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Xan and his Moonblade

Just as the title says.

Would it be best to keep Xan and his moonblade rather than keeping Dynaheir and Minsc? I know that Edward is a great character but I already ditched him. I've read some of the old(old old old) forum post on this, I would like to know new insights about it. I used to play BG on PC before way back 2003 and I was able to give console commands and enjoyed the game with a lot of Minsc which was really funny as a kid. Although, right now, I want to experience the game more and trying to mix the characters. If I'll get Xan, I'll most likely get Rasaad, and I don't even know if my party would be good or not although I enjoy Rasaad more than Minsc. It's nice to have some Ninja monk with really really long dialogues in the team than having Minsc talking to boo which is kind of cute too!

I have a full party With Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, Minsc and Dynaheir. I actually left Kivan at Nashkel town since I was running out of time with him. I just realized that I can't have all the characters that I want. I basically keep Khalid and Jaheira for the story purposes that they were supposed to do in the story.

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Comments

  • smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 154
    When you say "Xan and his moonblade" do you mean keeping him exclusively because of his moonblade? If so then I would say no, keep Dynaheir instead as he will not survive in melee combat and he will do very little damage anyway due to his 1 attack per round and lack of strength or proficiency.

    However, you could change his class to Fighter/mage through use of a mod (I'm not sure which mod does this but I'm pretty sure there's one for BG1, definitely for BG2 Xan mod at least).

    As a mage though Xan can be good since there are tons of enchantment spells from levels 1 to 5 that require a saving throw, therefore they benefit from his enchanter kit. Losing spells such as magic missile, web, and cloudkill can be unfortunate, however other spells or wands can potentially substitute for these.

    Overall I would recommend picking Xan for the experience - as you said yourself really. He's a funny character, and each mage character with their different specialist schools means you play each one differently, which can be fun to experiment with.

    ThacoBell
  • smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 154
    Just wanna take a moment to appreciate the simultaneous comments :D

    butteredsoulGallenger
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,675
    Xan's moonblade looks cool, but it is pretty much wasted on him.

    Xan is an enchanter which means he can't use Invocation school spells.

    That means no staples spells like Magic Missile, Web, Fireball etc. but it also means staple fighting mage spells like Shield and Fireshield also can't be cast by him.

    You'll still have access to things like strength, stoneskin, armour spells, and already mentioned mirror image but his Thaco and attacks per round are still subpar compared to any other frontline fighter. If only he was able to be brought over into SoA where Tensor's Transformation would have made his moonblade that much more powerful.

    That's not to say he is a horrible character, or his moonblade is a complete waste. It does give him 50% fire resistance and a +1 to AC. And spells like Hold Person, Charm, Chaos and Sleep are all enchantment spells. Instead of dealing damage, he takes enemies out of fights which can be a lifesaver.

    ~

    But if you are in an either/or situation between him and Dyna, Dyna has the slow poison special ability which can come in handy in the next two chapters but you give up everything about Xan however as she won't have access to enchantment spells.

    Personally, I prefer Dyna's special ability over any other mages (Edwin's bonus spells, Xan's Moonblade, Quayle's invisibility, Xzar's dual class ability) but I prefer to use enchantment spells.

    elminsterlolien
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,025
    edited April 20
    Xan is the best mage in the game. Enchnantment spells are already a near "I win" button when they land, and Xan imposes penalties to save on top of that. The Moonblade, while super cool, doesn't really add anything.

    Post edited by ThacoBell on
    sarevok57BelgarathMTHQuartz
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,008
    Xan can be really useful because of his moonblade,as long as he isn't targeted by an enemy. He will kill weak enemies and contribute against tough creatures such as slimes. Also, give him a ring of fire protection or robe and he'll be (nearly) immune to fire damage.

    Actually,the best combo for xan is to cast Sleep on weak enemies such as kobolds and use the blade to finish them off .

  • MorkfelMorkfel Member Posts: 27
    "Would it be best?" - a very general question.

    if you keep Minsc/Dynaheir you're taking up two party slots - unless you let one die - whereas Xan only takes up one.

    Xan has a distinct personality, but it's not really to my liking, and his attitude is pretty obvious through the dialogue when you first talk to him.

    Optionally if Dynaheir were to die (through misfortune, obviously...) then you could recruit Xan to fill your arcane slot and also keep Minsc. Conversely, losing Minsc and having two mages may present you with early challenges.

