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New to Baldur's Gate EE

Hi, I am new to Baldur's Gate EE. I've never played the original non EE version. Over the many years I've heard great things about Baldur's Gate II. I never played it but want to start from the beginning. I already know the protagonist is a child of Bhaal. But beyond that I know nothing.

Now I did start a game as a Paladin/Cavalier. I just left the Friendly Arm Inn with Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, and the two psychopaths.

My questions are: Do you have any tips for a beginner? Also what is a good Paladin build? How do I revive fallen companions? (One of the psychopaths was killed by an assassin just outside the Friendly Arm Inn.)

Are mages any good? Should I go mage or sorcerer? What is a good mage/sorcerer build? I wanted to play as a Lawful Good Necromancer, or just as a powerful mage, but I do not know which spells to invest in. Can someone help?

Comments

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,514
    Beginner tips ... I'll just refer you to what I posted in this thread

    What's a good paladin build? You can go for any (melee) weapons you want as a cavalier, and you'll have to pick several because you can't go beyond specialization. Specializing in the weapons you use (with any warrior) is very strongly recommended; you not only get more damage, but also attack more times per round.
    Two weapon classes do stand out for a paladin in the long run: two-handed swords and bastard swords. This is because each of them comes with a powerful paladin-only weapon in BG2EE. Keep that in mind.
    Choosing a weapon style to match your chosen weapons is also a good idea. Dual-wielding has stiff penalties unless you take at least two points in the style. Two-handed weapons hit harder and get their attacks earlier in the round with that style - important, because the halberds and two-handed swords you're using are slow. Single-weapon style ... isn't as good as equipping a strong shield. Sword and shield style is nice against the many archers in the early game, but just isn't that impactful in the long run.
    Stat-wise, physical stats are crucial for any warrior.
    Strength is your stat for melee attack and damage bonuses - you want to start with 18 and a good percentage if possible (breakpoints at 51, 76, 91, 100). There are items that set it to higher values later on, and potions that do so temporarily, but it'll be a while before you can rely on any of that.
    Dexterity controls AC bonuses. No bonus at 14, increasing to a four-point bonus at 18. Especially if you're not using a shield, this is important. There are potions to boost dexterity temporarily, and one pair of gauntlets in each game that sets it to 18 - but you probably have a companion that can use that.
    Constitution controls hit point bonuses at your first nine levels. No bonus at 14, increasing to +5 at 19. Strongly recommended, especially for the protagonist - if they die, it's a game over.
    Intelligence is a paladin's dump stat. There are a few items (priest scrolls) that require 9 Int to use, but no other relevant bonuses. Later in BG2, illithids target intelligence as something of an alternate HP pool - you'll probably want to drink some potions for a temporary boost when you get there.
    Wisdom doesn't get a paladin anything useful, but you have to have at least 13.
    Charisma is good for reduced store prices (up to 20) and better NPC reactions, and your class requires at least 17. Might as well go to 18 for a slightly better discount and a few perks from friendly NPCs.
    All of these stats have a tome somewhere in BGEE to boost them by 1 permanently, and wisdom has more than one. BG2EE has some permanent stat-boosting options as well, but they're much later on in the finale to SoA and the ToB mega-dungeon of Watcher's Keep.

    How do you revive fallen companions? In BGEE, you do it at a temple; they offer the services of Raise Dead (return the fallen companion with 1 HP) and Resurrection (return the fallen companion with full health, more expensive). There are temples at the major town areas: the priest of Oghma in the northeast of Candlekeep, the Temple of Wisdom next to the main building of the Friendly Arm, the Song of the Morning temple just east of Beregost, the temple of Helm in Nashkel, the temple and winery in Gullykin, and multiple temples in Baldur's Gate itself.
    In BG2EE, temples are still there but you also gain access to more ways. Your clerics gain enough levels to cast Raise Dead and later Resurrection, priests can eventually get a high-level ability that resurrects the whole party, and you can get items such as rods of resurrection. Since there's a substantial chunk of the game (the Underdark sequence) in which no temple services are accessible, this is a good thing.

