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Creating a party after a long hiatus!

Hey all,

Used to play BG2 growing up but haven’t for about 15 years. Due to spending more time indoors lately I have decided to get back into it! Creating a Good party of 4/5 to run through TOB. Would appreciate any feedback and advice!

Inquisitor
Protagonist, Carsomyr

Ranger/Cleric MC
For a tank, divine, and later Druid spells
Race? Flails and warhammers?

Sorcerer
Obviously he won’t be in melee or doing ranged attacks much if ever but what weapon profs?

Fighter/Mage
Trying to decide between
MC or Berserker9>mage
Another tank with def spells and some offense
Weapon profs? Race if MC?

Fighter/Thief MC
Backstabber Trapper Sneak extraordinaire
I don’t want to be forced to carry an NPC thief for any of the game.
Weapon profs? Race?

Should I just combine the last two and do a F/M/T instead?

Would having 3 MC characters be a drag in SoA?

I never did a romance, any of them interesting in the slightest?

Will shuffle NPCs for quests in SoA then likely take Sarevok for all of TOB.

Already been reading a lot of stuff on forums and walkthroughs and pumped to start playing again!

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • JQuailmanJQuailman Member Posts: 30
    I forgot to note that I pry won’t be using an xp cap

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 589
    The romances vary from the absurd to the half-decent, if you can tolerate the NPC. Fortunately, there are several mod-added NPC romances that are quite good.

    As for your sorcerer, I'd stick with leaving that character single-class. You only get a few (literally 1 or 2) spells of each level as you progress. Even without an XP cap, this is going to make it a hard slog for a while. Sure, you can fire of as many copies of those spells as you have slots without worrying about memorization, but at a significant cost.

    I'm doing a run now with a sorcerer PC, and I'm finding that, at least for now, I'm relying on other magic users a lot for spell variety.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 856
    edited March 19
    FM is the strongest character in the game and FMT is the most versatile character in the game. As neither is represented among the joinable NPCs, they'd be great choices for BG2.

    You can dual or multi the FM. If I am doing a solo run then I prefer dual because I want to be casting 9th level spells around the time ToB begins. However if I am doing a party run then I'd go multi because it's the only way to have the super-strong fighter HLAs in ToB.

    As for FT, it too is strong but mage buffs + at-will invisibility make FMT better overall.

    gorgonzolaJQuailman
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 763
    Personally, I've never gone past two PC characters in a party for the main campaign. The fun of bringing recruited NPCs along is largely in their interactions with each other, so having four or five of them is just more immersive.

    Some thoughts on the characters there:

    - Inquisitor: Always solid and easy to build - and extremely easy to replace with a recruited NPC, because Keldorn is one.
    - Ranger/Cleric: Unless you mess with settings in the .lua file, you won't get druid spells past level 3. The good stuff that you really want from the druid list mostly starts at level 4, so there's not much there. You do get the free dual-wielding points, so that's an obvious weapon choice. Being restricted to blunt weapons is hardly a disadvantage at all; by my reckoning, six of the top ten most damaging melee weapons in the game are blunt. (In order: Flail of Ages +5, Staff of the Ram +6 and Club of Detonation +5, (big gap), Crom Faeyr +5 and Storm Star +5, Flail of Ages +4. The first three of those are the top three most damaging weapons overall, by a wide margin.)
    - Sorceror: You can only take four weapon proficiencies. You'll have them all by the time you hit level 18 (3 million XP), so don't worry. Can't be exactly replaced by a recruited companion, but the pure mage Neera isn't too far away.
    - Fighter/Mage: Never played one myself, and I probably won't until I get around to some of my weird party ideas like that all-fighter one. As such, I won't say more about how to build one. For weapons, go with something others aren't using; there are good weapons in basically every proficiency group.
    - Fighter/Thief: My most-played protagonist archetype; I've completed the game with both kensai 13/thief and fighter 13/assassin dual-classes. And both times, they weren't the only thief in the party. If you're running a backstabber, they'll be hiding most of the time, which means they aren't searching for traps. It's just a lot more convenient to have someone like Imoen or Jan around to take care of the trapfinding. In your case, since you're running them as the only thief, you'll probably want to go with a multiclass and hold off on the backstabbing outside special occasions. That also opens up being a (pure) swashbuckler as a solid option - fewer attacks per round and no backstabs, but the combat bonuses really stack up to something special in the late game. In selecting weapons, a backstabber should look for high physical damage; the Staff of the Ram is by far the best backstabbing weapon in the game. Aside from that, there's not much difference between katanas, long swords, and scimitars on the physical damage front; specialize in whatever weapon has secondary effects you like best. On race, I'd go with a dwarf or halfling for the best long-run saving throws of any character class in the game (base 0/0/4/4/0 once you reach 4.84 million XP).

