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Controversial Opinion: Constitution is a surprisingly good dump stat

It takes 9 Constitution points to go from 7 to 16, which is the most you can benefit from in most classes.

Those 9 points only get you 2 hp per level.

You can do so many things with those 9 points.

If you're a mage your protections will make HP a moot point most of the time anyway. Thieves are gonna want to make a hasty retreat if they end up in the line of fire most of the time. Clerics have a level 2 spell that will eventually be able to boost their constitution by up to 6 points. Theives probably rely on their constitution the most but they all to various degrees can afford to lose some Con points.

Grond0gorgonzolaJuliusBorisovCrevsDaakSkatan
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Comments

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,028
    You're not wrong, but only experienced players can make better use of a character who has low constitution.

    StummvonBordwehrgorgonzolaJuliusBorisovCrevsDaak
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 897

    A level 10 wizard without CON boosts/familiar effect, has at most 40 HPs (if you have max HP on level up). If you're playing with normal HP increases, said wizard will have on average 26 HPs. The +2 from CON is another 20 HPs, which is a 50% increase in first instance and around 85% increase in second. For rogues, the numbers are 60 or 37, so increase is between 33 and 45%. In other words massive.

    That is some interesting math. I'd never crunched the numbers quite like that. I don't feel like it's that noticeable a difference when I'm playing but I'll have to pay attention to it.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 897
    chimaera wrote: »
    Chronicler wrote: »
    It takes 9 Constitution points to go from 7 to 16, which is the most you can benefit from in most classes.

    Those 9 points only get you 2 hp per level.

    And a saving throw bonus if you are a shorty. Dwarven & halfling thieves are better than human and elves, imo.

    Oh for sure. Saving throws are everything. Don't dump Con if you're a shorty.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,671
    Arvia wrote: »
    That may be true for higher levels, but if you start in Candlekeep, every HP counts
    A level 10 wizard without CON boosts/familiar effect, has at most 40 HPs (if you have max HP on level up). If you're playing with normal HP increases, said wizard will have on average 26 HPs.......

    i think that those 2 things perfectly nailed the point.
    the general low hp of the beginning of bg and later having the maxed hp on leveling up or the average one (or possibly less then average) makes a huge difference in how the hp added by con is useful or not.
    and the player's tactics can influence this only to some extent, as a better hp pool can make all the difference if a saving throw is failed, if a couple of critical hits in a row kick in and in many other situations.

    i would say that for a player that has always charname with at least 50% of his hp at the end of every battle and also as the battle is happening it is safe to use con as drop stat, weather he uses maxed hp roll or not does not matter much, that player has a play style that allow it.
    for a player that has charname dropping his hp under 50% it is gambling, relying on the power of reload, as in a whole game or the whole saga the chance that something bad never happens is really extremely narrow.
    the more and the more often charname drops his hp under 50% the more dropping con becomes gambling.

    i always play with average hp increase and don't like to depend on the power of reload, even if i am not a no reloader, so con is usually the last stat i want to drop.
    for other ways to play it can be very different, play style matters.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,174
    I look at it this way:
    - Using max hp rolls is effectively re-rolling every time until you get the best one. It's functionally equivalent to using ctrl-8 for all 18 stats, or always hitting in combat or always doing max damage. That's no fun, so don't do that.
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.
    - With 16 CON that thief would have 55 hp. Far more durable. In fact it's functionally equivalent to having 57% resistance to all damage types. That's very good.

    gorgonzolaCrevsDaak
  • AasimAasim Member Posts: 591
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.

    Balance in all things baldur.

    CrevsDaak
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    I look at it this way:
    - Using max hp rolls is effectively re-rolling every time until you get the best one. It's functionally equivalent to using ctrl-8 for all 18 stats, or always hitting in combat or always doing max damage. That's no fun, so don't do that.
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.
    - With 16 CON that thief would have 55 hp. Far more durable. In fact it's functionally equivalent to having 57% resistance to all damage types. That's very good.

