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A party quandary

MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,024
This run through is the first time I've had Imoen for the entire game (using the Imoen 4 Ever mod), so it's played out a lot more like BG1. The party is still in chapter 2, but are all level 16 or 17 (or equivalent for XP).

Right now, the party is comprised of five core characters - Eilrie, the sorceress (17); Sirene, her love interest and very, very good inquisitor (17); Imoen, the more versatile general mage with the massive spell book and party thief (7/17); Isra, the party's other tank and official spokesperson with a CHA of 23 (17); and Jaheira, who wields the FoA +4 righteously (16/16).

The party has cycled through several potential partners for their planned revenge on Mr. I - Nalia, Anomen, Mazzy, Tashia, and presently, Aerie.

Nalia is, as always, a nope. Once the party cleared the keep and took command of it, they left her in it. Sorry, not a fan.

Anomen was a contender. The party got him through his troubles, helped him achieve is knighthood, but in the end, it's an all-girl crew, and he didn't really fit in. He did get a lot of XP while in the party, though, and was getting pretty good with turn undead. He helped the party clear the first level of Watcher's Keep.

Mazzy lasted a fair bit as well, but in the end, the party felt they needed more arcane/divine horsepower, especially after she helped the party clear the second and third levels of WK. Mazzy is a great little tank, but Isra, Sirene, and Jaheira were already tanking before that. Sadly, Mazzy was sent back to Trademeet - though on good terms.

The party next met Tashia while in the Trademeet tavern discussing the Mazzy situation. They decided to give her a try, and she stayed with the party through a goodly section of WK as well - this time the fourth and part of the fifth level of WK. She has a green dragon kill to her name, and that death spell she learned after leveling up was impressive. The party just had to keep her safe long enough to cast it, which was fun. Things were looking good until the party realized that they were getting level drained a lot and spending bank on restoration services.

So, Tashia was sent back to Trademeet after dealing with some clowns her ex sent after her. (I kind of regret not finishing her story line, but the party is quickly running out of things to do in chapter 2)

While back in Waukeen's promenade, the party remembered the tent they had forgotten about. In they went, dealing with Kalah and his illusions. Turns out, Sirene and Carsomyr are a perfect match. Isra dealt with the shadows using her turn undead ability and Sirene carved up everything else. No one lost a single HP in the whole encounter, which lasted all of about 5 minutes.

Aerie became the newest 6th party member, but she was well behind at this point. She only got enough of a boost to get her to 10/10 - while the rest of the party was level 16 or 17. (I thought the game would match her a bit more closely)

The trouble is, the party has practically cleared the land of evil already. The few remaining challenges were going to be tough. The party, with Aerie, visited the Twisted Rune and nearly got cleared out themselves. Fortunately, Isra and a clay golem got Vexall early on, and the party was able to use the rune's own teleport machine against them. It took a few rounds to get them all in the larger room so that they could use the smaller room to prep, but the party prevailed. Isra got credit for Shangalar, while Arie got her first (and only) kill with the TR's thief falling to a barrage of MM.

Given her stats, the party also let her use half of the combos at Lum's machine, boosting her INT, WIS, and CON. (Imoen got the STR and DEX, while Isra got the CHA) They also bought every scroll she could learn.

So, here is the quandary. Tashia is definitely a much more powerful sorceress, even with the handicap of being level 12, having joined up so late in the game. Aerie is potentially more powerful, as C/M, but she has a lot of catching up to do, and the party is awfully darn close to having to push into chapter 3. It's almost ironic, as she is in the same spot Imoen is traditionally in.

So, I'm torn. The 5-character core could probably do the next chapters on their own, so it probably doesn't matter, but I figured I would elicit a few opinions on the matter.

I have also contemplated dropping Jaheira, but she has been with the party since day 1, and is now fairly high-level fighter/druid. She is a beast with the FoA, and at her level, insect swarm is still insanely useful. Even without buffs, she has an AC of -11. With buffs, she could probably take on a dragon by herself.

Post edited by Maurvir on


  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 764
    edited June 2020
    With that group a cleric makes most sense, I’d stick with Aerie. Anomen is a powerful npc, who is an annoying person, and would also be a good fit. Mazzy is one of my favourite characters and I really enjoy having her onboard but I agree she somewhat duplicates what other characters are doing.

    Aerie really shines at high levels (and works very well in small groups so as to level faster) which sounds a major issue with where you are - not sure how much you tolerate cheese but you could delete and scribe scrolls on Aerie or Imoen and/or you can also get infinite xp from plugging the fire giants from the walls of Saradush. If not getting Aerie to max potential and wanting to avoid cheese are issues then maybe enlist Anomen.

    I wouldn’t drop Jaheira, she (like Aerie) rocks at high levels and can do so much, tanking with ironskins, mage disruption with swarm spells, elemental summoning (you can summon with a deva or planetary), raise dead, divine and fighter HLAs etc etc

    To be clear, you can win the whole game fairly easily with any party so if you have a preference outside Aerie and Anomen you will be fine, Jaheira can cover your healing and raise dead needs and you can summon a planetar, you will miss a number of cleric buffs but can manage.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,024
    Yeah, that's pretty much the way I've been leaning. If I can fix the issue with the White Queen, I think it's time to go ahead and send the party to Brynnlaw with Aerie as the 6th member.

    I like Tashia, and she is definitely an interesting NPC (I really love that she is grumpy in the morning!), but she would put the party heavy on arcane magic and light on divine. Yes, I know, it's possible to avoid level drains, but NPP is way too short and PFE doesn't always help with that.

    Isra gets the priest spells through level 4, and has innate abilities that cover a few more helpful spells, but her specialty is definitely fighting with some healing/buffing on the side, rather than being the party's primary healer/buffer. Jaheira covers a lot with her druid side, enough that she could *almost* cut it as the sole "cleric", but that isn't the best use for her. She excels on the front line.

    Anomen, as you pointed out, is a jerk. He doesn't become less of a jerk after gaining his knighthood. I was tempted to take him, and even left him the De'Arnise keep just in case, but the more I think on it, the more I can't imagine the party not leaving him in a tavern somewhere along the way. Possibly in a certain underground city...

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    if you want you can use the machine of lum the mad to give party members XP if you don't/ can't use cheats;

    if you put in a random combination one of the following could happen;

    turned to stone
    fireballed ?
    permanent DEX drain
    a couple of other bad things
    give current character 100 000 XP
    a potion of superior healing

    so with that said, whatever character ( no doubt in the case aerie ) give them as many protections from everything possible and possibly throw in a quick save, and keep on putting in combinations until whoever is up to speed with XP ( i usually do this with sarevok or characters who dual in ToB to help them catch up to my current party )

  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 153
    Those characters are quite high-level for chapter 2. Never mind five of them, ONE of them could probably solo the next chapter without too much fuss.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,024
    Those characters are quite high-level for chapter 2. Never mind five of them, ONE of them could probably solo the next chapter without too much fuss.

    Yes, but there has been almost no cheese involved. With Imoen in the party at the start, it's been more like BG1, where they have adventured across the land before, finally, returning to the main path. They are literally down to wrapping up WK, the Deep Gardens, and a few loose threads.

    The cheese is mostly in the quest mods I've installed. I love additional quests, and this party has done almost all of them. Otherwise, the only console use has been to fix the occasional glitch, like Mairyn not showing up.

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