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Fighter/Thief or Wild Mage/Sorcerer

Hi everyone,

I'm starting a new full saga playthrough and I would like to try different NPC's then usual or certainly, very specific one's. My concern is this one, I would love to try the sorcerer or the WildMage because I enjoy spellcasters, but I would also like to try Neera and since she is a WM, would cut this option under my feet. Which means a fighter type protagonist is more likely then. The fighter/thief seems cool with dual wielding and thieving capabilities and might solve this issue in BGee2.

Here's the party I intend to play (mix good/neutral/evil for BGEE)and you might see my decision process/problem:

BGEE:

Kagain
Jaheira
Minsc
Viconia
Imoen
Neera

Would love Kagain but keeping Imoen or Neera make's it impossible
If I am WM, it fix the problem... for BGEE at least.
If not, I need to be a fighter type and remove Kagain. Not dramatic since he is not a saga NPC. But still I like him in BGEE.

BGEE2:

Keldorn
Jaheira
Anomen
Minsc
Nalia/Imoen
Neera

Again, If I am F/T, I keep Neera as the dedicated Mage and have to consider never having Nalia/Imoen in my party.
If I play WM/Sorcerer, Neera is out (will be needing thief).

Bottom line:

Neera or not Neera (seems like a cool NPC plus romance - never played her and would love the surprise factor of th e surge) - vs - me beeing the WM with good stats will make me very powerful in the end / same with sorcerer with less flexibility and the almost obligation of having another mage type NPC

VS

Fighter/Thief (even Berserker) with cool THW, able to use all the great one-hand and keeping Neera and having the option of using a WM for the first time.

So, alot of rambling but I wanna to throw this out there for you guys :-)
Maybe your experience with on of those character will help me decide !


Thanks





Aerakar

Comments

  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 56
    edited April 2020
    Funny enough, I was faced with the same dilemma just a few days ago while deciding what to play for my next playthrough that I'm starting this week. And what it came down to for me is that it really depends on what one prefers thematically AND mechanically. I personally love playing wizards in CRPG's but I find that in certain games (Baldur's Gate included) the mechanical aspect of how they play is simply not sufficiently satisfying. Thus I picked a Fighter/Thief multi over generalist mage which was my other option. The mage I felt was a cooler character, but the mechanical aspects of how the Fighter/Thief plays are just so much more satisfying for me.

    Aerakar
  • RagnarrRagnarr Member Posts: 24
    Thanks for your insightful reply!
    What kind of stats did you gave yourself and wich alignment? Very easy to get 18’s in the 1st 3 spots but afraid to get OP very quickly.

  • SyndareeSyndaree Member Posts: 56
    edited April 2020
    Female half-elf, lawful evil.

    Str 14
    Dex 18
    Con 16
    Int 10
    Wis 13
    Cha 15

    I am doing a playthrough that is heavily roleplaying flavoured so I wanted reasonable stats.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,067
    In BG1 the only important decision you make as a fighter/thief is whether to insist on 18/00 strength or settle for 18/91. Of secondary importance would be 18s in DEX/CON, with any remaining points going to INT just in case you eventually melee mind flayers in BG2.

    However I'd suggest FMT rather than FT as you'll still have all the thief points you need but with all the survivability (mirror image, sleep, eventually stoneskin) mage brings to the table.

    Do be aware that wild mages have a chance to vaporize 80% of the party's gold each time they cast a spell. That alone would enough for me to rule out a wild mage MC but YMMV.

    Aerakar
  • RagnarrRagnarr Member Posts: 24
    Thanks! Dont care about reload though

  • Very_BigSwordVery_BigSword Member Posts: 217
    The problem with magic users for me in a full party run is that Edwin will always be a better mage and Baeloth always a better sorceror. If I was to pick a magic user I would go with dragon disciple or a modded sorceror kit for the uniqueness, or a multi/dual. Stats do not matter a great deal for pure arcane casters and one of the main advantages for charname is the ability to optimise stats.

    I would certainly go with fighter/thief all the way. If you want to emphasise stealth and backstabs in BG1 consider Tiax or Coran to substitute for Viconia. For BG2 you will want charname to be competent in traps and locks after Irenicus dungeon so work on those in the latter half of BGEE.