    The thing about playing a romance is that you would have to really commit to having that character in the party full-time. With as many PCs as you're building, that just isn't going to be feasible unless you cut back somewhere. How interesting ... that's entirely a judgement call.
    Also, note that the EE NPCs have quests in ToB with new areas; you might want to rotate some of them in for those. To start them:
    - Dorn (evil): Keep him in the party for a week of game time, then travel on the world map.
    - Hexxat (evil): Visit the tavern in Amkethran with her, or meet her at said tavern if you don't have her in the party already.
    - Neera (neutral): Go outside Saradush with her in the party.
    - Rasaad (good): Travel on the world map.

    No XP cap... unless you really abuse the system somewhere for massive XP, it's not going to make a big difference. The highest-level party I ever built ranged from 8.89M to 9.40M XP; that's only a few more levels over the 8M cap, unless you also extrapolate the progressions for (pure) thieves, bards, clerics, and monks. Multiclass mages can slightly improve their saving throws at level 21 (8.25M XP), multiclass mages and clerics might pick up another spell slot or two, and everyone else pretty much just gets more uses of abilities they already have plenty of. That is, if they ever reach that point.

    AerakarJQuailmankaja8
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,621
    JQuailman wrote: »

    Inquisitor
    Protagonist, Carsomyr
    this compell you in having a good oriented party, unless you completely ignore the RP aspect and go for a pure PG run. it will be important for the romance and for the npc you will play. Keldorn is just as good, but anyway in sa sound choice, paladins are cool and strong.
    JQuailman wrote: »
    Ranger/Cleric MC
    For a tank, divine, and later Druid spells
    Race? Flails and warhammers?
    yep, see what @jmerry told about. FoA is super strong, not only for its damage, but also for his slow on hit that has a percentage, but does not allow saving throws, so is effective also late game, after an agerage of 3 successful hits the enemy will be slowied in attacks, movement and spell casting. as UH weapon also the mace and later the hammer that can kill undeads on hit and protect from level draining are very strong. I sometimes don't upgrade FoA to +5 because doubled apr when improved hasted>more alpha damage.
    JQuailman wrote: »
    Sorcerer
    weapons staff (of the magi), sling and dart. he is as strong as you are good at choosing the spells he knows, much more reliable, even if less powerful, then a wild mage as Neera.
    you can set up the sorcerer as a highly effective bomber focusing on damaging spells or, imo more interesting in a party, the real engine of it.
    who dispel protections of the enemies and breaches them, who cast on them greater malison and lower their magical resistance, who haste and protect the party fighters? your trusty sorcerer, later his projected image, so he can do it many fights/day.
    with a wise spell pick he can cover both the functions.
    JQuailman wrote: »
    Fighter/Mage
    Trying to decide between
    MC or Berserker9>mage
    Another tank with def spells and some offense
    Weapon profs? Race if MC?
    then multiclass, better gnome for the 1 spell/level more.
    the single class late game is more a super caster, only slightly less powerful then a single class, but lacks as a fighter, dualing at 9 end game his mage thac0 will be the one used, the higher one, and it tells all the story.
    multiclass continues to improve the fighter side, gets fighter hla, and has more then enough mage to be tanky and to be a powerful secondary mage.
    JQuailman wrote: »
    Fighter/Thief MC
    Backstabber Trapper Sneak extraordinaire
    I don’t want to be forced to carry an NPC thief for any of the game.
    Weapon profs? Race?

    Should I just combine the last two and do a F/M/T instead?

    Would having 3 MC characters be a drag in SoA?
    i would say FMT, you will have a delayed high value stab multiplier, but overall is a better choice, can tank with his arcane power, can use the SoTM to hide after the stabs, borrowing it temporarily from your mage, and as he has good thac0 he can also use it as a second carsomyr, he can stab twice in a round, the first stabbing from shadows, the second from the low level invisibility spell he can cast on himself.
    also FT works anyway.

    multiclasses are not a drag in soa, are actually stronger then single class, as they are only 1 or 2 levels behind, the relation xp-levels is not linear, and dual class, no down time.
    as they allow a great versatility, cover more functions with the same person, they allow also to run parties smaller then 6, so the whole party level up faster. and as you plan to remove the xp cap it can be important.
    JQuailman wrote: »
    I never did a romance, any of them interesting in the slightest?