    That was my first thought, too. Well-armored melee combatants and squishies fighting from range very rarely take physical damage. But, Fireballs. I've had parties survive Fireball strikes because of high constitution more times than I can count. In late game, it also makes the difference between life and death when the party is inevitably hit with Horrid Wilting.

    gorgonzolaCrevsDaak
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 641
    I look at it this way:
    - Using max hp rolls is effectively re-rolling every time until you get the best one. It's functionally equivalent to using ctrl-8 for all 18 stats, or always hitting in combat or always doing max damage. That's no fun, so don't do that.
    Waitasecond, don't you literally do this in Scales of Balance for having a 17 CON?
    Anyways, for non-warriors, 16 CON is 20 HP difference by level 10. By level 10, mages have on average, just by the rolls without any CON bonuses, 4 (level 1 max) + 6 (familiar) + 9 (2.5) (average rolls of 1d4) = 32.5. A thief has 6 + 9 (3.5) = 37-38 hp. A bard gets a familiar to get to 43-44 hp. And a cleric/druid/monk/shaman (?) gets 8 + 9(4.5) = 48-49 hp. 20 hp represents an additional 40% of health to the healthiest of non-warrior classes.

    Now, it's not impossible to have a functioning character with low CON, but it actively has to be worked with with the belt of fortitude in BG2 or potions in BG1. It's the reason why Aerie and Viconia are so darn squishy if they enter combat without protections, or if they ever get breached.

    Grond0gorgonzola
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 735
    I look at it this way:
    - Using max hp rolls is effectively re-rolling every time until you get the best one. It's functionally equivalent to using ctrl-8 for all 18 stats, or always hitting in combat or always doing max damage. That's no fun, so don't do that.
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.
    - With 16 CON that thief would have 55 hp. Far more durable. In fact it's functionally equivalent to having 57% resistance to all damage types. That's very good.

    That was my first thought, too. Well-armored melee combatants and squishies fighting from range very rarely take physical damage. But, Fireballs. I've had parties survive Fireball strikes because of high constitution more times than I can count. In late game, it also makes the difference between life and death when the party is inevitably hit with Horrid Wilting.

    I don't know how you can protect your ranged squishies from damage all the time and still have them participate in a fight. I can position them as far as I want, someone always sneaks up on them or shoots at them, or there's too little space to put a distance between them and the attackers.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,671
    very interesting to read about the tactics and play style of the other players. i use different ways then @BelgarathMTH or @Grond0, but at the end the concept is the same, who is able to control the battle field and position his toons in a way that give control on which toon is targeted by the enemies find the battle relatively easy. who fails at that struggle.

    the tactics can vary from player to player and the same player can have different tactics depending on the party, you can not play the same way solo, with a 3 people party and with a 6 people one, and having a physical damage oriented party, a magic heavy one or a more balanced one gives different options.
    and still, even with a solo charname, how you (dynamically) place on the ground your toons and how you control the field is crucial.

    Grond0BelgarathMTH
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,507
    I look at it this way:
    - Using max hp rolls is effectively re-rolling every time until you get the best one. It's functionally equivalent to using ctrl-8 for all 18 stats, or always hitting in combat or always doing max damage. That's no fun, so don't do that.
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.
    - With 16 CON that thief would have 55 hp. Far more durable. In fact it's functionally equivalent to having 57% resistance to all damage types. That's very good.

    That was my first thought, too. Well-armored melee combatants and squishies fighting from range very rarely take physical damage.
    Unless you're new to the game and didn't know that a little into the fight you your going to get ranked from both sides.

  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 735
    @Grond0 , I'm not playing with SCS. I'm just very inexperienced trying to survive in lower levels. I'm doing my first BG:EE playthrough. I'm much more familiar with BG2. And I'm still learning to use my spellcasters better. Thank you for telling me about the shorter range of darts, I don't think I've noticed that.

    @BelgarathMTH, you don't always need to squeeze in an advance apology. I know you're not criticizing, and you're absolutely right, I have to learn much more about strategy.
    I have to pay much more attention to my formation, especially if the attackers are scattered. I would switch off the AI completely, but then I occasionally forget to give another command when somebody has killed their target.

