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How do you play Xan?

BrudeBrude Member Posts: 560
I've never run with this guy before, but recently @sandmanCCL talked him up a bit so I gave him a proper rescue from the Nashkel mines.

First thought: "Wait ... Whaaaa? No missile? No orb? ENCHANTERS SUCK." Then I realized that he comes with Melf's Acid Arrow and can load up on level one CC spells.

So my question is, how you play him? That sword suggests allowing him to melee a bit, but his low CON makes me hesitate. I'm looking for spell, gear, and party build recommendations around this character.

He seems useful (mostly because he's easy to get and is neutral, and not attached to any other NPC) but I figure there's got to be more to it than that. Like a compelling reason to keep him in a good/neutral party and not just dual Imoen to fill the main caster role.




  • AmardarialAmardarial Member Posts: 270
    Some people just like his chat, his Sword is relic from a older BG 1 build where he was a Fighter not a mage...

    As for using him, I usually just stock him up on CC and Conjuration based damage spells , normally use him as a back up caster to Edwin or to a Cleric/Druid heavy group.

  • RenulanRenulan Member Posts: 109
    There's nothing wrong with some CC and a hail of Melf's Acid Arrows. :)

  • KnettgummiKnettgummi Member Posts: 152
    How do you play him? How do you not play him!? :P

    Seriously, though, I would bring both Xan and Edwin. They can complement each other's spell selections, and also: more magic = more fun.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,481
    charm and sleep. Also I unequip his sword of gettinghimselfkilled.

  • styggastygga Member Posts: 467
    Well if you plan on using the sword for what it's intended (i.e. stabbing folks) then you should probably make a B line for some robes of the neutral arch magi. Think thats from the guy on the werewolf island no? Or throw him some spirit armor and let him have at it! I usually aim a lightning bolt at his face, but that's just my preference.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,826
    Please note Dynaheir's Defense was supposed to be Web and Stinking Cloud but I neglected to put them into my post. Both are amazing CC spells, especially if you have ranged weapons on all your characters.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,826
    Ya Xan's health is *sigh* I think my Xan just hit level 5 and he has a total of 12 health (I'm NOT kidding) because I don't reload his health to give him the max roll every level. Unfortunately I bought robes for my main character before Xan to free up one of her precious few spell slots =(.

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,766
    edited October 2012
    As for how to use Xan, it has been explained well by Dragonspear and SandmanCCL.

    As for how to supplement him in a good/neutral party (which takes Edwin out of the equation), is to dual-class Imoen anyway and have her be the support mage. She won't have as much spells as Xan (she has to catch up in levels and she can't be a specialist mage in Tutu or BGT, though she can be in vanilla), but she can supplement Xan with Evocation spells.

    My favourite first-round tactic against enemy mages is Imoen cast Magic Missile for a quick disruption of the opening spell of the enemy mage and Xan casts Melf's Acid Arrow for disruption continuing in the following rounds. If there's more than one mage, they each can target one.

    A nice further supplement is with a PC Bard (or kitted Bard, if you play Tutu or BGT) for those spells that increase damage per level or spells that require a save, if you've added the 'save penalties for higher levels' tweak (part of the Gibberlings3 tweakpacks (BGTweaks or BG2Tweaks for Tutu/BGT)).

    Add a cleric (Branwen or Finch) and a warrior in the frontline (either Minsc or Ajantis), plus Coran in the archery role and you got a party that handles everything well. Taking Coran (instead of Kivan, whom I like as well but takes another party-setup than the one I'm suggesting) means you have thieving skills while Imoen is dualing and you can have each thief specialize in an area of your choosing.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,826

    Honestly the party I'm running Xan in right now is just kinda silly anyway. 4 Elves (PC, Xan, Kivan, Coran) and 2 Half-Elves (Khalid, Jaheria) with Kivan and Coran probably doing about 60-70% of the damage in teh party at a minimum. And most of the rest comes from my main character. Its honestly really silly. I wonder how silly it would be if I took the no using a ranged weapon restriction off my main character oO

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,766

    Yes, ranged weapons rule in BG1.

  • ZafiroZafiro Member Posts: 436
    Well, something like this: Xan has Sorcerer class and Xan's friendship path for BG1. And trowing darts.

  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,580
    Also, until Baldur's Gate EE comes out (they are fixing this), you can put any spell type in his quick use slots (Magic Missile, Fireball, etc) for when the shite really hits the fan. I used to put Mirror Image there for Xzar to use, since he normally can't cast it being a Necromancer.

