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I'd like to add a druid to my party, how do you equip Jaheira?

Hello all. I've been trying to beat the game in a no reloads run on insane difficulty. I've come up short several times.

I have a 4 person self made party that I've taken through BG1, and I'm going to start Chateaux Irenicus tomorrow.

I'd like to add a druid for some spellcasting, and Jaheira is my first choice, since she can help as a fighter. My party has no fighter who will be gaining levels above 9th, so Jaheira is a great fit.

My problem with her comes down to equipment. I'm never sure how to equip her best as a warrior. I mean, a strength increasing belt and heavy armor are no brainers, but what weapons work best? I can try getting her to dual wield, but blackblood+3 and belm is an ok combo, but not spectacular. Another option is going for staffs, since I can give her a +4 pretty quickly, and swap out a staff of striking when I need big damage.

As for the rest of the party, I'm really trying to powergame here. My goal was to get grandmastery in what I consider the best weapons in the game. I have a swashbuckler 6/ mage protagonist. This gives me basically a single classed mage, even in BG1, with 100% in locks and traps, which is all I care about in a thief. There's a berserker 9/mage, who acts like a backup mage and will wield Celestial Fury with either Belm or Kundane in her off hand. There's a berserker 7/cleric who will dual wield the Flail of Ages and Defender of Easthaven, and finally an archer to use the Firetooth crossbow like a machine gun.

I have room for a 6th party member, and I'm considering Korgan for a dedicated tank. Problem is they tend to drop pretty quick on Insane difficulty and the Defender of Easthaven is spoken for. Jaheira ironskins spell helps a lot here. As a side note, if you have a suggestion for a 6th team member I'm listening.

TIA

Comments

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,945
    While you might like to set Jaheira up for dual wielding, she doesn't start with any proficiency in that style. And her base THAC0 isn't great since she's only half a fighter. She'll be using single-handed weapons with a shield for a long time - and there's nothing wrong with that. Jaheira's great at tanking, with her only weakness there being relatively low hit points (her BG2 incarnation rolled low on her hit dice). AC tanking for the early game, Armor of Faith and Hardiness for resistance tanking in the late game, and prebuff Iron Skins to absorb a few hits at the start of battles.

    I tend to have her shapeshift in the starting dungeon, then switch to a nonmagical club once she's out. Upgrade to a magical scimitar once she takes the second dot in that proficiency, then the good stuff (Belm or Blackblood) once Trademeet is dealt with.
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,293
    edited November 19
    I mostly use Jaheira as a "secondary" character for a number of roles. She's a backup offensive spellcaster to my Mage (usually with spells like Call Lightning or Insect Plague), a backup healer/summoner for my Clerics, and a backup tank/brawler who usually enters the fray after she's done casting whatever initial spells I decide to use and my main brawlers/tanks have already engaged the enemy. I typically give her a Scimitar and Shield because as jmerry mentions, she doesn't have a lot of proficiencies to go around and I often find myself without a good character to give Scimitars too, so Jaheira gets 'em! XD
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 576
    Some sling that works well without ammo, because i'm too lazy to think about ammo for an npc. Arla's Dragonbane or whatever, the one you can buy in copper coronet.

    Some strength belt to up the damage on her sling

    A shield.. and plate armor, leftovers from my main melee characters.

    She's pretty decent with a sling and it's excellent for disrupting casting for enemy clerics and mages, and if that doesn't work i usually have her spellbook loaded up on stuff like insect plague. I find she's rather lackluster as a healer, but where i don't have utility spells like call woodland beings, insect plague etc, i usually throw in a healing spell or somesuch.

    All-in-all she's decent at everything when setup like this, but doesn't excell at anything.. but a solid contribution in all encounters and doesn't need babysitting like so many other squishy characters.
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,169
    I use her with slings and a shield in BG2 as well. Dual wielding is great, but it takes a while to get the pips
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,945
    Khyron wrote: »
    I find she's rather lackluster as a healer, but where i don't have utility spells like call woodland beings, insect plague etc, i usually throw in a healing spell or somesuch.
    Druids are the best at hit point healing; Call Woodland Beings is a much better healing spell than Cure Serious Wounds at the same level, and they gain those key levels 7-12 much faster than clerics.