    As for companions you can basically pick any arcane caster and mix and match. Mostly they're specialists so the only thing you really need to consider when comparing them is which school of magic they cannot cast.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 4,367
    Morkfel wrote: »
    "Would it be best?" - a very general question.

    if you keep Minsc/Dynaheir you're taking up two party slots - unless you let one die - whereas Xan only takes up one.

    Xan has a distinct personality, but it's not really to my liking, and his attitude is pretty obvious through the dialogue when you first talk to him.

    Optionally if Dynaheir were to die (through misfortune, obviously...) then you could recruit Xan to fill your arcane slot and also keep Minsc. Conversely, losing Minsc and having two mages may present you with early challenges.

    As for companions you can basically pick any arcane caster and mix and match. Mostly they're specialists so the only thing you really need to consider when comparing them is which school of magic they cannot cast.

    Xan and Dynaheir are the perfect blend if you do want two mages though. They both cancel each other's weaknesses. Just saying...

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,455
    Xan is fantastic even when out of spells.

    Give Xan the fire protection ring, equip him with his moonblade and send him towards a group of melee enemies with a potion of invisibility.

    When the enemies pack together, drink the potion.

    Nuke Xan with fireballs/arrows of explosion being out of the baddies line of sight.

    Profit.

  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    Like jsaving said, Xan is very useful indeed. While his magic isn't really useful in combat with weaker enemies (who wastes dire charm on a kobold, amirite), he can be a real boon to the party when facing stronger enemies. Xan was my favorite guy to charm guys like Drasus and the Tenhammer (he doesn't need people skills anyways) to make them crush their buddies. Taurgosz can wipe the entire bandit camp by himself with Xan hanging around invisible.
    For parties that only want 1 mage (for whatever reason) I wouldn't recommend him, because you really need evocation and carrying around a shitload of wands just doesn't cut it.

    His moonblade is fairly useless except for the fire resistance, which becomes absolutely epic with a mage robe and the ring of fire resistance. I can't precisely remember any other combo in BG1 that gives you 100%+ resistance to anything?

    Just combine Xan with Edwin. Neutral or good aligned parties can stomach recruiting Edwin, but Xzar is a stretch... And like we all know, Edwin is a legend. There really isn't a reason not to recruit him, unless you want to walk around the Coast charming the commons with your 20 reputation.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    As people have pointed out, you're not supposed to use Xan as a fighter and he IS a potentially powerful mage (Enchanter + Sleep/etc). He is easy to get (so you can personalize him ASAP) versus Dynaheir, whom you usually want to take later so she starts with Fireball. His personality should also be very appealing for fans of irony and sarcasm.

    The Moonblade is definitely not wasted on him. Besides the obvious fact that mage-types should either be using a ranged weapon (meh) or a stat-increasing weapon (which the Moonblade oh-so-awesomely is), BG1 is a low level setting (generally lower hitpoints, AC, etc). You'd be surprised how much damage Xan can do if you use a strength spell on him and have him help out in melee, which is what you should be doing once everything is stunned, sleeping, paralyzed or busy trying to hit your tank.

    ThacoBellGatekeep3rDJKajurulolien
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,814
    From a gameplay standpoint:

    Xan is the best mage in Baldur's Gate. Of course if you want two mages, Edwin goes along great--Xan can disable and buff/debuff while Edwin can blast everything to hell with raw magic damage.
    Minsc is decent, but I find Dorn, Kivan, and Shar-Teel to all be superior warriors. Sure he beats the latter two out in raw strength, but I'd way rather have a higher Dexterity, even if I lose a single HP/level too... not getting hit in the first place makes for a fighter who can withstand combat longer, meaning more hits and less dying. Hell, I'll even take tanky-tanks Kagain or Yeslick before I take Minsc, although they need the Dex Gauntlets same as him.

    Of course, personality-wise, if you prefer Minsc and Dynaheir (I'm sorry), and that's what makes you happy, cool! The game isn't terribly difficult, you can clear it with any half-decent party on most difficulties.

    ThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,025
    I think the big decision between Minsc and the other fighter types is, do you want a generalist (swiss army knife) or a secialized tool (scalpel or sledge hammer). I find that Minsc is more reliable in general, because of how well rounded he is.

  • MorkfelMorkfel Member Posts: 27
    Given that there's a bit of a debate around specialist mages going on, I've included a spreadsheet I just threw together to analyze them.

