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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: 3,801
    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: 1,323
    edited November 2022
    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: 624
    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: 1,318
    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: 3,801
    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: 624
    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)..
  • DunskiDunski Member Posts: 17
    Unfortunately, fighter/druids are severely hindered in BG2 by a lack of good weapons that match their proficiencies. Clubs are notoriously awful, there literally just isn't a good lategame one at all. Quarterstaves are lacking interesting options as well, although the availability of a +4 one early on is decent--but unfortunately it's also the best one in the game, a bog-standard 1d6 +4 weapon that pales in comparison to most other weapon categories. Scimitars are missing a proper main-hand one until deep into Watcher's Keep, and while you can get it in BG2, it's unlikely that you can do it before coming back from Spellhold. Besides, Jaheira has no points in scimitars or two-weapon fighting, so that's an issue as well.

    There really needed to be better clubs and scimitars in the game, and Jaheira should have been given points in two-weapon fighting by default. As it stands, she's way worse than she could be due to the game's itemization. I did do a playthrough with her where I allowed myself the use of EEKeeper to change her BG2 proficiencies into what I'd picked throughout BG1, but it was still underwhelming because of the awful weapon selection. You can make do for a while with something like the Boomerang Dagger (and later Firetooth), but it doesn't really pair so well with Belm because you'll eventually waste half of the extra attack as you hit the cap of 5 and then get another ½ that doesn't count, so that's inefficient. And, of course, it also limits her to a +3 weapon.

    Staff of Rhynn is alright throughout the first half of BG2, but it's really expensive and it's hard to justify buying it before things like Robe of Vecna, Defender of Easthaven and the strength girdle. And once you get further into the game, two-handed weapons just fall behind dual-wielding, and doubly so when your weapon is a plain +4 quarterstaff while others are using stuff like Flail of Ages and Crom Faeyr. At the end of the day, there isn't a tidy solution that doesn't involve using EEKeeper to fix Jaheira's abysmal proficiencies and cheesing you way through Watcher's Keep at at early point of the game to get hold of Spectral Brand.
  • RetiefRetief Member Posts: 4
    I've used three main buids:

    1. club or scimitar + shield. If belm will hit the target, it's generally the highest damage option in soa due to the extra attack, and blackblood is a solid backup against trolls, clay golems, and enemies that require +3 weapons. Later on, you can also use spectral brand for enemies that require +4/+5. If I'm going this route, I'll generally use the shield of harmony and cloak of mirroring in order to make her as immune to spells as possible.

    2. dual wielding scimitars and clubs. Blackblood + belm is a thoroughly solid option in soa -- not on par with FoA or crom fayr, but amply good enough. In TOB, you can swap to spectral brand. Getting here takes a while by default, but you can use mods or save editors to swap points around.

    3. throwing daggers. Throwing daggers honestly deal legit dps in bg2 -- 2d4+2+strength with +1 apr is nothing to sneeze at. And if you have her using a ranged weapon, she doesn't need to spend spell slots on iron skins, which lets her memorize other things. If you have enough melees already, jaheira with a throwing dagger is a solid build. You can use the sling of everard as a backup against enemies immune to +2/+3 weapons.
  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,559
    If you wanna make Jaheira a dedicated tank, I think that's fine actually. As others have said, she gets somewhat screwed on the weapon drops, so trying to maximize her for damage output is just a wasted effort. Give her a shield, load her up with defensive items, some defensive spells and just keep her at the front of the action. It's the best tactical use of her. IMO, it isn't until ToB where she starts to shine under a dual-wielding setup. Especially given your party setup, everyone else looks like a solid damage dealer, so you can let Jaheira just focus on tankiness.

    As Retief noted, don't shy away from adding the dagger proficiency. Daggers can be surprisingly strong, both the thrown poisoned ones, but there's some easy to find, high enchantment ones, with great mods like Pixie Prick.

    As for spells, don't forget to add some of the overpowered druid spells to her list, as you don't have access to those in your party. Insect plague is a must. Call lightning is great too. I would argue that using a druid's or cleric's memorized spells on healing is also a waste. With the exception of the powerful Heal spell that can help out in a jam, you're better off just relying on potions or other items for healing. SoA showers you with healing potions. Save spell slots for powerful protection spells or offensive spells. I'd even argue the rod of resurrection is better than wasting a high level slot on her raise dead spell too.

