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Back from 20 years ago, noob questions

VanFanelVanFanel Member Posts: 9
(Sorry if I misuse some game terms, English is not my native language)

Tried BG1, 20 years ago, stopped probably around Chapter 3-4. Now playing BGEE. Difficulty level = Normal. Noob then, noob now (backstory details).

People say this game has high replay value thus I'm not SO afraid to make mistakes, but I realized too late that maybe SOME advice would have been useful. :(:(
Probably the biggest mistake I made in this revival are the stats, without my expert friend to help. My son was too eager to start playing with me (or... was I too eager? :wink: ) and I did not even reroll. So I ended up with a dwarf warrior/cleric with Str 18/11, dex 14, con 13, int 11, wis 12, cha 11. I suspect these are lousy numbers... especially the low wisdom for a cleric.
But now I'm at Chapter 3 with 8 hours of gameplay and I don't want to restart from scratch. I suppose editing save files counts as cheating and could cause problems if i need tech support. (Maybe I must just... "save" this hard-learned lesson for a future game). Anyway, in the roleplayer-to-munchkin scale I lean towards the former (I react to hardcore optimization discussions like THIS), I want to enjoy the plot AND overcome challenges... and possibly survive more battles without the usual "flee and fire everything" and "save/die/load/repeat" tactics.
I'd like to avoid spoilers as much as possible, except if I'm really desperate (e.g. I wasted a LOT of time going back and forth in Gnoll Fortress looking for a frigging DOOR, then I gave up, googled and facepalmed HARD. Damned fog of war!).

Situation: Chapter 3, "canon" party at Level 2/3, about 2000 gold, not gone to Feldpost Inn (Beregost) yet to advance the plot, I'd like to finish exploring the South first (Some unfinished business: that though Greywolf and the artist, the shopkeeper that wants wolf pelts, the assassin in front of the Nashkel inn, the missing guard that went crazy, the mines secondary exit, and maybe more adventure hooks I still have to discover).

Some (probably stupid) questions:

1) In a shopping spree I gave a big shield to everyone that accepted it. Is this the correct thing to do, or are there drawbacks? The only one I can think about is weight, but my people with shields do not seem to have weight problems.

2) I later realized that I gave the shield even to people wielding a two-handed sword, or to people using a one-handed weapon and a bow as secondary weapon. Does this make sense? Is this a bug or is there an in-game explanation? Is the shield silently ignored for people wielding a two-handed sword? And what about the bow? Does the shield disappear into the 4th dimension when I tell Khalid to switch from longsword to bow?

3) I just rescued Dynaheir but I forgot she has no initial equipment. I gave her a +1 staff, but I forgot to steal the cloak from Neera before rejecting her (I kept her pouch eh eh!). The wizard-merchant sells an awesome cloak but I cannot afford it, what do you suggest? Give her all protective magic gear I find (I have a +1 protection ring, gloves of 18 dex, anti-electricity boots, belt of antipodes)? Just wait for the time I will be able to afford the awesome cloak, while keeping her in the back row with lots of potions, hoping she's not hit by too many missiles or a big melee monster dribbles the tanks?

4) I do NOT plan to dual-class Imoen. I did it back in 1999 because my friend insisted (I also justified it to myself story-wise, somehow anticipating what Elan said ). But then I did not feel at ease - I could not bear waiting for her to grind until she was able to be a thief again. Can I keep her as pure thief and succeed without too suffering?

5) If Dynaheir is my only wizard and she cannot learn and cast Enchantment spells, can I safely sell every Enchantment scroll I found? Are there other uses for these scrolls?

6) I gave studded leather armor to Imoen, but now she's near to her weight limit, since she has low STR. Better to switch back to normal leather and be more agile, or keep the studded one and be safer?

7) I read around that missiles are considered overpowered in Bg1, but I'm still amazed at how BAD are my melee people at actually hitting something, even Charname that has STR 18, +1 stupefying mace and 1 proficency point in mace. Is it normal? Does it improve with levels?

8) Sometimes my Charname decides on his own to cast spells like Faith Armor or Bless that maybe I want to save for worst encounters. Is there a way to avoid this? There is a "Disable AI" button but maybe it's too drastic? I'm ok if Charname decides on his own to cast healing on companions. And "Disable AI" button affects the whole party, while I have no problem with my archers deciding their own targets, most of the time they make good choices...

9) I'm fresh from replaying Beneath a Steel Sky, which has a slider ready at your fingertips to change the game speed and make backtracking easier. I miss that in BG, and I find routine walking in city/wilderness too slow. Is there a way to "yakety sax" my way? :smiley:

Sorry if there are too many questions,
thank you in advance

Post edited by VanFanel on


  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Don't worry about stats too much. What you have is usuable, even though its not "optimal".

