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Advice for picking NPCS on new playthrough

So I have recently played through BG1 +SOD with a wild mage and I wanted to mix it up a bit for BG2. I have decided to import a Kensai to go through the rest of the game together. Currently playing with SCS and item randomization MODS.

I enjoy picking up NPCs to tag along for part of the journey, but am looking to have 1 or 2 stick with me for long haul. With SCS it allows me to change the kit of NPC when I first add them to party, so I am looking to optimize my party for maximum power (and just mix things up, to see kits I haven't played yet).

I was thinking running with:

Wild mage (PC)
Kensai (PC)

*Keldoran (changing to cavalier) I know inquisitor is super strong, but I have never played cavalier.
*Mazzy ( change to Archer)
*Hexxat ( some theif kit - swash or BH)
*Cernd ( change to Totemic Druid)

The items I have starred I am considering running with. So many choices... which should I leave out if I can only choose 2.

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    when it comes to making parties the way on how i usually build them as follows;

    3 chums that are going to be in melee
    1 chum is the "dedicated" divine caster
    1 chum is the "dedicated" thief
    1 chum is the "dedicated" arcane caster

    so as long as your team can meet this, you can pretty much run the game with anyone

    with the team you have above it should still work, even though it looks like you will probably only have 2 guys in melee, but that can still work ( i've had 6 man groups where only 1 was dedicated for melee )

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,164
    edited July 24
    A few things to watch out for if you're going to be changing classes around ...
    - The combat AIs for NPCs are tailored to their classes. They won't know how to use abilities belonging to any new classes they get. For example, if you made Minsc a thief, he would be able to hide automatically but not to search for traps automatically.
    - Many NPC-specific items have unnecessary and excessive class restrictions. For example, Mazzy's sword and bow - some of the few items that aren't completely locked to one character - can't be used by rangers. Only halfling fighters, thieves, and fighter/thieves. Cernd's cloak can't be used even by Cernd unless he's either an unkitted druid or a shapeshifter. Keldorn's sword can't be used if he's a cavalier or undead hunter. At least Keldorn's armor doesn't block the other kits; he just has to be a lawful good paladin for it.

    On the specific characters you've chosen, do note that Hexxat will conflict with most good party members. You can resolve her conflict with Keldorn by sending her away, or her conflict with Mazzy by sending Mazzy away, but it's still inconvenient even if you can just re-recruit the party member you sent off like nothing happened.

  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 1,022
    edited July 28
    Sarevok57's list is good, though it should really be distilled into a list of "requirements" for a well-rounded party.

    Does your party have:
    1) Melee / tanking
    2) Rear row ranged
    3) Divine magic (cleric/druid)
    4) Arcane magic (mage/sorcerer)
    5) Detecting traps (thief/cleric)
    6) (optional) Disarming traps (thief)
    7) (optional) Opening locks (thief/mage)
    8) (optional) Undead management (paladin/cleric)

    You do not necessarily need a dedicated party member to handle these requirements, but your run will go a lot smoother if you have enough of each. Also, it is certainly possible to go through the entire game with a very narrow skillset - solo runs are almost by definition going to have a limited skillset - but for a well-rounded party, I think that list pretty much covers it.

    I do agree with Sarevok57 on melee fighters - while you don't necessarily need three at all times, there will be occasions where you need a third, or even fourth, melee fighter. Clerics, with the proper buffs, can provide stand-ins for this.

    Also, consider NPCs that bring more than one thing to the table. In BG2, for example, Imoen and Nalia are effectively mage/thieves (though dualed, not multiclass). Jaheira, in BG2, is actually not bad at melee, while bringing some very nice druid/cleric spells to the party. Aerie is a cleric/mage, and if you can learn to love her, becomes one of the most prolific NPCs in the whole series.

    I personally prefer this more well-rounded approach, but everyone has different opinions on the matter.

    sarevok57
  • RaptormanRaptorman Member Posts: 3
    Hello all, currently starting a run to finally after all the runs finish the game. Have gotten to the end of TOB once but couldn't beat it.

    I was thinking about the best party composition:

    Beserker/Mage dual
    Fighter
    Fighter
    Cleric/Thief
    Mage
    Mage

    One has their three fighters while being mage heavy and endgame powerful plus cleric/thieving requirements are covered.

    Any thoughts?

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    the only thing about that party you have there is the berserker/mage will require some micromanagement to play, but if that is fine, then i see no reason why this party wouldn't work

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,177
    You have all the bases covered. The only suggestion I have is since you have a plethora of arcane magic users in this party, you might want to substitute a bard, skald or jester for one of the mages. If you don't like that idea, another would be to start one of the mages as a kitted cleric. You don't have to go any farther than 2nd level if you don't want to and you'd still get extra healing spells to help out, extra hit points, additional weapon choices and some bonus abilities from the kit. One of the mages could be dualed to cleric at later levels too. I'd suggest starting as a necromancer or enchanter to give a boost to some of your cleric spells (-2 to enemy saves vs. either your necromancy or enchantment spells is a very nice bonus).

  • ShadowBlazeShadowBlaze Member Posts: 41
    Having more than 2-3 melee seems to do more bad than good from what I have experienced. The characters keep bumping into each other and get stuck often instead of swinging the weapon.

    The best setup I noticed seems to fill these roles-

    1. 2 melee
    2. 1 main arcane caster and 1 support caster (usually a dual/multi class)
    3. 1 cleric
    4. 1 druid
    5. 1 dual/ multi thief
    6. 1 dedicated ranged

    Right now, my BG2 party looks like this

    1. Fighter/Mage PC
    2. Avenger Kit (2nd PC)
    3. Jan/Imoen
    4. Anomen
    5. Minsc
    6. Keldorn

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