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New to BG, could use some help with a Fighter/Thief build

Hello all,

I am new to BG, I played some IWD back in the day, but it's been a LONG time since I've played a D&D game.

I did some research and decided to make a F/T dual class. However, I have some questions.

When should I start the dual class? level 2 or 3 (I even read a post that said level 7)

Which abilities should I focus on as a fighter and as a thief?

I have a good idea as a group composition, but any suggestions?

I know that I should have my STR, DEX, CON at 18 ASAP to get the best out of my dual class, am I correct?

Thanks for all the help!


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 3,675
    edited April 2013
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
  • secretmantrasecretmantra Member Posts: 259
    edited April 2013
    Let me start off by suggesting that if you haven't played one of these for a while, you will have a lot more fun experiencing the game with either a straight class Thief or Fighter, or perhaps a multi-class F/T. Dual classing is an advanced player tactic, and it can really screw up your enjoyment of the game if you don't know what you're doing.

    When to dual is a very hard question to answer. Short version: It depends on what you want out of the character.

    So I am assuming from your post that you are planning to be Fighter first, then dual to Thief. If that is the case, you could dual after level 3, 7, or 13, depending on:

    A) How soon you want to start playing as a Thief, and
    B) How tough and effective in combat you want your character to be.

    Here's some info to help understand what you get at the different fighter levels.

    Level 3 => 5 proficiency slots, up to 3 pips in a weapon, 3d10 hp (hitpoints).
    Level 7 => 6 proficiency slots, up to 4 pips in a weapon, 7d10 hp, and 1.5 base APR (attacks per round).
    Level 13 => 8 proficiency slots, up to 5 pips in a weapon, 9d10 + 12 hp, and 2 base APR.

    As you can see, the Fighter levels can really help with better weapon specialization, hitpoints, and attack rates. But waiting until real late can cause you a tedious amount of time playing a gimped Thief until you recover your Fighter levels.

    I should add that in order to even have the dual class combination, and assuming you are going from Fighter to Thief, you would have to have at least a 15 STR and a 17 DEX, and your character must be human. The most critical stat for this build is DEX.

    Overall, I would go for 18/51+ for STR, 18 DEX, and 18 CON. The rest of the stats are not a big deal, but maybe keep your INT above 10 so that some particular encounters in BG2 won't be super frustrating.

  • grkmnlgrkmnl Member Posts: 5
    Thanks a lot for both comments. What exactly is the difference of dual-class and multi-class?

    I didn't know that dual-class was "harder" in terms of management and etc. My "pure" class choice would be Fighter for sure then.

  • secretmantrasecretmantra Member Posts: 259
    edited April 2013
    Multi-class means you gain experience in both levels at the same time, and keep gaining levels in both classes as long as you don't hit the experience cap. However, the experience is "halved," or split between the two classes. This option is available only to non-humans.

    Dual class means you level in one class at a time, and once you switch to the new class, you can never more gain levels in the first class. Until you gain more XP in the 2nd class than you had previously obtained in the 1st class, you cannot use any abilities of the 1st class. This option is available to humans only.

  • grkmnlgrkmnl Member Posts: 5
    So is there a significant benefit to dual-class over multi-class?

  • secretmantrasecretmantra Member Posts: 259

    A lot of people feel that dual class has more long-term power potential. For example, a having a Fighter as one of your classes in a dual classer means you get access to higher-level weapon specialization. With multi-classers, weapon specialization is limited to 2 pips. Also, with Fighter as your 1st class in a dual, you could use a kit, like Berserker or Kensai, which offers further melee power-gaming potential.

    But it really depends. I've heard that the HLAs (high-level abilities) make high-level multi-class characters really uber-powerful. Of course, HLAs aren't available until very high levels (in BG2), so *shrug.*

    It's really about what you want out of game play. Personally, I have found that playing dual class characters is a bit of a pain, because it takes so long to recover your levels.

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,321
    grkmnl said:

    So is there a significant benefit to dual-class over multi-class?

    Yes, you can access certain kit features, for example Berserker rage, while a multiclass would not.

    There are a few fighter/thief threads around these forums if you can find them. I'd argue for multi-class over dual class most the time though as others have noted, losing your old class features for a length of time is a drag as is later losing HLAs from one class (all the way in TOB).

  • grkmnlgrkmnl Member Posts: 5
    can someone perhaps point me to a basic fighter build then? I guess since I haven't played this type of game in over 10 years, I may start with something simple :)

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,321
    edited April 2013
    Basic fighter build:

    Go bersker

    18 str
    18 con
    18 dex
    11 int
    wis whatever
    cha whatever

    get grandmastery in something (long swords, scimitars, axe, something). Then focus on dual wield.

    Post edited by smeagolheart on
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    Probably a much better idea to start with something simple, yes.

    When/if you feel like attempting Fighter/Thief again, for sure go with a multi-class ... there is little point in dual-classing for that one, as opposed to some other dual-classes.

    Also I would actually go for Halfling over Elf for that class, but most people are offended by the Halfling's hit to their strength score. I consider it worth it since there are so many strength-enhancing items in the game, and the Halfling's saving throws are just plain epic.

  • grkmnlgrkmnl Member Posts: 5
    Thanks! Does Race matter so much? For a fighter, I heard that orcs/dwarf is a good choice, but that the NPCs in the game don't bother talking to you.

  • secretmantrasecretmantra Member Posts: 259
    Race shouldn't really matter for NPC reactions. Orcs and Dwarves are both fantastic picks.

  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    Half-Orcs and Dwarves both make great picks for just about any class really, the Dwarf getting my nod as the more powerful. Dwarves recieve a bonus to their saving throws based upon their constitution score (the higher the score the better the bonus) which I find immensely better than the Half-Orcs high strength at low levels.

    NPC's will still talk to either of those races but in vanilla BG2 (ie not the EE which may change this or add other options etc.) Half-Orcs and Dwarves could not take part in the various "romantic NPC talks." These options were limited to Humans, Elves and Half-Elves only. However it was intended that the Half-Orc could romance a particular dark lady who first appeared in BG1 but was seemingly scrapped at the last minute or bugged and never fixed. I also seem to remember the intention of a gnome romance as well that was also cut from the game but I'm not 100% on that one.

  • TyranusTyranus Member Posts: 268
    If you're going multi-class Fighter/Thief (which you should), I'd go with a Dwarf over Half-Orc. Saving Throws are what will keep your character alive at late game and you'll get 19 STR all the same by the end of BG1. There is also a mod (i think its a part of SCS) that allows multi-classed characters to get 5 pips in a weapon proficiency as they properly should in PnP.

    Dual-classing resricts you from HLA's, which in its own right REALLY hurts your character. Melee classes do the most damage in that magic moment after mages take down buffs, then casting Greater Whirlwind and smashing face before they re-buff.

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