    Imoen has low strength. SO just give what she needs equipped and don't expect her to carry anything extra. Maybe scrolls, since they are so light.

    Your characters abilities to hit things will SIGNIFICANTLY improve with levels. Don't worry.

    You can go to your character's record page. There should be a customize button on there somewhere. Hit that, then find "script". It should be on Advanced ai by default. Switch to a different script (they should tell you what they do) to stop auto casting spells.

    Not a whole lot you can do about travelling across maps. THere is 1 piece of gear later that makes one character speedy. When you have haste spells you can cast those, but 2 casts will make your characters fatigued and need rest.

  • spacejawsspacejaws Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 370
    edited March 2020
    Ima try to help a little but some people more knowledgeable will surely jump in.

    All's not lost with your Cleric! Although the wisdom stat is low you can increase it with Tomes of Understanding. There's 3 in BG1 which will raise the wisdon to a fairly respectable 15. The extra wis grants extra spells per level but 12 Wisdom is fairly doable.

    Link has a location of the tomes of understanding to boost wisdom.

    1) No drawbacks except weight :)

    2) This was changed for the EE release. Originally if you had a two handed weapon or a bow you could not put anything in the shield slot(or a second handed weapon) now you can and if you switch to a one handed weapon the character will equip the shield automatically. Saves you having to go into inventory and swap them constantly like before.

    3) Up to you really, if you have magic items to spare may aswell equip them on her. As a mage though she is real squishy and no amount of magic items will fix that :) if frontline people benefit from those items more I'd just keep her at the back and throw those spells and maybe with darts or a sling as a backup. You will also start killing Wizards more, and while they aren't as nice as the one you saw in the shop, often drop robes to wear.

    4) Absolutely. I never dual class Imoen I love having a pure thief!

    5) No uses unless you get a bard possibly? Feel free to sell away and raise that money to get Dynaheir kitted out.

    6) You can leave her with studded leather and close to her weight limit. I don't even know if it affects anything, possibly they get tired more often and need to rest? It doesn't affect any stats or anything. Just make sure shes not carrying any other heavy items like loads of potions and you should be ok. If yoy are going around theiving though you might need someone to tag along to carry anything big she finds.

    7) Yup it will improve you will see THACO stat go down after every level up and with weapon proficiency too. Also using buffs like bless abd debuffs like doom will help get those strikes to connect.

    8) In the character page there is a 'script' button with a bunch of premade AI scripts and one that is customizable. Id suggest experimenting with these but I usually use the custom one and cast my own spells manually but I think there's different Cleric ones to cast spells in different scenarios.

    9) Not sure about this one. Their were tweaks people could do to increase the walk speed but I've never used them personally. Hopefully someone elses pipes up about that.

  • VanFanelVanFanel Member Posts: 9
    edited March 2020
    Thank you @spacejaws and @ThacoBell for your answers!
    Ok so I'll keep my Charname as he is, and look for ways to empower him later. I did not notice the Scripts, I stupidly thought that the Customize button was only for fluff. Thanks, I'll try to study them.

    For Dynaheir I found Knave's Robe and Boots of Avoidance, they should improve her for now.

    For point 9, I wasn't looking for more speed for my characters (which is of course useful, especially in combat) but for me, i.e. for the whole game. In Beneath a Steel Sky, if you turn the slider up, everything speeds up like in a Benny Hill gag, both the PC and NPCs. (But I understand that this may not be a good idea in a game where monsters are actively trying to kill you and may pop up in many places undexpectedly).

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,341
    Oh, there's some setting somewhere to change the Frames Per Second. By default it's set to 30. Some people like to set it to 60 making the whole game effectively play at double speed. Been ages since I had to look up where that is in the menus though.

  • VanFanelVanFanel Member Posts: 9
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,218
    Like spacejaws, I NEVER dual-class Imoen, especially since I usually play as a pure Mage myself and I HATE having to share scrolls around. ;) In fact, in BG2 I usually use EEKeeper and edit Imoen back into a pure Thief. As long as somebody in the party can provide the Arcane Magic role, there's absolutely no problem with keeping Imoen as a Thief.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,026
    Ideally for a warrior/cleric you'd dump intelligence and charisma down to 3 so you can have 18s in dexterity/constitution so your build is not ideal from that point of view. However as long as aren't upping the difficulty level too much then you can finish the game with pretty much any character.