    It's not my paladin sense of honor that keeps me from using the spells you mentioned. When we're under attack, it's war, and we have to survive and protect ourselves, not the attackers.
    (Okay, I do have a conscience problem with Charm Person in a battle, with backstabbing, and with summons, but that's all).
    The bigger problem is that Dynaheir is an Invoker, and most of the spells you mentioned are Enchantment/Charm. So, no Sleep, Confusion, Emotion, Greater Malison, whatever else... I really miss Greater Malison. They always save against Yeslick's Silence spell.

    I should maybe try to watch how other people position their party members in certain fights.

    And I will probably have to play a cleric or mage next time to learn more.

    With 16 Constitution, of course (back to the topic). I don't want to be fragile.

    BelgarathMTHMaurvirgorgonzola
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,174
    edited June 20
    Neverused wrote: »
    I look at it this way:
    - Using max hp rolls is effectively re-rolling every time until you get the best one. It's functionally equivalent to using ctrl-8 for all 18 stats, or always hitting in combat or always doing max damage. That's no fun, so don't do that.
    Waitasecond, don't you literally do this in Scales of Balance for having a 17 CON?

    To an extent, yes. I think CON bonuses work better increasing the result of the roll, rather than adding bonus points on top of it.

    But note, while the SoB hit dice mod gives you max rolls at 17 CON, those rolls are themselves smaller than in vanilla. E.g. warriors get d9 instead of d10, and one less bonus point for CON. So 2 fewer hp per level, or 18 fewer hp at the end of BG1. For people who don't want to suffer the indignity of fully random rolls, it keeps some of the randomness while keeping you roughly above average.

    (Hmm, now that you brought this to my attention, I have a hankering to revise that a bit...)

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    DragonKing wrote: »
    I look at it this way:
    - Using max hp rolls is effectively re-rolling every time until you get the best one. It's functionally equivalent to using ctrl-8 for all 18 stats, or always hitting in combat or always doing max damage. That's no fun, so don't do that.
    - With average rolls a 10th level thief or bard has 35 hp. If hit by a 10th level Fireball, on a failed save it would do... 35 hp damage. Say goodnight.
    - With 16 CON that thief would have 55 hp. Far more durable. In fact it's functionally equivalent to having 57% resistance to all damage types. That's very good.

    That was my first thought, too. Well-armored melee combatants and squishies fighting from range very rarely take physical damage.
    Unless you're new to the game and didn't know that a little into the fight you your going to get ranked from both sides.

    @DragonKing , Assuming you meant "flanked", that doesn't happen with careful formation and positioning. Getting flanked (again, I'm only talking about straight up physical melee battles, and my points don't apply to BG1 "you have been waylaid" surprise surround attacks) only happens when the player rushes her party into a mob of enemies with no attention whatsoever to formation and tactical oversight.

    I also see an interesting insight here into player styles. We the posters almost seem to have very fundamental differences in our tactical points of view, almost like the World of Warcraft traditional roles. The "rush in, and you can't avoid getting flanked so just deal with it, and you might as well dump your constitution and AC" posters think like WoW DPS players.

    I think like a WoW tank. (Lead, give orders, micromanage, keep control of the battlefield.) And some players (sometimes me too) think like healers, just wanting to protect everybody from control spells and keep hit points maxed.

    There seems to be a fundamental divide between DPS gamers and tank/healer gamers. It's very interesting and amusing to me that a game like World of Warcraft can provide insights into real life personalities, and the same group of insights also applies to games like Baldur's Gate. :)

    Grond0Arviagorgonzola
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    edited June 11
    @Arvia , I always "squeeze in an advance apology", because, often as I'm writing or sharing advice, I realize that a person could be taking my writing as condescending or insulting. Better to beg forgiveness before the other person takes offense, I say. ;)

    EDIT: Oh, and the BG AI will get you and your party killed, even with the EE improvements to it. That's because it makes party members countermand orders. BG fights are very military situations, and soldiers who don't follow orders get people killed. In the real life military, any "AI" executed by soldiers gets them decommissioned, court-martialed, and dishonorably discharged at the least, if not sent to prison, or sometimes even shot by firing squad during wartime. ;)

    EDIT2: Dynaheir or anybody else can use the Wand of Sleep sold by Thalantyr in High Hedge. That wand is always a high priority purchase for me if I'm not playing the party mage myself, or using Xan instead of Dynaheir. (Neera and Edwin are not options for me - Neera gets my party killed with her reckless wild surges, and Edwin is, "Well, I don't know, could you be less, um...evil?"