    If you want to consider some alternatives to Jaheira or Korgan, I'd say Mazzy is an option. Saving throw bonus. Her "paladin" spells all aid a frontline role. 18 base dexterity. Sure her pips are kind of messed up for a frontliner but you have enough time to develop her into whatever melee weapon you want. And again, given that your party is solid on damage, you don't need her to do alot herself. The other option, just given who you've listed is Keldorn. He's kind of overpowered in SoA anyways, due to his anti-mage spells. He'd round out your party nicely too.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,864
    I agree with the weapon suggestions by @Retief . About returning throwing daggers as told their damage is the one of bastard swords, 2D4, 1/2 more on average compared to scimitars, are +1 apr ranged or mlee (main hand only), the Boomerang one can be obtained very early from Captain Dennis by killing him, pickpocketing or doing the Limited Wish quest, is even possible to pickpocket him and later do the quest for the fights and xp, but you will not get a second dagger. Later Firetooth is a +3 weapon with added fire damage, MH both are better then Belm if the lesser reach does not bother you.
    My way to equip Jaheira depends on the particular battle: returning dagger + belm to get high apr, club + belm to hit targets that need crushing damage, apr weapon and shield if I want to maximize AC, staff if she hits from behind a tank. Later in the game when she gets lev 13 and specialization she gets 4.5apr DW with a single apr weapon so something like Spectral Brand + Belm is better. If Item Upgrade mod is used Jaheira will have awesome weapons: a +4 club that gives GM to who welds it and a Scimitar that each successful hit temporarily adds some hit points and has the same reach of a 2H sword.
    Jaheira can tank or have high dps maximizing apr, quite early in SoA when improved haste active she can hit 9 or 10 times/round, none of her vanilla game weapons is a super OP one, but using them in a clever and flexible way she can be really effective as soon as she gets a str enchancing item, belt or the gauntlets.
  • JordiJordi Member Posts: 16
    What about spears?, The impaler has +10 bonus damage, and then there's that spear in ToB forged by Cespenar, i think a very underrated weapon
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,864
    edited June 2023
    A viable option but the staff of the Ram makes a similar damage, has the same long reach, better enchantment level, can be upgraded in ToB and uses crushing damage while the piercing one from a spear is resisted by more foe. Dps wise 3 apr from DW 2 speed weapons is better then the +10 from Impaler and you can not use a spear and a shield to tank. The protections from the Spear of the Unicorn can situationally very useful. With Item Upgrade spears are super strong as you can upgrade a regular +3 spear and later Impaler making them +1 apr weapons that can be used mlee or as returning ranged weapons. Without that mod I would better invest her pips in DW, daggers and a second one in scimitar, but with specialization and lev 13 she gets 2.5 apr with impaler that is ok if you don't go for the most OP choices and you have a tank and use Jaheira behind him. edit: the spear forged by Cespenar can pin almost everything final ToB boss included.
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 464
    I'm a big fan of Pixie dagger for Jaheira, it's like a mini Celestial Fury.
  • chibisenseichibisensei Member Posts: 36
    Without mods

    Jaheria is made a complete tank - full plate armor, Helm of B, Tower Shield of some kind (magical), boots of avoidance, belt of strength, cloak of the sewer, glove of missile snaring, ring of protection, ring of earth control - she can get -14 vs missiles and about -7/-8+ with melee AC - add her own spell buffs and Jaheria will tank nicely. And her weapon of choice is clubs.

    With mods and tweaks

    I give Jaheria proficiency in axes changing it from scimitars (for me at least druids with axes makes more sense than scimitar) - and the variety of good axes for both melee and throwing will improve Jaheria greatly - she can become your undead killer while tanking everyone else.
  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 438
    Jah is one of my favorite characters, gameplay-wise. She's quite versatile (sword and board, two handers, dual wield). I've experimented with all of them and ultimately landed on starting her with staves and darts/slings, then 2h weapon, then spears and slings/darts. I pick her up ASAP, then shadowkeeper her starting pips into staves and a ranged weapon.

    There are some great staves in the game, while shields are a little overrated, especially in BG2. But, you can use the staff mace when you really want a shield. Plus, her bg1 portrait has her with a staff/spear. BG1 spears suck, but you have impaler and ixil's spike in BG2 so it's worth building later.

    For ranged weapons, I lean towards darts. There are definitely some great slings, but a hasted Jah with darts (6 APR) is a mage killer. The inventory logistics for darts kinda sucks though. Can't even put them in the quiver spots. Daggers could be good in BG2, though. Lower APR, but the fire damage should get through stoneskins.

    Obviously, I give Jah a strength item. I prefer gauntlets so she can use the defensive belts. Then I use whatever else adds to her defense the best.