    Mages and sorcerers are generally regarded as very good. They're quite squishy early on - especially necromancers who can't use the defensive illusion spells - and I would recommend a warrior protagonist for a new player. Which spells to use ... honestly, just play the game with a mage or two in the party and enemy mages to fight. You'll see what's useful naturally. Try things out. And definitely don't play a sorcerer until you have a better handle on the spell system. If a mage picks a dud spell, they can just memorize something else the next day. If a sorcerer does, they're stuck with it for the rest of the game.

    Talyn82StummvonBordwehr
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 997
    The best paladin build in BG1 is a dwarven fighter/cleric with 18s in strength and constitution. Two pips in two-weapon fighting and another two in flails or maces and you are good to go.

    The best spell in BG1 is sleep which can be cast by mages and sorcerers. For new players I'd recommend a gnome fighter/illusionist with 18s in strength and constitution.

    The best overall build in BG1 is half-elf fighter/mage/thief which combines high melee damage, the sleep spell, and the flexibility to handle locks/traps no matter who else you want to recruit into your party. Put all of your initial thief points in open locks and your weapon pips in two-weapon fighting and longswords or bastard swords and you'll be in good shape.

    Talyn82
  • Talyn82Talyn82 Member Posts: 7
    jmerry wrote: »
    Beginner tips ... I'll just refer you to what I posted in this thread

    What's a good paladin build? You can go for any (melee) weapons you want as a cavalier, and you'll have to pick several because you can't go beyond specialization. Specializing in the weapons you use (with any warrior) is very strongly recommended; you not only get more damage, but also attack more times per round.
    Two weapon classes do stand out for a paladin in the long run: two-handed swords and bastard swords. This is because each of them comes with a powerful paladin-only weapon in BG2EE. Keep that in mind.
    Choosing a weapon style to match your chosen weapons is also a good idea. Dual-wielding has stiff penalties unless you take at least two points in the style. Two-handed weapons hit harder and get their attacks earlier in the round with that style - important, because the halberds and two-handed swords you're using are slow. Single-weapon style ... isn't as good as equipping a strong shield. Sword and shield style is nice against the many archers in the early game, but just isn't that impactful in the long run.
    Stat-wise, physical stats are crucial for any warrior.
    Strength is your stat for melee attack and damage bonuses - you want to start with 18 and a good percentage if possible (breakpoints at 51, 76, 91, 100). There are items that set it to higher values later on, and potions that do so temporarily, but it'll be a while before you can rely on any of that.
    Dexterity controls AC bonuses. No bonus at 14, increasing to a four-point bonus at 18. Especially if you're not using a shield, this is important. There are potions to boost dexterity temporarily, and one pair of gauntlets in each game that sets it to 18 - but you probably have a companion that can use that.
    Constitution controls hit point bonuses at your first nine levels. No bonus at 14, increasing to +5 at 19. Strongly recommended, especially for the protagonist - if they die, it's a game over.
    Intelligence is a paladin's dump stat. There are a few items (priest scrolls) that require 9 Int to use, but no other relevant bonuses. Later in BG2, illithids target intelligence as something of an alternate HP pool - you'll probably want to drink some potions for a temporary boost when you get there.
    Wisdom doesn't get a paladin anything useful, but you have to have at least 13.
    Charisma is good for reduced store prices (up to 20) and better NPC reactions, and your class requires at least 17. Might as well go to 18 for a slightly better discount and a few perks from friendly NPCs.
    All of these stats have a tome somewhere in BGEE to boost them by 1 permanently, and wisdom has more than one. BG2EE has some permanent stat-boosting options as well, but they're much later on in the finale to SoA and the ToB mega-dungeon of Watcher's Keep.