    The weakness of Jaheira and other druids for healing comes when the tougher status conditions come in. No restoration, no Remove Curse, no Raise Dead or Resurrection. Jaheira gets her nerfed version of Raise Dead, but if you want to bring somebody back in combat you'll need the HLA Mass Raise Dead or a rod of resurrection. Scrolls (which are at least common in BG2) become your only restoration option, and curse removal falls to the arcanists.
    Khyron wrote: »
    Some sling that works well without ammo, because i'm too lazy to think about ammo for an npc. Arla's Dragonbane or whatever, the one you can buy in copper coronet.
    Arla's Dragnbane is a +3 sling with a fancy name - the one you can import to BG2, or pick up later in the shade temple. You're thinking of the Sling of Seeking +1 (base cost 3000, from Bernard) and the Sling of Everard (base cost 25000, from Joluv) here. Both do the same amount of damage, but the latter has 3 points more to hit (always) and 4 points more enchantment (when used without ammo). Also, unlike other slings, the two seeking slings don't get strength bonuses to damage when used with ammo. Loading up a normal sling like Arla's Dragonbane or later the Sling of Arvoreen with +2 bullets is considerably better damage, and you can always switch to melee when you run into the rare enemies that are immune to +2.
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 576
    jmerry wrote: »
    Khyron wrote: »
    I find she's rather lackluster as a healer, but where i don't have utility spells like call woodland beings, insect plague etc, i usually throw in a healing spell or somesuch.
    Druids are the best at hit point healing; Call Woodland Beings is a much better healing spell than Cure Serious Wounds at the same level, and they gain those key levels 7-12 much faster than clerics.

    The weakness of Jaheira and other druids for healing comes when the tougher status conditions come in. No restoration, no Remove Curse, no Raise Dead or Resurrection. Jaheira gets her nerfed version of Raise Dead, but if you want to bring somebody back in combat you'll need the HLA Mass Raise Dead or a rod of resurrection. Scrolls (which are at least common in BG2) become your only restoration option, and curse removal falls to the arcanists.
    Khyron wrote: »
    Some sling that works well without ammo, because i'm too lazy to think about ammo for an npc. Arla's Dragonbane or whatever, the one you can buy in copper coronet.
    Arla's Dragnbane is a +3 sling with a fancy name - the one you can import to BG2, or pick up later in the shade temple. You're thinking of the Sling of Seeking +1 (base cost 3000, from Bernard) and the Sling of Everard (base cost 25000, from Joluv) here. Both do the same amount of damage, but the latter has 3 points more to hit (always) and 4 points more enchantment (when used without ammo). Also, unlike other slings, the two seeking slings don't get strength bonuses to damage when used with ammo. Loading up a normal sling like Arla's Dragonbane or later the Sling of Arvoreen with +2 bullets is considerably better damage, and you can always switch to melee when you run into the rare enemies that are immune to +2.


    Agreed on most points - theoretically.

    Jaheira is a worse healer than Viconia, Anomen, Cernd and Aerie because she's multiclassed, not great wisdom and as you said other than restoring HP druids don't have much to offer.

    To me Aerie is the supreme healer by a huge margin. Sure she's multiclassed and not super wisdom.. but with robe of veccna and mage protections the others just can't compare.

    Sling of Everard was the one i was thinking about. I just give it to Jaheira and forget about her for the rest of the saga, except when i need some druid spells.

    She can do most roles somewhat decent, but i don't bring her into melee because her damage isn't much to cheer for due to item restrictions, her tanking ability is so-so and that just makes me think i don't want her congesting the melee space in dungeon halls etc.. just give her the Everard sling and a STR belt, let her toss them stones and cast when needed (usually on enemy casters)..
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