  • TehCerealKillerTehCerealKiller Member Posts: 56
    Cloudkill and Fireball work extremely well in battles where you can hit them without them reacting. I especially like it during the final boss battle to get rid of Sarevok's cronies. Just be careful to not hit Sarevok or the battle actually starts and it'll be difficult trying to fend him off whilst getting CC'd by the 2 mages that are there. Personally I'd rather have Dynaheir as my mage. You get Minsc (best Fighter npc) and you don't have to listen to Mr.Emo all day

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    edited October 2012
    I was getting farther and farther in this thread, growing increasingly agitated until ...

    Still can cast Skull Trap if you need AOE damage (yay, necromancy!)

    ... thank you! People need to not forget about this spell! Anyway, I shall be reading more of this thread later. Should be a good read. I've always been decent with Xan but I'm sure I can be better.

    Personally I'd rather have Dynaheir as my mage.

    What is wrong with you?

  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
    Another thing:

    Potion of Fortitude. Xan should be carrying one of these to quaff the moment something hits him. That extra 2 HP per level it grants practically doubles his HP.

  • Fighting_FerretFighting_Ferret Member Posts: 229
    If you've never used much except for the main offensive defensive spells... give some of the others a try.... you might be pleasantly surprised... and after all... there's always wands =)

    Speaking of which anyone know if they are fixing the wand usage for specialists? Kinda weird to be able to use a wand when it's spell type is restricted by your specialty.

  • sepottersepotter Member Posts: 367
    Personally I just wait until he dies in battle at some point, and then drop him from my party, and say to myself "eh, it was good while it lasted".

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    Fighters can use Wands of Magic Missiles. 'Nuff said. I'm with sandmanCCL here.

  • AmardarialAmardarial Member Posts: 270
    Whole specialist not being able to use opposed items is from 3rd edition, so...

  • Fighting_FerretFighting_Ferret Member Posts: 229
    Oh I'll agree on the use of wands.. perhaps "fix" was the wrong term... but it gives a few of the more offensive spells to the specialists missing evocation such as fireball, lightning bolt and cloud kill albeit at a capped level for the wand...

  • jhart1018jhart1018 Member Posts: 909
    I don't. His attitude makes me want to stake him out for a pack of rabid gibberlings.

  • CuanCuan Member Posts: 38
    My game is modded to the high heavens and back these days with BGT. Xan is a fighter/enchanter (stats unchanged) in my game (yes I know it is not a valid multi-class) but I like NPC's being unique and doing something even charname can't do.

    I use him as a melee fighter with CC magic. Works good and making him a fighter/enchanter just makes the game that much more fun. I his sword actually has a use, though his low constitution makes a little fragile.

  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389

    Whole specialist not being able to use opposed items is from 3rd edition, so...

    I don't recall this, but I don't have my original 3E core rulebooks to look through. IIRC, they simply had an increased difficulty check on their Use Device roll if it was a wand or scroll outside of their school.

    Totally willing to admit my memory fails me! That could have just been a house rule me and my brothers used.

  • AmardarialAmardarial Member Posts: 270

    Was mostly off memory myself.... vaguely recall it .... could be wrong.

  • StradlinStradlin Member Posts: 142
    edited October 2012
    Play him? What do you mean play? What's the point. Why play game you know you are going to lose. We are all doomed and one day we will all be dead:(

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355

    Whole specialist not being able to use opposed items is from 3rd edition, so...

    I don't recall this, but I don't have my original 3E core rulebooks to look through. IIRC, they simply had an increased difficulty check on their Use Device roll if it was a wand or scroll outside of their school.

    Totally willing to admit my memory fails me! That could have just been a house rule me and my brothers used.
    This was the case in 2E originally. Looks like 3E just carried the rule over. That would make the MM, Fireball, Frost, and Lighting wands unusable by Xan if it were PnP. Anyone know if they're changing this rule like they're doing with the scrolls?

  • LadyEibhilinRhettLadyEibhilinRhett Member Posts: 1,078
    edited October 2012
    Depends on how you want to play him. If you want to make use of that Moonblade of his, keep him in a party with at least one other mage, then between the two of them use like every buff imaginable on him and send him in. He does reasonable melee damage and he's in little danger if the enemies can't hit him.
    If you want to use him for wizardy things, he's best as support/CC. He knows a few good damage causing spells, but mostly, you want him to buff your friends and control and/or debilitate the hell out of your enemies. He gets way more powerful at later levels.
    Personally, I'll buff him up before a fight, have him buff the party a little, do some support or CC spells for the first and second rounds (sometimes just the first), and then have him go get up close and personal with the enemy using both his Moonblade and various touch spells.
    And. I have done this quite often. Well I guess that's kind of an understatement. I've...never done a playthrough where Xan wasn't on the party.

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