    Will shuffle NPCs for quests in SoA then likely take Sarevok for all of TOB.
    romances are very subjective. and can be completely skipped by some players.
    as i read in the forums every player has his personal taste about them, a romance that for some one can be poorly written and unsatisfactory for others i very good. so it is impossible to give you advice.
    the only advice i can give you is Viconia, because a paladin that romances an evil drow, that can change her alignment if the right choices in the romance are done, is puzzling. and is imho a much better way to be a pally then the one of keldorn, that at a certain point kills viconia instead of giving her the chance to change.

    and Jaheira, if you don't fiddle with the lua file, as she is a strong fighter and has the druid spells that lack to a EE RC.

    jmerry wrote: »
    The highest-level party I ever built ranged from 8.89M to 9.40M XP; that's only a few more levels over the 8M cap
    the highest level full party i have built was way more then that, the sorcerer charname, that had soloed the first part of soa, was well over 20M, and the less leveled party member at the end of SoA, but with WK completed, was over 8Mxp.
    i tell more about it, but under spoiler as i already wrote a text wall long enough. nothing that can really spoil will follow.
    i am not suggesting to do it, my point is only that xp in the game can vary greatly.
    delaying the recruitment of npcs you get them at higher level (the highest possible is when charname has 2M xp, then they stop to improve), and if you have spared the quest rewards you can trigger them after recruiting the full party, this only gives a real xp boost.

    also not playing with a 6 people party make the party gain xp faster, if the OP do not romance anyone he can go without npcs until he get Sarewok in TOB, all the important quests can be done without npcs, you don't have to have Nalia for the D'Arnise keep, Mazzi for the temple ruins or Cernd for Trademeet.

    and there are completely legittimate ways to get more xp, every time you turn to stone someone you get xp, and is not written anywhere that to turn to stone and then to flash a dragon many times has not to be done.
    and choosing the repeatable choice of the limited wish to be protected from vampires you summon 50kxp worth vampires that you can kill, if the mage that cast the wish has enough low wis to get that option.

    i am not talking of equipping ranged weapons that need no ammo and going to a certain point of the saradush walls and leave the game active for hours as you do other things, i am talking of fair battles (as long as you don't feeblemind the dragons :) ) against dragons, that will be very upset after the first time, but at 1 hp only, so you have to turn them to stone again without doing them any damage, so no summons to draw their attacks, or against vampires that as they spawn dispel all your protections.
    fair battles that give fair xp.

    in the case i mentioned i got the bulk of the extra xp tanking the WK boss for hours, without saving during the battle, while killing his ever spawning helpers, to be able to tank forever a demon prince without saving and without killing him as he summons continuously other demons deserves that xp i would say.

    it is up to the player to don't use, use or abuse of the ways that give more xp then the one that (but only in the players minds) it is supposed to have.
    because there is not a fixed amount at all, a player that do only some soa quests get less xp, a player that import from SoD get a free 400k+ boost right at the start, and a player that uses in a smart way the game mechanics can farm more xp inside of the intended game mechanics, while abusing of the saradush walls trick or the multiple talking to get a reward multiple times (that if i am not wrong is no more possible in EE) are abusing of glitches.

    AerakarJQuailman
  • ShangerooShangeroo Member Posts: 84
    I came back to this game too several months ago when I discovered the EE version for IOS, being a huge fan of the game back on PC. Being through a similar situation, I’d strongly recommend trying new things that weren’t available back during the old days.

    So instead of creating 4-5 party members try out the new companions such as Neera, Rasaad, Dorn and Hexxat. They all come with quests which would be new to you and worth running through at least once. If your set one playing an Inquisitor, probably Dorn wouldn’t make sense but you could justify Hexxat as you could be a radical inqusitor who sees Hexxat as a tool to fight evil. Ends justify the means mentality.

    Romances are worth trying to if you haven’t before. There is another thread as to which one is best but all comes down to personal preference obviously.

    Also Beamdog created Siege of Dragonspear so I’d recommend taking a character through all 3 games if you have time. At least try this once if you haven’t before.

    Grond0gorgonzolaAerakarJQuailman
  • JQuailmanJQuailman Member Posts: 30
    Thanks for the feedback everyone! So Two big questions left are what to do with weapons between F/T MC and F/M MC (not gonna be a gnome).

    How do I effectively split up Axe, long sword, katana, scimitar between them?

    I know there’s also some awesome halberds and staffs to be had later in the game. Maybe plan on one using these later or just focus on two weapon fighting?

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,089
    edited March 21
    Go with Cavalier and bring Keldorn along for the theme. Focus on axes and add 2-weapon fighting and bastard swords. You can even bring Anomen since he's a Knight of the Order too. I did a play through like that and it was a blast!

    Edit: Keldorn and Anomen both have pathetic dexterity and there's only one pair of dexterity gloves. Fortunately Anomen is a full-on cleric with access to Draw Upon Holy Might so just cast that in battles you want him to get down and dirty in. He can also use the best shield available for extra AC.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 856
    JQuailman wrote: »
    How do I effectively split up Axe, long sword, katana, scimitar between them?
    Belm pairs nicely with either celestial fury or flail of the ages because of their on-hit effects. For that reason alone I'd pair katana and scimitar on one character, then axe and longsword on the other.

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