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Im after a bit of advice for my 1st time party set-up.

Pr0jectsephPr0jectseph Member Posts: 8
edited November 2013 in New Members Welcome Area
Ok, I am playing as a Half-Elf Sorcerer.

I have:

My usual encounter goes like this:

Neera sends the enemy to sleep,

Khalid and Dorn run in,

Imoen targets their target,

I cast spells to dmg,

Jaheira waits around for heals or buffs etc.

...most of the time so far (just finished nashkel mines) I just have a Khalid/Dorn/Imoen bash-fest on the sleeping enemy. While I spell snipe primary targets.
Though i'm guessing later on a lot more enemies will be resistant to sleep?

But my problem here is, I love Dorn for tanking. And I do want a kind of off-tank. And I actually like Khalid tank-wise. He does alright.

But Neera, Jaheira, and Imoen....they are my issues. And I could potentially get rid of any one of them...


Jaheira. I hear there are better healer-types, Such as Viconia (Though not as good constitution.)
But she comes with Khalid who I like..(and I feel like a jack prick if I kill her off). So this is my hardest choice as I will potentially lose 2 being a character I feel I cant replace well.


I need a thief to disarm traps. And I hear Imoen is quite good as a dual-class (which I didn't intend on doing), though I hate her voice and goody-ness.
In battle she is only good for her archery for me right now. Otherwise, she is a trap disarmer and occasional unlocker-of-chests...


Neera, Well right now she has been my Ace-in-the-hole. Putting most stuff to sleep over and over letting me wail on sleeping enemies.
And one time I tried to get rid of her, the plea she gives made me feel so bad that I kept her....
But for how long will she be useful? Are there better mages I can recruit? Considering I'm a sorcerer...

I would like to recruit Kivan into the mix somewhere..but I cant think where.
And the 3 I mentioned have their aforementioned drawbacks.

Any insight would be appreciated...(and fun to read)

Thanks in advance :)


  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    edited November 2013
    Sounds like u already know wot u're doing. My strategy in BG 1 was just to shoot everything with bows/crossbows. :D

    Anyways a few things worth mentioning:
    1) Encase u didn't know, there is a canon party for BG 1 if RP matters a lot to u.

    2) I found Jaheira quite hard to use, but kept her cos of 1). But if u equip her with shield and scimitar, she can also be a decent tank, and u can drop Dorn. (Though he really is a powerhouse, but u don't need 3 frontliners in the party). Jaheira is not a great healer, and misses out on a very useful spell called 'Command'. If you choose to replace her, there is Branwen in the Nashkel Carnival and Yeslick in the Nashkel Mines. In general, in BG, prevention is better than cure. It's not a game where 'active battlefield healing' is particularly effective.

    3) Neera is as good as it gets for non-evil parties. If you go down the dark path (not recommended for first playthrough), I think Edwin is the best spellcaster. Recruiting him will make 1) impossible though.

    4) Imoen is as good as they come for a thief. Thieves are not meant to be a battlefield powerhouse, and archery is actually very powerful in BG 1, so she does her fair share anyway. Make sure u focus on Find Traps until she got 100. U're gonna need it for later on. And what you might have read about her dual-classing into Mage, that happens at the beginning of BG 2 regardless of what u do. For simplicity's sake, u don't need to worry about it in BG 1.

    So in summary, if u intend to stick to the Good side, I'd recommend dropping Dorn and picking up Kivan. He is absolutely deadly and more than replaces Dorn's killin' power.

    If u turn to the dark side... I cannot help u. I've never been tempted down that dark path :P

  • Pr0jectsephPr0jectseph Member Posts: 8
    edited November 2013
    Hmm, Thanks Heinrich.

    I agree about Imoen. And have been told of how good she is.
    But I really don't want to get rid of Dorn.

    I am playing as a True Neutral. So I do believe I can keep all sides of the coin happy here. (Not playing fully evil or good). So Dorn shouldn't be much of an issue rep-wise.

