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Sling or shortbow? (Yeah, I really don't know.)

Starting a new run with some friends, and thinking about going for a halfling fighter/thief. Since I can only reach specialized in any given weapon anyway, I might as well go for a ranged weapon at lv 1 before the dualwielding backstabbing frenzy kicks in. My question is, slings or shortbows? Halflings get the +1 to hit with slings, but shortbows have higher APR, right?

Sorry to ask such an entry-level question, but I'm planning the grandest of heists here.

JuliusBorisovSkatanOrlonKronsteenQuartz

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,235
    if you have no STR bonus, then go with shortbow, as you said the higher APR will more than counter your +1 to hit bonus with sling

    and granted that you are a halfling, even with 17 STR at best, shortbow is still probably a better option

    raelcariQuartz
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 17,682
    This question might be not as simple as one could think. As a fighter/thief, you'd be able to hit everything even without +1 THAC0 (your THAC0 will be ok because of the fighter class). But with STR-enhancing items further in the game slings can become a nasty missile weapon. However, shortbows allow you to use elemental and other arrows, which will help you greatly.

    raelcariOrlonKronsteen
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 128
    If you know where to find strength boosting gear and are patient enough to wait for it I would go sling, otherwise go short bows, with them you will definitely be more powerful early on and you will remain competitive throughout the trilogy

    raelcariOrlonKronsteen
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,082
    Definitely shortbow, IMHO. It takes a hefty STR bonus to out-perform these bad boys and that will be far into BG2 before you do that: https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Acid_Arrow

    But the game is more than just powerplaying, so if you want slings because it suits a halfling then of course you should go for that. With 2 APR before haste at level 7 fighter, they are still great weapons. After chugging a STR potion and/or going with bhaal spawn power DUHM, the STR bonus to damage coupled with haste and 3 APR will let you dish out the pain. You can also wield a shield at the same time, which is good of course.

    I'll throw out a last tidbit, the xbow of speed let's you get 2 APR, 3 with specialization and level 7 fighter, and you got some good bolts (ie bolts of lightning and biting) that are also very, very good. My personal favorite in BG1.

    sarevok57raelcariOrlonKronsteenlost1
  • raelcariraelcari Member Posts: 132
    edited April 10
    Yeah, I have 17 STR, maybe 18 by the end of BG1. But in terms of powergaming, I guess shortbows do more damage?

    @Skatan Huh, guess I didn't even think about xbows. Will I be able to use firetooth?

    edit: Oh, thanks for the replies. The reading is interesting, and it's easy to forget one's manners.

    lost1
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 2,969
    raelcari wrote: »
    Yeah, I have 17 STR, maybe 18 by the end of BG1. But in terms of powergaming, I guess shortbows do more damage?

    @Skatan Huh, guess I didn't even think about xbows. Will I be able to use firetooth?

    edit: Oh, thanks for the replies. The reading is interesting, and it's easy to forget one's manners.

    By the time you reach firetooth the dual wielding frenzy will have already kicked in,I suppose. If I were you I'd go with sling unless your party has already got enough slingers.

    raelcariQuartz
  • AaezilAaezil Member Posts: 148
    Shortbows. Arrows or detonation, baby!

    OrlonKronsteen
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 730
    The benefit of Crossbows, imo, is that almost no companions use crossbows, so you won't have to compete for gear.

    Imoen uses shortbows for example, so if you both use shortbows then one of you will use the best shortbow and one of you will use the second best.

    If you use crossbows though, then Imoen can use the best shortbow and you can use the best crossbow.

    The issue is compounded even further by the fact that the crossbow proficiency covers both light and heavy crossbows. So even if you were to group with Garrick, then one of you could use the best heavy crossbow and one of you the best light crossbow, each of which is extremely powerful in distinct ways.

    Though if you're planning a whole trilogy run it's worth noting that BG2 doesn't really have any good heavy crossbows.

    OrlonKronsteenSkatanQuartz
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 959
    If you reach Baldur's Gate II, most bows give no real damage bonus. Other than elemental bonus damage, the arrows of Acid are the only arrow that delivers bonus damage (1 point) that cannot be saved against. Bowmen in Baldur's Gate II tend to stick to the Tuigan Shortbow, because not only does it give an extra attack, but with its +1 damage, it is actually one of the most damaging bows in the game.

    Meanwhile, Slings get bonus damage of up to +5 and sling stones also keep their damage bonus (up to +4 in Throne of Bhaal or Watcher's Keep). That is without the strength bonus, which you can improve through numerous items and potions.
    Overall, slings have a much higher damage potential. But there are no poisoned sling stones. There are no sling stones of Dispelling. Other than the Sunstone bullets, there are no bullets that would deal elemental damage either. Worst of all, there are no bullets of Detonation.
    So, you want short bows for versatility. You want slings for raw damage.

    OrlonKronsteen
  • raelcariraelcari Member Posts: 132

    DJKajuru wrote: »
    So, you want short bows for versatility. You want slings for raw damage.
    Guess I have to rethink slings a bit. I think I might just go for it, since as someone else said, it's unlikely that anyone else uses them.
    DJKajuru wrote: »
    By the time you reach firetooth the dual wielding frenzy will have already kicked in,I suppose. If I were you I'd go with sling unless your party has already got enough slingers.
    Good point. Yeah, long ago.

    Oh, and I do intend to play through the entire saga, so BG2 gear definitely comes into play.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,082
    raelcari wrote: »

    @Skatan Huh, guess I didn't even think about xbows. Will I be able to use firetooth?

    If you go for xbows you can switch between the Firetooth xbow and the Fire tooth throwing dagger (use it in mainhand with melee for 2 APR base with +3 and 2D4 damage coupled with a good offhand weapon). Then name you character Fireteeth and go crazy! ;)

    deltagoraelcaributteredsoul
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,500
    If you are playing with friends, synergize with them. There is only so many magical items to go around and if two are you are fighting over the first shortbow +2 to drop then sling should be the way to go and vice versa. Same with all the Strength items. Your main tanks might want them first.

    Remember Clerics can only use slings as missile weapons too.

    In a party any choice works really, and as mentioned you really don’t need to power game. I’d personally stick with throwing daggers.

    Quartz
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