    Your best tank is probably a gnome cleric/illusionist with Defender of Easthaven. I know you said that weapon was spoken for, but it's a huge defensive boost so whoever's using it should be your tank. You have all the buffs, stoneskins, the flail, and heavy armor. Barring that, your berserker cleric could work. You don't have stoneskins or shorty saves, but it's still solid.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,864
    edited July 2023
    Kneller wrote: »
    Jah is one of my favorite characters, gameplay-wise. She's quite versatile

    Yes, versatility is the key with her.
    Kneller wrote: »
    For ranged weapons, I lean towards darts. There are definitely some great slings, but a hasted Jah with darts (6 APR) is a mage killer
    Darts get 3 base APR +1 level 13 + 1/2 specialization she gets 4.5APR not hasted 5.5 hasted and 9 with improved haste. 6 APR with haste need the +1/2 helm that I would better give to someone with a more damaging weapon.
    Is true that darts can be a good anti mage weapon but I prefer Slings as they get STR bonus damage (+6 using the gauntlets, more with the belts) and also bonus damage both from the launcher and bullet enchantment level. Jah with the gauntlets, a +5 sling, that you can buy early in SoA, and +2 bullets gets 6+5+2=13 damage bonus with a base APR, lev13 and specialization of 2.5, 5 improved hasted, so 65 bonus damage/round. Also the Thac0 from launcher and bullet stacks and this matters when she hits ranged enemies with good AC.
    Kneller wrote: »
    Daggers could be good in BG2, though. Lower APR, but the fire damage should get through stoneskins.
    Throwing daggers get +1Apr and STR damage bonus both mlee and ranged. Mlee they can be only equipped in the main hand, but Jah with Boomerang Dagger and Belm gets +2APR so 5APR even before specialization or lev13, improve haste her and she has a long lasting GWW. Both Boomerang and Firetooth get the base damage of a bastard sword.
    Daggers are not particularly good in BG2, but the 2 returning ones are awesome!
    you can pickpocket boomerang at the beginning of SoA without breaking the limited wish quest or just kill capt. Dennis breaking the quest
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 892
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    Kneller wrote: »
    Jah is one of my favorite characters, gameplay-wise. She's quite versatile

    Yes, versatility is the key with her.
    Kneller wrote: »
    For ranged weapons, I lean towards darts. There are definitely some great slings, but a hasted Jah with darts (6 APR) is a mage killer
    Darts get 3 base APR +1 level 13 + 1/2 specialization she gets 4.5APR not hasted 5.5 hasted and 9 with improved haste. 6 APR with haste need the +1/2 helm that I would better give to someone with a more damaging weapon.
    Is true that darts can be a good anti mage weapon but I prefer Slings as they get STR bonus damage (+6 using the gauntlets, more with the belts) and also bonus damage both from the launcher and bullet enchantment level. Jah with the gauntlets, a +5 sling, that you can buy early in SoA, and +2 bullets gets 6+5+2=13 damage bonus with a base APR, lev13 and specialization of 2.5, 5 improved hasted, so 65 bonus damage/round. Also the Thac0 from launcher and bullet stacks and this matters when she hits ranged enemies with good AC.
    Kneller wrote: »
    Daggers could be good in BG2, though. Lower APR, but the fire damage should get through stoneskins.
    Throwing daggers get +1Apr and STR damage bonus both mlee and ranged. Mlee they can be only equipped in the main hand, but Jah with Boomerang Dagger and Belm gets +2APR so 5APR even before specialization or lev13, improve haste her and she has a long lasting GWW. Both Boomerang and Firetooth get the base damage of a bastard sword.
    Daggers are not particularly good in BG2, but the 2 returning ones are awesome!
    you can pickpocket boomerang at the beginning of SoA without breaking the limited wish quest or just kill capt. Dennis breaking the quest

    I really think the best way to equip Jaheira is with the Firetooth and Belm in offhand. It takes a long time to get those proficiency points but it’s worth it.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,864
    Klorox wrote: »

    I really think the best way to equip Jaheira is with the Firetooth and Belm in offhand. It takes a long time to get those proficiency points but it’s worth it.
    It is the best way to maximize her mlee APR and damage, the fun fact is that when she reaches lev 13 Fighter and specialization in Dagger she has 5.5 APR so 1/2 more then what is allowed by the game. At that point is maybe worth to equip a better but single APR OH weapon and get rid of Belm and in the end game if you give her the +1/2 APR helmet she will anyway top to 5.
    As the STR enhancing items are better used with toons with high APR to maximize the effect of their damage bonus she also deserves one of the best belts available, the gauntlets are fine early SoA but later is better to give her a good belt and the gauntlets to someone with less APR. With a pip in dagger and 2 in dual welding she is good to go, the third pip in DW and specialization can come later so it is not a very long time and as I told the Boomerang dagger, that misses only the fire damage from Firetooth, can be obtained at the very beginning of chap.2 just recruiting Jan for the purpose, getting the gauntlets that boost pickpocketing and buying some thieving potions, one of each kind is enough if you don't like to stack the effect of the same potion many times.
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