    Grond0Arviagorgonzola
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,507
    @BelgarathMTH
    God I hate auto correct, yes I meant flanked.

    And I have to disagree unless you are someone who already possessed wayward knowledge of a battle before either from past experience or researching the battle before had hand, its is quite possible to get flanked in a battle where you tried to carefully micro every character, but you don't realize that this current battle you're in is actually a split battle where more enemies come in from another direction.
    I'm a mage player and my whole thing is stay in the back out of aggro and provide artillery damage or cc support. I've bee surprised once or twice with enemies coming out of nowhere and going ides of match on my main while I'm microing the tank or melee dps.

    N, of course,so the rematch turns out much different because now I'm well aware of the oncoming gang grape and I can more properly position everyone

    Arvia
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    edited June 11
    @DragonKing , I didn't say it was impossible to get flanked, just that it very, very rarely ever happens to me. :shrug:

    EDIT: It would be hard to say how much my metaknowledge contributes to my rarely ever getting flanked. It doesn't feel like it ever does, especially in BG1. I am *very* careful about how I push back the fog, inch by inch on my screen, and always with a stealthed scout whenever I'm not sure.

    gorgonzola
  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,507
    @BelgarathMTH
    It's been a while but flank in in bg1 is less likely since not a large amount of battle were really drawn out nor were there many large amount of random summons in compared to bg2 and iwd.

    I mean I did that as well, even on my first play through but meta knowledge still plays a part based on many factors which all of them probably couldn't be quantified.

    gorgonzola
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    @DragonKing , I don't have much trouble not getting flanked in SoA, either, but whatever. ToB I've only played completely through once, because I basically don't like it, so I don't have enough experience there to have a meaningful opinion, or even memory of it. The last time I played ToB was at least 10 years ago.

  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,507
    edited June 12
    I'm actually not that large of a fan of SOA or ToB, I also literally only played it like once.

    I'm not a large fan on how drastically there game starts to shift in how I have to play it. So I have no choice but to multiclass because AC just doesn't mean crap anymore? Or I have to make my mage the tank by tossing every protection spell on him and toss him head first in battle... Ye that goes again every mage instinct I have.

    Oh and none of that matter because every massive battle seems to just drop like half of my magical protection that I have to now recast and walk around with so many immunities that virus and bacteria are basically on strike at this point arguing for a fighting chance.

    That and I just prefer the freedom bg1 gives and how the devs are A-holes!


    Dev 1: hey, lets just put a enemy here out in the open that has a globe of protection! Lmao, the amount of cussing I did that day lmao.
    @BelgarathMTH

  • PsicoVicPsicoVic Member Posts: 281
    edited June 12
    I do not think you need to use constitution as a dump stat, you have lots of more useful options. In fact, in every class and kit in the game you only need to max three-four stats of six. Also cha is a natural dumpstat for any class or build.
    To use as a dump stat the only one that benefits all classes does not strike me as a practical thing to do.

    In fact I usually have the stat overhaul of scales of balance in every IE game I play because if not, cha, int and wis are useless for non-spellcasters.


  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 233
    If you are getting flanked, you are doing something wrong. I always try to kite the enemy towards me, not the other way around. I also use summons to force enemy mages to waste their first attack spells on cannon fodder ( usually skeleton warriors). That does wonders for your odds of beating the enemy.

    PsicoVicgorgonzolaBelgarathMTH
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 897
    Maurvir wrote: »
    If you are getting flanked, you are doing something wrong. I always try to kite the enemy towards me, not the other way around. I also use summons to force enemy mages to waste their first attack spells on cannon fodder ( usually skeleton warriors). That does wonders for your odds of beating the enemy.

    Summons are so effective they can feel cheesy sometimes. The AI is so bad they'll just attack your endless waves of cannon fodder while you attack them with impunity.

    That's not to say I'm above using summons ever of course, but after a run with Edwin got particularly unfun I try to rely on them less than is perhaps optimal.

    gorgonzola
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