    How do you revive fallen companions? In BGEE, you do it at a temple; they offer the services of Raise Dead (return the fallen companion with 1 HP) and Resurrection (return the fallen companion with full health, more expensive). There are temples at the major town areas: the priest of Oghma in the northeast of Candlekeep, the Temple of Wisdom next to the main building of the Friendly Arm, the Song of the Morning temple just east of Beregost, the temple of Helm in Nashkel, the temple and winery in Gullykin, and multiple temples in Baldur's Gate itself.
    In BG2EE, temples are still there but you also gain access to more ways. Your clerics gain enough levels to cast Raise Dead and later Resurrection, priests can eventually get a high-level ability that resurrects the whole party, and you can get items such as rods of resurrection. Since there's a substantial chunk of the game (the Underdark sequence) in which no temple services are accessible, this is a good thing.

    Mages and sorcerers are generally regarded as very good. They're quite squishy early on - especially necromancers who can't use the defensive illusion spells - and I would recommend a warrior protagonist for a new player. Which spells to use ... honestly, just play the game with a mage or two in the party and enemy mages to fight. You'll see what's useful naturally. Try things out. And definitely don't play a sorcerer until you have a better handle on the spell system. If a mage picks a dud spell, they can just memorize something else the next day. If a sorcerer does, they're stuck with it for the rest of the game.

    Wow! Amazing tips. I'll start a new game as a Paladin since I messed up the stats in the beginning. I aim for sword and shield and perhaps two handed.

    Question: If I invest in sword and shield do I have to invest in Longsword?

    Thanks for the help!

  • Talyn82Talyn82 Member Posts: 7
    jsaving wrote: »
    The best paladin build in BG1 is a dwarven fighter/cleric with 18s in strength and constitution. Two pips in two-weapon fighting and another two in flails or maces and you are good to go.

    The best spell in BG1 is sleep which can be cast by mages and sorcerers. For new players I'd recommend a gnome fighter/illusionist with 18s in strength and constitution.

    The best overall build in BG1 is half-elf fighter/mage/thief which combines high melee damage, the sleep spell, and the flexibility to handle locks/traps no matter who else you want to recruit into your party. Put all of your initial thief points in open locks and your weapon pips in two-weapon fighting and longswords or bastard swords and you'll be in good shape.

    I never thought of playing as another race besides human. Since in later D&D games like NWN and NWN2 humans are always the preferred race in most builds. But I will try the Dwarf, Gnome, and Half-Elf.

    Thanks for the reply.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,514
    The way races work in these games, and 2nd edition in general...

    The selection of allowed classes depends on race. Humans can select all of the base classes, including the two human-only classes of monks and paladins. They're the baseline, with no racial bonuses or penalties. They can also dual-class, switching permanently to another class after some levels - more on that later.

    Other races get a smaller selection of base classes, but can multiclass from the beginning of the game, combining the strengths of two or sometimes three classes in one at the cost of slower leveling. They get racial stat adjustments - for example, half-orcs get +1 to Str, +1 to Con, and -2 to Int. They also get various racial bonuses, like charm resistance for elves or better saves for dwarves. On the flip side, they can't dual-class like humans; whatever class or multiclass they choose at character creation is locked in for as long as they live.

    Now, multiclassing and dual-classing ... I'll use the party you've gathered so far for examples.

    Two of them are multiclasses: the halfling fighter/thief Montaron and the half-elf fighter/druid Jaheira.
    Montaron can use all weapons and armor like any fighter, but can't go beyond specialization in any weapon. He can also use thief skills as long as he isn't wearing heavy armor, and backstab if he's wielding a melee weapon a thief could use. The cost for this is that his experience is evenly split between his fighter and thief halves; in order to reach 2nd level as a fighter, he needs 4000 total experience instead of the 2000 a single-class fighter would. With the exponential growth in experience requirements at low levels, this means that a typical X/Y multiclass is about one level behind a single-class character in either class throughout BGEE.
    Jaheira can use all armor like a fighter, but is restricted to the weapons a druid can use. No bows or axes for her. The weapon restrictions of clerics and druids are a part of the character's ethos, and apply even in a multiclass with something that can use other weapon types.