    Whether it makes sense to dual-class Imoen depends on whether you've gone part-thief with your main character or are planning to adventure with Montaron. If yes to either of the above then dualing Imoen around 3rd level should be more or less automatic, as you will have someone else to handle traps/locks and will benefit far more from having an additional party member who is able to cast sleep. Otherwise as @Zaxares says the game is perfectly winnable if you keep her as a thief.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,927
    Chronicler wrote: »
    Oh, there's some setting somewhere to change the Frames Per Second. By default it's set to 30. Some people like to set it to 60 making the whole game effectively play at double speed. Been ages since I had to look up where that is in the menus though.

    Find the folder that contains sub-folders with screenshots, saves and portraits (and a few others). By default that will be something like:
    C:\Users\Your Name\Documents\Baldur's Gate II - Enhanced Edition

    That folder also has a file called Baldur.LUA - open that with something like Notepad and find the entry for Maximum Frame Rate. Change the 30 there to 60.

    As you've already realized though, if you do that you cut the time you have to react when enemies appear and while in combat - but you can manage that if you're prepared to pause a lot. Good luck!

  • LookToWindwardLookToWindward Member Posts: 177
    Is there something that I can change that would speed up movement only? It takes ages to walk from one end of an area to another.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,026
    Yes, each character has a base (innate) movement speed that you can edit using EEKeeper/NearInfinity, or you can spawn paws of the cheetah (boots) for each character. Just be aware that while faster movement might seem minor, it is an almost game-breakingly-strong cheat that lets you flee combat without consequence and can literally break the game by preventing certain scripts from running.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Oh man. We have a lot of requests for faster movement speed lately. I just think back to the original game, where the movement speed was SIGNIFICANTLY slower.

  • woogirlwoogirl Member Posts: 14
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    Oh man. We have a lot of requests for faster movement speed lately. I just think back to the original game, where the movement speed was SIGNIFICANTLY slower.

    I think it is a social problem we get in this generation, where everything is fast and flashy. I played 15 years ago and I was never bothered, and when I got back to the game I indeed thought: oh this is so slow we should be able to run. But when I think about it, there is no need. The movement makes sense for its type of game, and fits the roleplaying. Adventurers cannot be running the whole time, you can cast Haste for that if you really need it.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    @woogirl I'd argue that the speed of BG1 vanilla is too slow from a mechanics perspective. They expect you to cross some very large maps at a snails' pace. BG2 probably is a generational thing though. All games these days come with either a run button (or a dash) or just default to a run.

  • VanFanelVanFanel Member Posts: 9
    Thank you everybody for your answers! No no, no cheating... not on our first game at least :)
    The Frame Rate option works perfectly. It's a pity you have to quit, change the file and re-run the game, it would be useful to change it in-game, e.g. setting it to a high value to move quickly thru large maps or shuttling among stash/shops/etc, and setting it to standard value to better manage dungeon exploration with trap finding and epic battles. I don't know if it is a social problem of the new generation since I'm from a previous one - as I said, maybe it's just Beneath a Steel Sky's "fault" because I (re)played it recently.

    Back to CHARNAME: I was reluctant to dump Charisma to the minimum maybe to avoid being like... Pete ;) or I may have had vague memories of my friend telling me that something in the game was tied to CHARNAME's Charisma? (Maybe a legend? It looks like only the current leader's Charisma counts - and there are some NPCs that gives me quests ONLY if the leader has low Charisma!).
    Anyway, the party improved greatly since the last time I visited this thread, although with some setbacks here and there - we are now at the "Wanted!" stage but we decided to give Big S a bit of breath, so we put on the proverbial Hawaiian shirt and went first sightseeing... up and down (oh how DEEP down!), then sailing to exotic islands... what could possibly go wrong? :wink:

  • LookToWindwardLookToWindward Member Posts: 177
    jsaving wrote: »
    Yes, each character has a base (innate) movement speed that you can edit using EEKeeper/NearInfinity, or you can spawn paws of the cheetah (boots) for each character. Just be aware that while faster movement might seem minor, it is an almost game-breakingly-strong cheat that lets you flee combat without consequence and can literally break the game by preventing certain scripts from running.

    Yes, this makes it seriously easy. The problem is that after you have played the game through from start to finish a few times, and, after clearing out most all areas, it's boring to have to sit and watch them walk from one end of the map to the other. Of course there is the other cheat, where, in the World Map you jump one Area past where you want to end up, and then jump back again, this takes much more game time though.....

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    @VanFanel Charisma definitely affects things in game. There are several quest rewards that check a hidden reaction stat and give better rewards for a higher value. Its a combination of reputation and charisma, and having higher charisma early on before you can raise your rep high enough to compensate, can get you some of those early rewards (Like the +1 dagger in Candlekeep). Charisma affects shop prices in the same way.
    It also affects morale of your party members. With MPCs being less likely to suffer morale failure and flee with a high cha leader, as well as delaying and/or reducing the chance of non-compatible npcs fighting each other.

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