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Could this work?

I am planning another playthrough of BG2, and I'm toying with the idea of letting my bard be my only arcane caster. (I tend to prefer a much more melee-heavy group.) I haven't decided exactly what my PC will be or exactly every NPC I will recruit, but just wanted to think through this issue first. So, what do you think...could a bard suffice as my only arcane caster (besides a cleric) through BG2 and ToB, or is this not advisable?


  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 2,192
    That would work fine in IWD. I think you will have problems in BG2 though, you need more anti-magic if nothing else.
  • TrouveurTrouveur Member Posts: 535
    With Keldorn and a druid to deal with spellcasters it could be doable.
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 3,846
    Your protagonist will probably have to be some sort of thief, unless you go evil and pick up Hexxat. All of the other recruitable thieves in BG2EE are also mages.

    If you know what you're doing, it's absolutely possible. I did a run of the full saga (Wee Cant Spell, chronicled in the playthroughs forum) in which I banned all arcane and divine spellcasting. Complete with the difficulty-increasing "Sword Coast Stratagems" mod, notable for its much smarter spellcasting enemies.
    It worked. That party not only succeeded, but thrived.

    You don't need the antimagic as often as you might think, but you do need it. Outlasting mage combat defenses or just switching weapons to hit them anyway is frequently a viable plan, but not always. Sometimes you need to take their defenses down now. That means dispel and/or breach effects. I used Keldorn and occasional wands of spell striking in my run; if you're letting the bard cast spells, they're very good at casting Remove Magic.
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,370
    I never bring an arcane caster. I just dont like them. I usually take small parties or play solo.

    You can play - even no reload - the entire saga without taking a spell caster along.

  • newguynewguy Member Posts: 31
    This is great food for thought! Much appreciated!
    And, yes, was kinda thinking that I'd prolly have to make a type of thief if I go this route.
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 632
    Might I suggest you make a Wizard Slayer and dual class to thief at lvl 7,9 or 13?

    Dual wield to maximize the amount of times you can hit in a round, or go for Tuigan shortbow.. or both, I guess.
    Some casters you get close to immediately, others are very nice to fire arrows at if they enter combat at a distance.

    The WS will apply a casting failure penalty of whopping 25% on every -hit- on casters.
    You don't need to do damage, just registered hits.. and this stacks. So 2 hits is 50% failure, 4 hits is 100% failure.

    You can in theory apply 100% casting failure in a single round.

    This way you get your thief and you get some serious antimagic ability.. when you get the thief Use Any Item, Spike Traps and Timestop traps you won't even notice you're not bringing casters.
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 1,036
    Like @StummvonBordwehr I often - even usually nowadays - go arcane free in BG2, but usually make sure then to have 1-2 divine casters for some anti-magic and buffing spell support as suggested by @atcDave . When I do take an arcane caster, I tend to go with Jan or the bard Tiefling whose name I always mispell :wink:

    I think your bard charname with a cleric should be just fine. Maybe throw in Jahiera for a fighting druid and you should be very good to go.
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,370
    Bards are a strong card all trough the saga, with wands and scrolle. In the unmodded game they can buff and debuff for all occasions. The Bard NPC in BG2 is really strong as a debuffer and once HLA hits you, he can really buff….

    But I usually play without any arcane casters. If I was ever forced to consider one, it would be a bard - just for the bard song and the strong dispells

    Ps. Like @Aerakar I cant spell his name, even if my life depended on it. I remember in the Versus book’s walktrough for ToB that there is an apostrophe in his name - since nothing screams fantasy like adding an apostrophe to a name…
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 3,846
    Ps. Like @Aerakar I cant spell his name, even if my life depended on it. I remember in the Versus book’s walktrough for ToB that there is an apostrophe in his name - since nothing screams fantasy like adding an apostrophe to a name…
    You could always do like Jan does and use a nickname:

    Jan (voiced): Haery, I have an idea for a play.
    Haer'Dalis (voiced): Please, Jan, my name is Haer'Dalis.
    Jan: You see, Haery, Angus the Giant Beaver is ousted from house and home by the Bullywug bullies to embark on an epic quest that takes him to the next pond.
    Haer'Dalis: Yes, epic. Go on.
    Jan: No, no, no, this is only the beginning. Along the way, he encounters Gurgen the Hormonal Moose, and a friendship quickly develops between the two, seeing them through times of great trial and tribulation, though the friendship also caused a great deal of trial and tribulation, as you can well imagine.
    Haer'Dalis: What, if I may ask, is a moose?
    Jan: Too late, I'm already on to great trials and tribulations—think of it, Haery, such broad and vital themes. Anyhow, the moose catches a curious and ultimately fatal disease, and Angus, as a final testament to their friendship, enshrines him within a wooden tomb in the middle of the lake before throwing himself into the lake to drown.
    Haer'Dalis: Jan, beavers can't drown. They spend half their life underwater.
    Jan: There's no point in arguing, Haery. It's a true tale, and if you have any doubt, you can ask my great-aunt Apo Pettiwick, who never married. It all happened in her backyard when she ran the farmer's market that sold turnips up in Thundertree, just upstreamof Neverwinter.
    Haer'Dalis: Pray I never go there, Jan. Pray I never go there.
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 1,036
    Jan the turnip man comes through again @jmerry :smile:
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,370
    Jan knows best…. I may not like mages, but Jan has my ear
  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 657
    Waaaay (2008?) back I did a non arcane caster party of six through SoA and ToB and it was fine IIRC: no major problems just needed to change my tactics a bit.

    So yeah go for it :)
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 218
    I did an incomplete solo run with Sun Soul Monk. I haven't finished all the way (got around midway through the SoA before I got bored), but it looked definitely doable). I did Insance SCS Twisted Rune without problems, for example. 100% MR plus kiting made most of the mage encounters a piece of cake. In short, it looks as if finishing the saga without magic is possible, let alone with *some* magic from a bard.
  • gladosglados Member Posts: 30
    bard still can use scrolls. make sure to steal all the scrolls from all the merchants and have them at the boxes ready.
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