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Looking for suggestion for companion mage (good party)

Dear forum, new guy/first time BG1 player here

I humbly ask for advice concerning a spellcasting companion for my good (alignment) party

My party consists of
- Charname (Elven Archer)
- Imoen
- Jaheira
- Khalid
- Minsc
- (Mage here)

Pretty vanilla I suppose, but since it's my first playthrough (and I have fond memories of all these chars from my attempts of playing BG1 and BG2 back in 98' and 2000) I'd love to complete with these.

I am looking for a mage to add and my primary concern is having a fun to play, strong spellcaster... who's able to identify stuff and deal some damage.

I'm very open to different personalities

I've so far considered Dynaheir or Neera, but I'm unsure whether the latters 'volatility' will be too... well, volatile (I've heard maybe Wild Mages are okay with chaos armor, but I have no clue)

Long story short, I'd be very grateful for any recommendations to strong spellcasters that wouldn't be antithetical to a good-aligned party

Thanks plenty in advance!

Comments

  • theossytheossy Member Posts: 2
    Edit: I've tried to read up on the different subclasses... enchanter, invoker, abjurer, conjurer etc., and though this did give me a basic understanding of the differences, I still feel it's hard to predict which would be a strong addition to my team
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 935
    The old suggestion was the that the conjurer is the strongest mage specialization because they loose the least amount of spells, as they only loose divination. Nowdays there are who consider that the bonus save penalty in the choosen school is a strong addition too, and because there is only one prohibited school per specialization (there were two before) the invoker and enchanter become think good as well.
    So i think there is nothing wrong with Dynaheir, as invoker her fireballs will be way stronger and if she use fire wands the save penalty will apply the wands too.
    Here is the list in a forum for lost spells per specialization:
    https://www.gog.com/forum/baldurs_gate_series/specialist_mages_a_list_for_those_who_want_to_specialize
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,078
    You're basically using the canonical BG1 party and Dynaheir would be its last member. So she'd be a solid-choice from a role-playing point of view and also brings a lot to the table as a mage, if not as much power as evil-aligned Edwin.

    People have a love-hate relationship with Neera so you'd need to decide for yourself if you want her in the party. Some find her writing juvenile and feel her wild surges introduce more uncertainty than they're comfortable with, especially the one that randomly obliterates 80% of the party's gold. But others find her writing endearing and like the unpredictability wild surges provide.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,741
    The non-evil mages you can recruit:
    - Dynaheir. Invoker, naturally paired with Minsc so she's the obvious choice from an RP perspective. A lot of powerful spells like Web and Stinking Cloud benefit from the specialty, but you lose out on other powerful spells like Greater Malison and Confusion. She has 16 Con, so she's less squishy than most mages.
    - Neera. Wild mage. Has quest content, so it's a good idea to spend some time with her even if you don't bring her full time. All spells are available, but wild surges are generally wasted spells at low level and sometimes extremely dangerous. She has 17 Dex, so her AC will be better against incidental attacks.
    - Xan. Enchanter, found in the Nashkel mines. His specialty is the flip side of Dynaheir's, enhancing spells like Confusion and Dire Charm but denying you access to spells like Web and Magic Missile. He has 16 Dex for better AC, and a neat personal Moonblade for when he's forced into melee.
    - Quayle. Cleric/Illusionist multiclass, available in chapter 5. The illusionist specialty is fairly low-impact, not enhancing many useful spells but only cutting out necromancy - which doesn't do anything irreplaceable. He won't get the highest-level spells because he's a multiclass, but he compensates with cleric spells. He has 16 Dex for better AC and gets a few extra HP from his cleric levels. The main drawback here is how late he comes.

    I'd go with Dynaheir here. Except for Neera's quest, anyway; recruit her early on and keep her around until you rescue Dynaheir, then bring her back briefly later on for the quest. That requires protagonist level 4 and for a week to have passed since Neera talked about her backstory; the backstory talk will have triggered while you had her pre-Dynaheir.