    Aerakar
  • RagnarrRagnarr Member Posts: 24
    Hi, you are talking about 2 evil magic users, but I will be playing a good/neutral saga. I always felt, mainly in vanilla, that the canon party or a full saga lack a good mage. Now with Neera it’s a bit different.

    Thanks 😊

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,067
    edited April 2020
    Neera isn't great from a power point of view, probably the third best good-aligned mage in BG1 (behind Dynaheir #2 and dualed Imoen #1) and certainly the third-best good-aligned mage in BG2. And a good-aligned fighter/mage or fighter/mage/thief MC would be much stronger than any of them.

    But if by "good mage" you mean having a sunny outlook, then Neera looks much better though she still arguably trails Imoen in BG1.

    Post edited by jsaving on
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2020
    Neera is just fine and you get her super early and she goes through the whole series - not having used her before I'd go that route. That'll give you a taste of the wild mage, though I would forewarn you to be extra attentive to her spell choices. Having her cast spells on friendlies or herself without chaos shield is begging for trouble, but it is a fun new way to play and can turn mundane situations into pretty big moments. Be aware if you're intent on having her memorize every spell in the game she'll need some potions of genius.

    The appeal of fighter/thief for me is they can adjust their play style to suit the game they're in.

    In bg1 archery is king, but that fades in BG2. Fighter/Thief is a very solid archer option. Once you get into BG2 where melee is king, they can fight very well in melee and backstab damage is neat. In ToB when spells are king, they can cast spells from scrolls (so long as your int is higher than 9) and use any item in the game, while respectably whipping things in melee.

    Since it looks like you're intent on taking Imoen I assume you intend to go for backstabbing as the useful thief component (at first) or traps. It also gives you the option of dual classing Imoen to mage early if you want to rely on magic for backstabs. So you'd basically just level find traps to 100 and she would level open locks to 100 and dual, by the time she would need her higher level lock picking abilities she'd have her stuff back, then you can focus on hiding or what have you. I tend to choose to wait, and let Imoen handle *all* the thief stuff until I can hide pretty reliably because I'm here to backstab things lol and then level lock/trap to limp us through the 8 levels of wizard she has to get lol.

    For me, the most fun way to play Fighter/thief is to start out leaning into thief playstyle - you're primarily an archer. Once you gain a few levels and can respectably hide or get access to invisibility, you can start setting up back stabs and scouting, and then returning to your archer role. You could *also* put them in heavy armor and have them tank if you need, but I find that to be a less interesting way of playing (many cooler tank options in game). Remember also that you can only backstab with thief weapons - no back stabbing with 2 handed swords etc.

    Then you'll notice your PC getting 30+% of party kills because archery is so potent in BG1, and you can chunk single targets by sneaking up on them and hitting reliably with your increased fighter THACO, and then run away and shoot things.

    Once you hit BG2 you get access to better defensive options and can basically stick to constantly going for stabs and fighting in melee more often (when that play style is more optimal).



    PokotaAerakar
  • Very_BigSwordVery_BigSword Member Posts: 217
    Ragnarr wrote: »
    Hi, you are talking about 2 evil magic users, but I will be playing a good/neutral saga. I always felt, mainly in vanilla, that the canon party or a full saga lack a good mage. Now with Neera it’s a bit different.

    Thanks 😊

    Fair enough. The magic user stuff was a general point about how charname as a single class wizard in a full party is either equivalent to or inferior to NPC wizards, hence I am not a fan of being one. I agree that Ed and Baeloth do not fit in your groups. Leading on to recommending Fighter/Thief as the choice for charname which gives you better group utility and engaging play, especially in BG2.

    To address your OP properly, I like your party selections. With you as the thief, Imoen will be out once you have recruited all your party members in BG1. In BG2 she will not be needed, Nalia not needed either. Neera all the way. There are plenty of tanks in your groups so you will not need to do that job.

    The tricky thing is to balance your skill investment between stealth, which is your trump card as a fighter/thief, and trap/lock ability which will be your responsibility for most of the saga. Given the slower levelling of multi-class and low back stab multiplier early on, you should probably develop locks/traps early. Stealth capability can be increased later once your back stab multiplier becomes dangerous. Remember, locks/traps do not need to be 100! 80 each would be enough as a baseline. There are potions for increasing dex and/or thieving skills on the very rare occasions when you need more. Further down the track there are also items that boost thief skills when worn. Just switch them into your equip slots when they are needed.

    RagnarrAerakar
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