    The short version is that on a game-mechanics basis, Enchanter/Conjurer/Invoker are the most powerful specialist mages, with Conjurer being the clear winner. Interestingly these are the specialties of Xan/Edwin/Dynaheir.

    I typically would pick Transmuter or Diviner, but these are exceptionally weak specialties, mechanics-wise.

    RaduzielGusindaCookieShionlolien
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,025
    @Morkfel Disagree. There is nothing "clear" about conjurer being the best. My money is on Enchanter.

  • Gatekeep3rGatekeep3r Member Posts: 123
    Enchanter is awesome, but I'd really take on a second arcane caster to supplement him.

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,814
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    I think the big decision between Minsc and the other fighter types is, do you want a generalist (swiss army knife) or a secialized tool (scalpel or sledge hammer). I find that Minsc is more reliable in general, because of how well rounded he is.
    This is the argument I hear everyone make, but I've always found Kivan and Shar-Teel to be better at basically everything. Although EE ruined Shar-Teel with those horrid proficiencies. So let's just say Kivan is better-rounded than Minsc. I swear just because of his portrait people refuse to throw him in melee combat, but he's quite, quite competent. Again, I'd argue more competent than Minsc because he is 10% less likely to be hit.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,897
    edited April 29
    For me the biggest selling point for the Conjurer is that it gets a saving throw bonus for its Glitterdust (which in the EE you can pick up in Beregost). Plus it only misses out on divination spells.

    Ludwig_IISkatan
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,025
    @Quartz Kivan is worse than Minsc in melee, what are you talking about? Shar-Teel kinda gives up the big fighter bonus (more proficiencies) in order to generalize like Minsc. So she is better off specializing in one or two weapons and gettign mastery in them.

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 653
    edited April 30
    Minsc(18/93-15-15, str-dex-con) vs Kivan(18/12-17-14), Minsc is mechanically stronger by 1 hit point per level and 1 thac0+2 damage from strength. Kivan have 2 ac more from dex. So Minsc hit harder and theoretically have more hp but Kivan have better ac to survive, it seems even. Shar teel is the almost same of Kivan, 18/58-17-9, +1 thaco more from str, the same hp from con(0, there is no difference between 6 con or 14) but with mastery in weapon there is +2 thac0 and +1 dmg bonus so better then both if hp not counts.
    If grandmastery should be reachable, Khalid will be better than Minsc, because GM bonuses, better ac and more hp 15-16-17, and str the easiest stat to increase by items.

    Edit: and Khalid/Sharteel better archer than Kivan, not mention Coran.

    Post edited by Danacm on
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,301
    Don't forget, anyone not wearing gloves of DEX can wear gloves of specialization, which is another +1 THAC0 and +2 Damage.

    Quartz
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,897
    edited April 30
    Danacm wrote: »
    Sharteel better archer than Kivan

    You have a point for Khalid and Coran. But as far as Shar-Teel is concerned Kivan starts with his -1 thac0 bow racial bonus, 18 dexterity, and specialization with longbows (which includes an extra 1/2 attack). This means that compared to Shar-teel (who has no proficiency with any missile weapons at level 2) he has a -5 Thac0, +2 damage, 1/2 attack advantage when using longbows. Even if she puts both her points into becoming specialized in it (which she can't do until level 6) he's still going to be a better archer because of his racial bonus.

    Post edited by elminster on
    Quartz
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 653
    elminster wrote: »
    Danacm wrote: »
    Sharteel better archer than Kivan

    You have a point for Khalid and Coran. But as far as Shar-Teel is concerned Kivan starts with his -1 thac0 bow racial bonus, 18 dexterity, and specialization with longbows (which includes an extra 1/2 attack). This means that compared to Shar-teel (who has no proficiency with any missile weapons at level 2) he has a -5 Thac0, +2 damage, 1/2 attack advantage when using longbows. Even if she puts both her points into becoming specialized in it (which she can't do until level 6) he's still going to be a better archer because of his racial bonus.

    Kivan have 17 dex only, but you are right about the profs. Shar teel only better if place 3 points to bows, that achieved az lvl 9.

    elminsterQuartz
  • MorkfelMorkfel Member Posts: 27
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    @Morkfel Disagree. There is nothing "clear" about conjurer being the best. My money is on Enchanter.

    @ThacoBell well, I fully support you picking the specialist that appeals to you. Like I said, my favourites are Diviner and Transmuter.