    The main specialty options here are an invoker and an enchanter. Both are high-impact, enhancing some very powerful spells but also losing access to other very important spells. Most of your best crowd control options are either enchantment or evocation.
  • One_True_NobodyOne_True_Nobody Member Posts: 2
    edited June 22
    I actually favor Neera, since she has the extra spell slots of a specialist but the spell-availability of a generalist. Just be ready to reload your save if she vanishes your damn gold and make sure to use Chaos Shield a bunch. Sometimes her Wild Surges can be annoying but once I had a sleep spell drop bunch of cows on everyone. Took out half my companions' HP but absolutely devastated the enemy group and led to a swift victory.

    If you don't mind keeping a lot of saves to reload to just in case the Wild Surge roulette goes really against you once or twice, I think she's honestly a really good party member. I'd agree that Neera isn't as good *at low level,* but even so, stick the Evermemory on her and the "wasted spells" problem mostly fixes itself. All mages kind of suck at the really low levels anyway; just spam Sleep and Charm Person at that point and let the fighters sort out the rest.

    One ADVANTAGE to Neera at early levels is that her casting level goes randomly up and down, so you can sometimes nail an opponent with a higher-level version of Chromatic Orb or Magic Missiles during the Level 1-2 game, so hitting the lottery with Neera in this respect can pay off nicely as well.

    Also sometimes she does something like accidentally transform herself into a wolf. Very rarely has that not been a tactically viable accident.

    Nahal's Reckless Dweomer might seem tempting but honestly it's not very useful until you reach BG2 and gain access to Improved Chaos Shield. Although sometimes a roll of the dice in desperation can be a way out of a pinch.
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 206
    jmerry wrote: »
    The non-evil mages you can recruit:
    - Dynaheir. Invoker, naturally paired with Minsc so she's the obvious choice from an RP perspective. A lot of powerful spells like Web and Stinking Cloud benefit from the specialty, but you lose out on other powerful spells like Greater Malison and Confusion. She has 16 Con, so she's less squishy than most mages.
    - Neera. Wild mage. Has quest content, so it's a good idea to spend some time with her even if you don't bring her full time. All spells are available, but wild surges are generally wasted spells at low level and sometimes extremely dangerous. She has 17 Dex, so her AC will be better against incidental attacks.
    - Xan. Enchanter, found in the Nashkel mines. His specialty is the flip side of Dynaheir's, enhancing spells like Confusion and Dire Charm but denying you access to spells like Web and Magic Missile. He has 16 Dex for better AC, and a neat personal Moonblade for when he's forced into melee.
    - Quayle. Cleric/Illusionist multiclass, available in chapter 5. The illusionist specialty is fairly low-impact, not enhancing many useful spells but only cutting out necromancy - which doesn't do anything irreplaceable. He won't get the highest-level spells because he's a multiclass, but he compensates with cleric spells. He has 16 Dex for better AC and gets a few extra HP from his cleric levels. The main drawback here is how late he comes.

    I'd go with Dynaheir here. Except for Neera's quest, anyway; recruit her early on and keep her around until you rescue Dynaheir, then bring her back briefly later on for the quest. That requires protagonist level 4 and for a week to have passed since Neera talked about her backstory; the backstory talk will have triggered while you had her pre-Dynaheir.

    The main specialty options here are an invoker and an enchanter. Both are high-impact, enhancing some very powerful spells but also losing access to other very important spells. Most of your best crowd control options are either enchantment or evocation.
    Very complete list, I would also add Garrick the bard, which is like a generalist mage with few spells but better spellpower, and access to bows and crossbows.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,741
    True. Bards get you almost as many spell slots as a non-specialist multiclass mage (topping out at 3/3/2/1 for a level 10 bard, compared to 4/3/2/1 for a level 7/x mage/y). They have the disadvantage of not being able to use mage robes and Evermemory; your only options for improving a bard's AC if you want to cast spells in combat are AC bracers and the Elven Chain available from Dorn's quest.
    On the flip side, you get access to almost all weapons (no composite longbows), enough lore to identify everything for free, decent pickpocket skills, high caster level, and the song for on-demand fear protection and +1 luck. Singing will often be better than attacking, and the vanilla bard's song affects the party regardless of distance (but only actual party members).
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