    Now, what about dual-classing?
    Khalid can't dual-class, because he's a half-elf.
    Your paladin protagonist can't dual-class, because there are no valid combinations with a paladin.
    Imoen can dual-class, to mage. A human can dual-class if they have 15 in the key stat of their old class (Dex for a thief, Imoen has 18) and 17 in the key stat of their new class (Int for a mage, Imoen has 17). In fact, the "canon" version of Imoen does dual-class - when you meet her at the start of BG2EE, she's a thief 7-mage 8.
    Xzar could dual-class, to cleric if you increased his wisdom from 16 to 17. A temporary boost wouldn't do it; he'd have to use one of the tomes.

    When you dual-class a character, they immediately lose access to their old class abilities and start over from level 1 in the new class. A level 7 thief Imoen, with 40K XP, would become a level 1 mage. She would no longer be able to use a bow or a short sword, or equip leather armor - only the hit points would remain from her old class. Then, as she gained levels as a mage, she would progress her spellcasting abilities - but not gain any new hit points. That is, until she exceeded her old class level and reached mage level 8 with 90K XP. At that point, her old class abilities would come back - she could wield a bow and a short sword proficiently, she could disarm traps and pick locks, she could wear light armor (but not cast spells in it), and her THAC0/saves would be whichever was better between her two classes. Also, she would gain hit points for each new level, at the mage rate.

    The cost of dual-classing? Aside from the downtime in which you don't have access to the abilities of your original class, you'll never level up in that class again. If Imoen dual-classes to mage, her thief skills are stuck where they are and will never improve. If Xzar dual-classes to cleric, he'll never level up as a mage and gain more arcane spell slots.

    Talyn82
  • Talyn82Talyn82 Member Posts: 7
    jmerry wrote: »
    The way races work in these games, and 2nd edition in general...

    The selection of allowed classes depends on race. Humans can select all of the base classes, including the two human-only classes of monks and paladins. They're the baseline, with no racial bonuses or penalties. They can also dual-class, switching permanently to another class after some levels - more on that later.

    Other races get a smaller selection of base classes, but can multiclass from the beginning of the game, combining the strengths of two or sometimes three classes in one at the cost of slower leveling. They get racial stat adjustments - for example, half-orcs get +1 to Str, +1 to Con, and -2 to Int. They also get various racial bonuses, like charm resistance for elves or better saves for dwarves. On the flip side, they can't dual-class like humans; whatever class or multiclass they choose at character creation is locked in for as long as they live.

    Now, multiclassing and dual-classing ... I'll use the party you've gathered so far for examples.

    Two of them are multiclasses: the halfling fighter/thief Montaron and the half-elf fighter/druid Jaheira.
    Montaron can use all weapons and armor like any fighter, but can't go beyond specialization in any weapon. He can also use thief skills as long as he isn't wearing heavy armor, and backstab if he's wielding a melee weapon a thief could use. The cost for this is that his experience is evenly split between his fighter and thief halves; in order to reach 2nd level as a fighter, he needs 4000 total experience instead of the 2000 a single-class fighter would. With the exponential growth in experience requirements at low levels, this means that a typical X/Y multiclass is about one level behind a single-class character in either class throughout BGEE.
    Jaheira can use all armor like a fighter, but is restricted to the weapons a druid can use. No bows or axes for her. The weapon restrictions of clerics and druids are a part of the character's ethos, and apply even in a multiclass with something that can use other weapon types.

    Now, what about dual-classing?
    Khalid can't dual-class, because he's a half-elf.
    Your paladin protagonist can't dual-class, because there are no valid combinations with a paladin.
    Imoen can dual-class, to mage. A human can dual-class if they have 15 in the key stat of their old class (Dex for a thief, Imoen has 18) and 17 in the key stat of their new class (Int for a mage, Imoen has 17). In fact, the "canon" version of Imoen does dual-class - when you meet her at the start of BG2EE, she's a thief 7-mage 8.
    Xzar could dual-class, to cleric if you increased his wisdom from 16 to 17. A temporary boost wouldn't do it; he'd have to use one of the tomes.