    I'm not sure if you read my spreadsheet at all or not, but basically the "contest" would go like this:

    (1) Compare the spells each gives up
    (2) Reduce their spell list to the ones that allow saving throws. Estimate/weight the value of each spell in order to assess the value of a -2 penalty to saves against that spell.

    The Conjurer gives up practically nothing by giving up Divination spells... utility by way of identify and dubious value in Infravision, Detect Evil, Know Alignment, Detect Illusion. (it hurts me to say this, Divination is my favourite school).

    In comparison, the Enchanter gives up the following spells:
    • Frost
    • Cloudkill
    • Minor Lightning Bolt
    • Frost
    • Magic Missile
    • Shield
    • Chromatic Orb
    • Stinking Cloud
    • Web
    • Agannazar's Scorcher
    • Fireball
    • Lightning Bolt
    • Melf's Minute Meteors
    • Fireshield (Blue)
    • Fireshield (Red)
    • Ice Storm
    • Minor Sequencer
    • Cloudkill
    • Cone of Cold
    • Phantom Blade
    • Sunfire
    • Death Fog
    • Chain Lightning
    • Contingency
    • Spell Sequencer
    • Delayed Blast Fireball
    • Mordenkainen's Sword
    • Spell Trigger
    • Incendiary Cloud
    • Bigby's Clenched Fist
    • Chain Contingency
    • Meteor Swarm
    • Black Blade of Disaster
    • Bigby's Crushing Hand

    So in order for the Enchanter to be the better options, the -2 penalty to saving throws for the following spells have to be worth giving up all those other spells for... and I'm pretty sure not all these spells offer a saving throw. Ray of Enfeeblement and Feeblemind are pretty fantastic, and you have the charm spells, but the Conjurer can cast all these, simply without the bonus to overcome saves.
    • Charm Person
    • Friends
    • Sleep
    • Luck
    • Ray of Enfeeblement
    • Hold Person
    • Dire Charm
    • Confusion
    • Emotion: Hopelessness
    • Greater Malison
    • Enchanted Weapon
    • Domination
    • Hold Monster
    • Chaos
    • Feeblemind


    ThacoBellBelgarathMTH
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,008
    I think that fighting over who's the biggest specialist is silly since both disabling and damage dealing spells are situational. Sometimes a fireball can save your life, sometimes a Dire Charm can do better.

    ThacoBellBelgarathMTH
  • MorkfelMorkfel Member Posts: 27
    Well, I'm not terribly invested in which is "the best" mechanically, after all I'm likely to play my RPG favourite regardless of stats.

    For those interested I did some digging and expanded my spreadsheet. The part I found interesting is that there are few types of CC that affect undead (and slimes) with the exceptions being Blindness, Deafness, Disintegrate, Polymorph, Slow, and some Battleground overlays (entangle, grease, web). Of these effects Wizards have essentially one spell for each, with the exception of Blindness. Which happens to be super powerful if you blind a spellcaster since their sight radius becomes 1. If they're blinded they can't target anyone outside melee range with spells. Moreover, it turns out there are a few good spells for Blindness:
    • SPWI106.SPL (Blindness) - Illusion
    • SPWI224.SPL (Glitterdust) - Conjuration
    • SPWI714.SPL (Prismatic Spray) - Conjuration
    • SPWI815.SPL (Power Word, Blind) - Conjuration

    Your mileage may vary.

    Gusinda
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,025
    @Morkfel Its definitely a personal taste thing, as I feel Enchanters win out because so many of their spells basically instant wins. The save penalty just makes them even more reliable.

    On another note: I think Khalid is really underappreciated. He can be built just about any way you want, and can basically become the second best fighter at any role. You get him super early too.

    Quartzbutteredsoul
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,814
    edited May 1
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    @Quartz Kivan is worse than Minsc in melee, what are you talking about? Shar-Teel kinda gives up the big fighter bonus (more proficiencies) in order to generalize like Minsc. So she is better off specializing in one or two weapons and gettign mastery in them.
    @ThacoBell Sorry but I'm adamant about this. Kivan is better in melee because he doesn't get hit as often. Minsc may have +2 THAC0 +5 damage vs. Kivan's +1 THAC0 +3 damage, and have an extra hit point per level, but that 10% higher chance to get hit is huge in my experience. Kivan sustains longer. Any time I've had Minsc in my party, I have a hard time keeping him alive.

    ThacoBell
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