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Please help me create my berserker > thief (no reloads)

KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 862
I will start in BG1, and hopefully BG2 and ToB! I will not be going into SoD (I’m playing on a Fire Tablet and memory space is an issue, plus I’m just not a huge fan).

I’m choosing my initial class to be berserker because of a nice HP base, and because the rage gives me an easy button against status effects, which kill most of my no reloads attempts.

Thief is a great option to dual class into, as backstabbing to start a fight takes out the hardest enemy, and it’s also the quickest to regain their levels. Eventually, access to Use Any Item will allow me to use items that will make me resistant to magic or damage or whatever is needed at the time.

When should I dual from berserker into thief? This is one of the options that really defines the character.

In the past, I’ve lost runs on this berserker “downtime” so I want to be smart about this.

My options are levels 7, 9, or 13.

If I dual at level 7 (2 rages) I will regain my berserker levels in BG1.

If I dual at level 9 (3 rages) I’ll probably start BG2 and switch classes right away. Heck, after disarming the wall trap and releasing Minsc and Jaheira, you’re already at level 4!

If I dual at level 13 (4 rages) I’d get that very useful extra 1/2 attack.

The other option that impacts this character more than anything else is where I chose to spend proficiency points.

I want to dual wield weapons. I feel like this character undoubtedly works best with the Scarlet Ninja-To in the off hand for the extra attack. Since this isn’t available until I get UAI, I’d choose to use Belm until then. They both do the same thing anyway, but the SNT has a few more minor bonuses.

I really don’t need to worry about hitting with my off hand weapon though. So far, the only proficiencies I need to spend are 2 on two weapon fighting.

If I peek ahead to the XP cap, I’ll get the following number of proficiencies:

Dual at 7: 17 proficiencies
Dual at 9: 18 proficiencies
Dual at 13: 19 proficiencies

Any of these is more than I need to get grandmastery in 3 melee weapons in addition to the 2 points I’m spending in dual wielding.

Here are my top options:

Dagger. I’m *definitely* spending 5 points here because it’s going to be my ranged option. The hidden bonus is that daggers are great in melee as well, as the throwing daggers still use their improved # of attacks when switched to melee. The top option is the Firetooth dagger +3, available in the underdark, but you can pick pocket the boomerang dagger +2 right after leaving the initial dungeon.

Katana is a top option for Celestial Fury. This katana is probably the best one handed backstabbing weapon in the game. While I’m not definitely going this way, I’m certainly thinking about it.

I want a blunt weapon too (one weapon of each type would be best). Flail is a great option because the Flail of Ages is awesome. It would be a shame to have this weapon go unused. Mace is another great option for the Improved Mace of Disruption going hand in hand with the enormous amount of undead in this game. Either of these gives me a +5 weapon if I make it to ToB, where that’s a great option. There’s a +5 dagger but it’s not very impressive.

Would longsword be better for this character than katana? I know I’d have to wait a bit, but Blackrazor is a very good weapon.

What are everybody’s thoughts here? TIA.


  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 334
    Longsword is also a good choice for BGEE thanks to Varsconia and Burning Earth, and in early SoA Daystar is pretty good too.
  • rogomaticrogomatic Member Posts: 4
    Celestial Fury is BiS for backstab if you're not going the 2h route. You also probably want Belm in your off-hand. If you want blunt weapons, I'd recommend club (good one available early in Druid Grove) or quarterstaff, as these are the only two that work for backstabbing.
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 862
    rogomatic wrote: »
    Celestial Fury is BiS for backstab if you're not going the 2h route. You also probably want Belm in your off-hand. If you want blunt weapons, I'd recommend club (good one available early in Druid Grove) or quarterstaff, as these are the only two that work for backstabbing.
    Are there any backstab targets that can only be hit by a blunt weapon?
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 3,332
    You already know a lot about the tradeoffs involved, but I'll go into the details of the proficiency situation a bit more.

    Dual at 7: You get six proficiency points as a fighter. That probably goes to four dots in your primary weapon and two in two-weapon style.
    Then, you get three points as a thief before your dual completes; two when you dual, one more at thief level 4. These have to be spread around, and you'll probably take single dots in three different secondary weapons here.
    Your level 8 proficiency comes as your dual completes, so you can add on to existing proficiencies again. What you can't do here is take grand mastery in your primary weapon; you need to be at least level 9 in your current class to do so. So this goes to the third dot in dual-wielding, or the second in one of your secondary weapons.
    Your next proficiency point comes at level 12 (440K thief XP), which will be early in SoA - maybe one or two major quests in, maybe earlier than that if you leverage some small-party tricks like scroll XP with a single companion. This should be grand mastery in your primary weapon.
    From then on, you get a new proficiency point every four levels/880K XP. Two before UAI comes in, another at level 24 when that HLA first becomes available, three more over the course of your epic levels. If you put the first three and your level 8 point into the same secondary weapon, you can reach grand mastery there just as UAI comes online. Or if you spread things out more, that grand mastery will come later or not at all.

    Dual at 9: You get seven proficiency points as a fighter. Grand mastery in your primary weapon, two dots in two-weapon style. The ninth level will come early in SoA ... but I'm not so sure about "as soon as you start the campaign". While clearing out all of BG1 likely will get you to 250K total XP, every time you load a save resets you down to the 161K cap. You'd have to do everything past that cap in a single session. And every time I've tried to do that, the game has crashed. The game can only handle a certain number of objects before it runs out of space, and the longer you play a session, the more of that count you use. Run out, and the portraits go black as your characters vanish into nothingness. Game Over.
    So, unless you console the excess XP back in when that inevitable crash comes, you won't get to 250K. Instead, you'll probably have to play through the starting dungeon as a pure fighter before reaching the dual point soon after.
    Your first two proficiency points when you start as a thief go to secondary weapons. The level 4 and level 8 points give you more flexibility; if you save up to use 160K in one fell swoop and go straight to thief level 10, you'll assign those under fighter rules and be able to enhance your style or the secondary weapon of your choice. Given the amount of noncombat XP available early in SoA, this is not hard to do.
    So, if you're looking to be a grand master in two weapons, this one can get you there much faster than the level 7 dual - possibly as early as thief level 16 (1320K thief XP). That's an attractive option for weapons you pick up in SoA.

    Dual at 13: You get eight proficiency points as a fighter, enough to fully master your primary weapon and style. But on the flip side, you'll spend the early parts of the SoA campaign as a pure fighter. It's possible to rush through the 880K of "downtime" without any combat - I've done it myself - but you have to really plan for it, picking up a ton of scrolls for the scribe/erase method with a two-person party. More likely, you'll spend some amount of time playing as a thief with extra HP. In which case, you'll assign that level 12 proficiency point as a thief, and not start enhancing your secondary proficiencies until level 16. You get pretty much full power out of your fighter side, improving your base APR, THAC0, and saves in the long run, but you're also locked into your primary weapon for a very long time. No second grand mastery until over 5 million total XP.
  • Christian79Christian79 Member Posts: 46
    For dagger I recommend Pixie Prick. It surprisingly often incapacitates enemies.
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 862
    For dagger I recommend Pixie Prick. It surprisingly often incapacitates enemies.

    I like the Pixie Prick, but the extra attack from a throwing dagger is better IMHO.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 3,332
    Unless you're already at the cap. Fighter level 13 plus grand mastery plus a main-hand throwing dagger plus an off-hand +APR weapon is +4 APR ... but you can't go past four main-hand attacks and one off-hand attach when dual-wielding because of the overall cap of 5 APR. So at that point, you can swap out that main-hand throwing dagger for a melee dagger without losing any attacks per round.
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