    When you dual-class a character, they immediately lose access to their old class abilities and start over from level 1 in the new class. A level 7 thief Imoen, with 40K XP, would become a level 1 mage. She would no longer be able to use a bow or a short sword, or equip leather armor - only the hit points would remain from her old class. Then, as she gained levels as a mage, she would progress her spellcasting abilities - but not gain any new hit points. That is, until she exceeded her old class level and reached mage level 8 with 90K XP. At that point, her old class abilities would come back - she could wield a bow and a short sword proficiently, she could disarm traps and pick locks, she could wear light armor (but not cast spells in it), and her THAC0/saves would be whichever was better between her two classes. Also, she would gain hit points for each new level, at the mage rate.

    The cost of dual-classing? Aside from the downtime in which you don't have access to the abilities of your original class, you'll never level up in that class again. If Imoen dual-classes to mage, her thief skills are stuck where they are and will never improve. If Xzar dual-classes to cleric, he'll never level up as a mage and gain more arcane spell slots.

    Wow! Thanks for the information. I am only familiar with D&D 3.0 and D&D 3.5 which are both used in NWN and NWN 2 respectively.

    I will absorb all of the info thanks!

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,514
    Quoting an entire post just to respond with couple lines ... probably not the best idea. It clutters up the thread with no real gain. Feel free to edit a quote down to the key element you're responding to, or just @ the author if you're responding in general.

    Also, on one of the questions you had earlier...
    Talyn82 wrote: »
    Question: If I invest in sword and shield do I have to invest in Longsword?
    No. "Sword and Shield" style works when wielding any one-handed melee weapon together with a shield. In fact, three of the companions you can recruit in BG2EE (Anomen, Jaheira, Viconia) have the style, and none of them can even use longswords.

  • Talyn82Talyn82 Member Posts: 7
    @jmerry: Sorry for quoting the long posts.

    Okay thanks for the tip. I did not know that about Sword and Shield.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 997
    People disagree about whether it is a strong style to take. I'd personally argue it is somewhat weak in BG1 and notably weak in BG2, because typically your best option for avoiding damage is to down an enemy rather than reduce your DPS by using a shield. What I do is just use a shield without having any style points whenever I feel I need the extra protection, that way I can use my points on two-weapon style for increased damage.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,252
    edited September 2020
    jsaving wrote: »
    People disagree about whether it is a strong style to take. I'd personally argue it is somewhat weak in BG1 and notably weak in BG2, because typically your best option for avoiding damage is to down an enemy rather than reduce your DPS by using a shield. What I do is just use a shield without having any style points whenever I feel I need the extra protection, that way I can use my points on two-weapon style for increased damage.

    I'd say it's decidedly weak in BG2, but in BG1, a number of the most dangerous enemies are ranged -- kobold commandos, poison hobgoblins, cold arrow bandits.

    In my opinion it can be a quite useful style to take on one member of your party. And to put that member up front to draw fire. It's much more useful to drop almost all of the Thac0 roles of some of the most dangerous enemies by 10% or 20% than it is to give just one member of your party higher DPS. Especially since almost no weapons in BG1 are proc-ing anything super useful on hit. Moreover, 10% or 20% reduction of Thac0 roles might not seem like a lot, but if you drop their chance to hit from 40% to 20% you are cutting in half the number of hits you take. This becomes more true the closer their required attacks rolls rise towards 20.

    If you decide to build a party around having Khalid, Kagain, Ajantis, Yeslick or some others being your key frontline tank, then I say it's very much worth it. Especially true in the base game and not SCS, where it's quite easy to tactically guarantee which character draws enemy fire.

    ThacoBell
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