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Party composition for first run

This is going to be my first IWD playthrough. I seem to understand that enemy spellcasters are not as prevalent a problem as they are in the BG series, and that gameplay is more martial oriented. I love that.

Here's the party I had in mind:

1. Undead Hunter
2. Dwarven Defender
3. Archer (ranger kit)
4. Priest of Lathander
5. Mage
6. Fighter/Thief

While this seems like a well rounded party, I am curious about the extended spell list that Druids get compared to BG (I have played without SCS so far), and I'm tempted to bring along one.
I thought of two ways I could change my last three spots:

A: 4. Druid - 5. Mage - 6. Cleric/Thief
B: 4. Druid - 5. Priest of Lathander - 6. Mage/Thief

What do you think? Would I be better off leaving fancy stuff for second playthrough, or is a Druid worth it from the start?
In case I do decide to bring one along, would you suggest kitted or unkitted? The elemental forms of the unkitted don't seem that impressive on paper, what with their 1 APR and bad AC.
Would you prefer A or B?

Thank you for your help! Any advice is greatly appreciated.
RR

Aerakar

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,668
    offensive spell wise druids have way better selection than clerics do in IWD than they do in the BG series, but in the grand scheme of things its not going to be a deal breaker if you don't have one in your team, although if do truly want a druid in your team then the #A combo i think will be best, that still gives you a full mage which is nice, and clerics still really specialize in defensive party buff spells, so the cleric/thief combo works well for that

    but other than that, even with the team you have now, there is nothing wrong with it and you should have no problem with what IWD has to offer you

    RogerRogerinethAerakar
  • jlaffjlaff Member Posts: 1
    Probably well into your play-through now, but my first run I went melee heavy also:

    1. Undead Hunter
    2. Fighter - Berserker
    4. Fighter (Obligatory Dwarf)
    4. Fighter/Cleric (Dual Classed at 7)
    5. Mage/Thief (Multiclass)
    6. Bard (Skald)

    In hindsight, the Bard was nice to have for his lore (identifying the piles of loot you find in this game), but to do it again, I would have replaced him with a Ranger (Archer kit).

    Waiting until level 7 for a cleric is a bit tough, but you hit level 7 (on normal difficulty) at a great place to power level with wights for 1200 exp a pop and you can get your cleric caught up to level 8 within an hour or so power leveling on rests. After that, I had another solid front line fighter with the full benefit of healing, etc.

    No regrets whatsoever on the mage/thief. Gave me adequate magic (without even needing to use the Bard's spells) and crossed off the thief class at the same time. Short bows are terrible in this game though. I think I played the whole campaign with a Short Bow +1.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,668
    jlaff wrote: »
    Probably well into your play-through now, but my first run I went melee heavy also:

    1. Undead Hunter
    2. Fighter - Berserker
    4. Fighter (Obligatory Dwarf)
    4. Fighter/Cleric (Dual Classed at 7)
    5. Mage/Thief (Multiclass)
    6. Bard (Skald)

    In hindsight, the Bard was nice to have for his lore (identifying the piles of loot you find in this game), but to do it again, I would have replaced him with a Ranger (Archer kit).

    Waiting until level 7 for a cleric is a bit tough, but you hit level 7 (on normal difficulty) at a great place to power level with wights for 1200 exp a pop and you can get your cleric caught up to level 8 within an hour or so power leveling on rests. After that, I had another solid front line fighter with the full benefit of healing, etc.

    No regrets whatsoever on the mage/thief. Gave me adequate magic (without even needing to use the Bard's spells) and crossed off the thief class at the same time. Short bows are terrible in this game though. I think I played the whole campaign with a Short Bow +1.

    conlan has a +3 shortbow i believe in his store, although quite expensive, plus i believe in TotLM you can buy a magical short bow or two from the halfling dude

    Hafir
  • RogerRogerRogerRoger Member Posts: 8
    jlaff wrote: »
    In hindsight, the Bard was nice to have for his lore (identifying the piles of loot you find in this game), but to do it again, I would have replaced him with a Ranger (Archer kit).

    You should definitely try an Archer. Mine had 41% of party kills in the base game and "only" 33% in HoW and TotL.


    sarevok57 wrote: »
    offensive spell wise druids have way better selection than clerics do in IWD than they do in the BG series, but in the grand scheme of things its not going to be a deal breaker if you don't have one in your team, although if do truly want a druid in your team then the #A combo i think will be best, that still gives you a full mage which is nice, and clerics still really specialize in defensive party buff spells, so the cleric/thief combo works well for that

    but other than that, even with the team you have now, there is nothing wrong with it and you should have no problem with what IWD has to offer you

    I ended up using the #A combo as you suggested, and I liked it. I'm planning a HoF run now.
    I tried with a random party just to see what it was like and I'm loving the challenege. I'm going to restart with a proper party.
    Here's what I had in mind:

    1. Dwaeven Defender
    2. Fighter/Druid multi
    3. Fighter/thief multi
    4. Priest of Lathander or Fighter/Cleric multi
    5. Sorcerer or Enchanter
    6. Skald (or unkitted Bard?)

    What do you think?
    Here are a few thoughts and doubts:

    - If only summons can reliably tank, a DD's reduced speed might just end up being a death sentence.

    - I can't decide between a Priest of Lathander and a Fighter/Cleric multi.
    I think a single class cleric will cap out by the end of the base game. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I would have a half game with loads of healing, regeneration, aerial servants, and buffs.
    A F/C on the other hand is a pretty formidable warrior. I don't now how much I would be sacrificing in terms of spellcasting.

