one of the first two, one of the three potential longbow archers should spec for melee instead.

    On how much skill you need on Imoen ... the traps in the Nashkel Mines cap at difficulty 15 and the chest trap in the bandit camp is difficulty 20. Imoen starts with more than enough for those. There are no plot-critical locks, though the chests in the bandit camp go up to difficulty 70. You may have to come back later with Coran, who starts with a high lockpicking skill.

    Once you reach the Cloakwood and have Coran, trap difficulties go up. The web traps in the spider area require skill 50 to even detect, and there's one floor trap (a glyph of warding) in the bottom level of the Cloakwood Mines that spikes all the way to difficulty 90 to detect and disarm. Coran does not start with much trap-detecting skill - only 20 - so you'll need to invest in the skill with his level-ups. And if you can find some potions of perception to temporarily improve that skill, keep them around as well. Or potions of mind focusing in a pinch, though your party mage may want those for spell scribing (at Core Rules difficulty or higher).

    Outside of that ... I don't really have an opinion, because these days I don't build a party without a theme. Evil this time, fire the last time, and no spells before that. Building around constraints like that cuts down on the options quite a bit.
  • The_Baffled_KingThe_Baffled_King Member Posts: 79
    ZeroxSP7 wrote: »
    But my plan for that party is to make Ajantis specialized in two handed swords in addition to his bastard swords. He would get the strength gauntlets and would pretty much just be missing out on 1 point of AC compared to Minsc. At least he gets better saving throws and paladin abilities. I try to tell myself that that all makes up for it. But idk. I’m not sure.
    Okay, sounds like your PC is gonna be the tank then? With Ajantis hanging back slightly to attack with the two-hander? That's totally fine in unmodded game, where the enemy AI won't twig that there's someone with lower armor class nearby.

    However, Ajantis is much worse than Minsc for what you're planning. The strength gauntlets don't come along until Chapter 5, and until then you're at -1 to hit and -4 to damage compared to Minsc. Also, you're not making great use of your proficiencies. Minsc is good to go with a two-hander from the start, with a blunt weapon proficiency to use on skeletons, and he becomes a decent archer at level 3 (which is generally useful even if you don't want to be a ranged fighter all game/in all fights). In contrast, with Ajantis, if you specialize in two-handed swords at level 3 then you don't get to specialize in longbows when it's most useful.

    If you're happy taking Xan, and you're happy having a third spellcaster in the party, I'd consider ditching Ajantis for Xan, or ditching Ajantis instead of Branwen once Yeslick becomes available. But... really, I'd go for whatever seems most fun.
    jmerry wrote: »
    One concern I look for in building a party - don't double up too much on weapons. You can support two longbow archers, but a third will require using inferior equipment. For most melee item types, you probably shouldn't have more than one warrior focusing on them. Although archers' backup weapons don't count as much.
    This is good advice, particularly the bit about melee weapons. I wouldn't worry quite so much about one archer lacking a magic bow until Chapter 5 when two of your archers are Coran and Kivan.
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