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Kensai MGMT for your Kensage

SouplesseSouplesse Member Posts: 131
Hi folks,
As a no-reloader or pauci-reloader player, i like F/illu and beserker9/mage a lot. Like a lot. I always begin in candelkeep to eventually Tob. I had already play a straight Kensai-dagger to the end and it was quite fun but it wasn’t (at all) a no reload challenge.
I want to know how you protect and play your kensai till level 9 or eventually 13. (In my mind kensai9 are little weaker due to the lack of gauntlet in comparaison of berserk9 + rage but maybe I’m mistaken). An easy way, will be throwing dagger to 13 and then dual but it means no GM in dagger cause I want my kensage to be ready in melee ASAP. Do you play melee at level one? Which protection and which weapon are you using for that? War hammer? Flail? (Flail is very boring in bg1 as it’s my weapon of choice for bersek9 or F/illu with FOA obviously). I want to play with the good canon party so I will install item upgrade for bg2. Jaheira will dual the upgraded +5 club MH and belm OH. I never played with CF (the katana) upgrade +5, does it overpowered Foa+5 or CF (the hammer)? A conservative way could be two pips in dagger and then GM in katana at the end of the dual process..
How do you play it ?


  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 1,703
    edited January 4
    I haven't ever dual-classed a kensai to a mage - I'm more of a fighter/thief player myself, and the huge backstabs of the kensai-thief are more my speed. But this isn't about what comes after, it's about playing a low-level kensai.

    The most important thing to remember is that you are not a tank. Sure, you can buy a shield amulet (at the Nashkel carnival) and get decent AC, but that's no substitute for heavy armor and a helmet. Instead, you're a skirmisher. You can hit hard, but you can't take the heat of staying in melee. And that means you need mobility. Reach weapons are great, to hit the enemy from behind your tanks. Throwing weapons are nice too, allowing you to fill a different role. Quick weapons for good initiative work well, giving you the first-strike advantage - and the kensai's weapon speed bonus is the one advantage that other warriors can't duplicate. They get gauntlets to match your damage boost, but nothing for the speed.

    That said ... if you're dual-classing to mage, whatever weapon you grandmaster at level 9 is what you're going to stick with. Sure, focusing on staves or daggers works great when you're a low level kensai. But if it's not what you're planning on in the long run, skip it.
    That weapon speed in the long run? You get +3 from grand mastery and +2 from 9 kensai levels (or +3 from 13). If you're using a two-hander, add another +2 from a point in the weapon style. At that point, basically any decently-enchanted weapon in the game is going to have the same best possible initiative. Except the Answerer; that sword's weird.

    So the real advice on weapon selection - pick something the other warriors in your long-term party aren't using.

    Post edited by jmerry on
  • velehalvelehal Member Posts: 297
    edited January 5
    Good weapon for kensai is axe. At lower levels you can use throwing axes and never get to melee.
    In BG1 you can get throwing axe + 1 almost immediatly after leaving Candlekeep and use until you get normal axe + 2 in city.
    There two axes + 3 in BG2, both can be gained early. And if you are playing good character, Azuredge is great weapon. Later Axe of Unyielding is also very strong.
    Few tips for playing kensai in BG1:
    Until you are at level 3, do not get to close combat and use throwing daggers/axes, even when you have no proficiency with them. You don´t have helmet and critical strike can kill you.
    Never fight directly ogre berserkers, flesh golems and werewolfs. Use throwing weapons or let some other member of party to tank them.
    In the city you can buy 20 scrolls of Spirit Armor. Your mage can cast them on your kensai.
    I would dual at level 9. SoD is relatively easy (not affected by SCS), when you dual early in SoD your party can handle it and you would start BG2 with your fighter class regained.

    Post edited by velehal on
  • SouplesseSouplesse Member Posts: 131
    Thanks guys for your answers.

    So basically @jmerry, a lot of micromanaging for bg1 if I want to melee. Boots of speed may help I presume ! As you said, I want GM at 9 so let’s stick with one proficiency type.

    @velehal, thanks for your xp tips. I never considered axes, I have to think about it.

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