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Any strategies for working with Nalia's pitiful thief skills?

Other than the obvious, of course.

I have been making this play through all about trying out the various NPCs and their personal quests. Which, interestingly enough, is why I'm in the spot I'm in now. I picked up Nalia fairly late in chapter 2 and I want to complete all of the fighter stronghold quest with her in the party. (RP-wise, I want to ensure she is safe from the Roenall scum before leaving her in the keep). The trick is that the party has done all the easy stuff and is now moving on to harder quests that really need a decent thief. Firkraag's dungeon being one, but also the WK and few areas in the sewers. It was actually WK that made me despair a bit, as she not only couldn't unlock some of the chests, she couldn't disarm the traps either. I ended up having Mazzy be a damage sponge.

I really want to avoid using EEKeeper to stat jack, so I'm trying to work out in-game ways of getting around NPC limitations. However, Nalia is proving to be a challenge, as a certain level of thief skills is practically a requirement. I do have her memorize as many knock spells as she can, but that leaves traps. At a certain point, Jaheira, Aerie, and a buffed Mazzy/Isra can take over the thief role, though with far less finesse. I also know there are a few traps that can permanently trap/imprison a NPC, so having Mazzy be a sponge isn't a very safe option.

I do have some potions of master thievery, but I keep thinking I should save them for later in the Underdark. Maybe the solution is to just get a bit more free with those?

While I do like Nalia, I have a sneaking suspicion that as soon as that stronghold quest ends, she's going to get a nice, relaxing break from adventuring.

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,012
    Ring of danger sense and ring of lock picks. Swap out as needed.

    gorgonzola
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 496
    Have her drink 2 potions of mind focusing (they stack). Costs about 1400gp but lasts 12 hours.

    Her DEX and INT are now 24, which massively boosts her thief skills (by around 30%). Open Locks and Find Traps will be around 100%, so no need for Knock spells and no worries on traps. Even her stealth becomes reliable.

    She also has 100% now chance to scribe spells, so no worries about wasting precious scrolls. Her lore is also significantly boosted (add Potion of Insight for even more goodness), so she can take care if all your identification needs without the use of spells.

    The cost is insignificant in context of BG2 loot, and you now have a very efficient thief and utility character, as well as a full-on mage who can dedicate entirely to combat spells.

    Mind focusing potions are awesome :). All characters can benefit for them but they were made for mage/thieves :)

    gorgonzola
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 208
    Wow, I hadn't actually considered mind focusing potions. I usually have a ton of those things sitting in my stronghold taking up space.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,008
    potions of Master thief and perception are the way to go till she gets the ring. You won't even need many of those because your focus are stronghold quests ,and traps or locks are relevant in about six of them.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,593
    edited May 2
    also there is a cleric spell to detect traps, if you have a cleric in the party, mages have the knock spell that allow them open doors and containers.

    to let nalia perform the scouting, that is part of the tasks of the thief, invisibility potions, spells and the SoTM can be used, but she will never be good at stabbing, bad thac0 and low multiplier.

    to tank the traps you can not disable a mage protected by mirror images is much better then a fighter, if you add the luck spell there is no chance that the true mage and not an image takes the damage, other way you just reload the few times it happens. most of the traps cease to work after triggered the first time, possibly the only one that is still active after is the one in the slavers boat in the slums.
    knowing the nature of the damage done by a trap also protecting from that type of damage works, ie with a trap that does acid damage you can protect who tank it from taking acid damage. i prefer the images as that metaknowledge is not needed, they always work. the only trap you can not avoid the damage and that always kill you is one large one in the maze under spellhood, for it you have to send a summon.

    if you install the item upgrade mod cromwell can merge for you the 3 rings that boost thieving abilities and a protection ring, it does not change the power, just add convenience as you don't have to continuously go to the inventory page to swap rings. the other items that item upgrade introduce are really powerful, but if you don't like that power creep no one compel you to create them...

    at high level nalia can even use infinite spell loops to wish that the whole party get 25 on all stats and replicate the effect of 2 mind focusing potions to identify and perform rogue tasks, is is a bit exaggerated :smile: but can be done.

    in my experience swapping the rings and using spells and potions in the rare cases when it is not enough nalia can be almost as good as imoen to deal with traps and locks, while has probably more xp so reaches high level of mage earlier and has a better natural str so can carry more weight, both have not enough wis to cast the wish without using a potion, even if all the tomes and the lum machine boosts are used.

    i have to swap the rings also with imoen so i don't see that great difference between them that other players feel. the difference is with a proper thief, jan, yoshimo, hexxat or a thief charname can do things that both imoen and nalia will never do.

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