    - I'm toying with the idea of an Enchanter rather than a Sorcerer. You said in another post that damage
    spells are fairly useless, while disambling is of paramount importance. The penalty to saves would come
    quite handy in that regard.
    Scroll accessibility is a real issue though. And Orrick doesn't have a Malison.

    - I don't know that a Skald in better than another damage dealer, but the bonuses are strong, and I have a
    back-up in case I screw up my sorcerer spell pick.


    Any advice you can give my is greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,668
    if you are going to play the game on HoF mode, then here are my suggestions;

    - If only summons can reliably tank, a DD's reduced speed might just end up being a death sentence.

    might not matter because at lets say level 10 your DD will have over 60 damage resistance not including the resistance you are going to get from items, so even if hey may be slow, he will still be able to take hits like a boss, and especially with some good AC the baddie still needs to hit him first, if you can get that AC to -10 or better, even enemies will miss on HoF mode

    - I can't decide between a Priest of Lathander and a Fighter/Cleric multi.
    I think a single class cleric will cap out by the end of the base game. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I would have a half game with loads of healing, regeneration, aerial servants, and buffs.
    A F/C on the other hand is a pretty formidable warrior. I don't now how much I would be sacrificing in terms of spellcasting.

    realistically having a full cleric is only going to give you perhaps a couple more healing spells, which take ages to case with higher casting times, you really want to focus on damage output and a fighter/cleric will do this much better than a priest of lathander, plus with HoF XP you will be hitting up higher levels anyway, making the fighter/cleric all the sweeter, so go with the fighter/cleric, you will be happier with that choice

    - I'm toying with the idea of an Enchanter rather than a Sorcerer. You said in another post that damage
    spells are fairly useless, while disambling is of paramount importance. The penalty to saves would come
    quite handy in that regard.
    Scroll accessibility is a real issue though. And Orrick doesn't have a Malison.

    the thing that is great about specialist mages is that enemies make saves with a -2 penalty against their spells ( which can stack if a spell already has a penalty ) the only problem with enchanter in IWD is that there are A LOT of undead to deal with, which are all immune to the best of enchanter spells

    if you can you want to use spells that can affect any type of creature like; blindness, slow, perhaps even web and so on

    although, with that being said a sorcerer is a great pick because then you can pump out the perfect spells right away, they may not get the bonus penalty to saves but you get more spells per day and you can choose malison right away when you hit level 8

    also remember that in IWD any specialist mage gets 2 opposed schools instead of 1, and if i recall the IWD opposed schools aren't the same as they are for the BG series

    so if you really know what spells you are going to pick then i would choose sorcerer ( not red dragon disciple because despite the fact it says it only gets 1 less spell per level, its actually 2, don't know why beamdog unintentionally introduced that bug and haven't fixed it yet )

    - I don't know that a Skald in better than another damage dealer, but the bonuses are strong, and I have a
    back-up in case I screw up my sorcerer spell pick.

    first of all you already have a pretty solid team for dealing out some damage, so having some sort of bard will not hamper your team at all

    now when it comes down to which bard to take; unkitted or skald, it all depends on what you want for their best bard song

    for unkitted you get;
    +2 AC, +10% resistance to all physical damage and regenerate 2hp/round

    or

    for skald you get;
    +4 AC, +4 to hit/to damage and immune to; fear/stun/confusion

    so its really a choice up to you which you think is better, in my opinion both are just as good as the other

    RogerRoger
  • RogerRogerRogerRoger Member Posts: 8
    sarevok57 wrote: »

    realistically having a full cleric is only going to give you perhaps a couple more healing spells, which take ages to case with higher casting times, you really want to focus on damage output and a fighter/cleric will do this much better than a priest of lathander, plus with HoF XP you will be hitting up higher levels anyway, making the fighter/cleric all the sweeter, so go with the fighter/cleric, you will be happier with that choice
    Okay then, F/C it is!

    sarevok57 wrote: »
    the only problem with enchanter in IWD is that there are A LOT of undead to deal with

    Ah, right. I forgot about undead immunities. Oh well...

    sarevok57 wrote: »
    now when it comes down to which bard to take; unkitted or skald, it all depends on what you want for their best bard song

    for unkitted you get;
    +2 AC, +10% resistance to all physical damage and regenerate 2hp/round

    or

    for skald you get;
    +4 AC, +4 to hit/to damage and immune to; fear/stun/confusion

    so its really a choice up to you which you think is better, in my opinion both are just as good as the other

    I think I'll go with Skald. The immunities are great, and you don't have to switch song to have great bonuses as well. Combined with all the clerical buffs, you could get to a massive +10 to all rolls.

    Thank you for your help!
    RR -

    sarevok57
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 875
    After tons of full playtroughs i dont go with archer anymore. It seems strong in the first half but in the end is far better to have a strong melee fighter who can stand in first line if needed than an archer. There are also a tons of good melee weapons.
    My last playtrough was a paladin party and easily finish the game.
    UH
    Cavalier
    Inquisitor
    Thief/cleric
    Skald

    Aerakar
  • Cabal82Cabal82 Member Posts: 70
    edited April 6
    My A party:
    Undead hunter
    Dwarven defender
    Ranger (elf) no kit
    Priest of Tempus
    Mage (half elf) no kit
    Swashbuckler (halfling)

    B party:
    Barbarian (half orc)
    Berserker (elf)
    Bard (no kit)
    Druid
    Dragon disciple
    Shadow dancer (dwarf)

    Both parties on core rules.

    Aerakar
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