    But I can't really get rid of Jaheira as it will effect Kivan. Which I don't wish to do.

    May I pose a question? (To anyone)

    Would Neera be effectively replaced by Kivan? (Again considering I am a sorcerer).

  • DetectiveMittensDetectiveMittens Member Posts: 234
    edited November 2013
    You can pick up Baeloth once you hit level 5 if you want another sorcerer (comes with some neat stuff) :P You can pick up Coran instead of Imoen who is rocking a Dex score of 20 which makes him absolutely fabulous, and quite good with the bow. Who for all purposes can act as a tank and a ranged thief.

    I remember a specific playthrough where I used Ajantis, Skie, Coran, Jaheira, Garrick - I used a dwarf Defender admittedly and was the main tank of the group but nonetheless it was Skie (who wasn't even my main thief due to picking her up so late, in terms of levels) and Garrick that ended up dieing the most. I feel while playing through BG:EE mages/spellcasters are not as useful as sheer tanks. Their usefulness increases the later on you are in your game (SoA and ToB).

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    lol... I use custom portraits for most of my party. :P

    And yes, swapping out Neera for Kivan would work, and improve ur party's fighting effectiveness assuming Charname has the right spells. Spellcasters are generally weak for most of BG 1 anyway, I remember exploring the Nashkel mines with a fire team (bows) of F/M Charname, Khalid, Minsc and Imoen, and leaving Jaheira and Dynaheir by the entrance cos they were more trouble to have around as I had to protect them from stray Kobold arrows. I didn't suggest abandoning Neera cos "And one time I tried to get rid of her, the plea she gives made me feel so bad that I kept her....

    I felt so guilty after leaving Neera in order to have Dynaheir in my BG EE playthrough. Every time Charname visited the Friendly Arm Inn afterwards, he walked in like a man who's just clubbed a thousand baby seals, and avoided eye contact with the cute elf in corner at all costs.

  • Pr0jectsephPr0jectseph Member Posts: 8

    One more question,

    If Jaheira suddenly found herself....'Dead'.

    Would I make it through the game simply enough with:

    2 tanks (Dorn and Khalid)
    2 Casters (Me and Neera)
    2 Ranged (Imoen and Kivan)

    Or is a healer/buffer almost a necessity?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    I find Divine magic to be pretty useful in BG 2. But in BG 1, I used Jaheira really ineffectively, so the answer is that no, u don't need a healer/buffer to beat BG 1.

  • Pr0jectsephPr0jectseph Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the help.
    I'll have some things to consider.

  • MoczoMoczo Member Posts: 234
    ... You can always send Jaheira into a building, close the door behind her, and tell her to leave the team. She won't be dead, just... gone. I do it to Dynaheir all the time.

  • Time4TiddyTime4Tiddy Member Posts: 262
    I also hate Imoen's voice and dialogue. It's even worse in EE now that they added frequency to a whole bunch of lines about Puffguts and the juvenile begging for stories. I wish they'd retcon her with Imoen sound file from BG2. I always dump her off as soon as I can find another thief.

    Depending how far you are into the game, you can pick up Safana almost right from the start, who is a lot more fun personality-wise but a little weaker as a thief (17 dex and no shortbow prof). You will have to do a quest for her fairly quickly and it can be tough if you are below level 3-ish due to some high level enemies.

    If you are quite a ways into the game, you can replace Imoen with Alora, who is my personal favorite thief in the game. She comes with shortbow prof and a 19 dex which gives a +3 to hit with ranged, making her an even better archer than Imoen. She also has a lucky rabbit's foot that give +2 to AC and +10% to all thief abilities. Unfortunately, she'll probably be level 6 when you get her, with poorly distributed skill points. You'll have to stockpile some potions of perception to find all the traps until you've gotten a couple levels worth of find traps into her.

    As others have mentioned, Coran is a great thief who can also use a longbow with 3 prof points and a 20 dex. Coran comes somewhat after Safana but a bit before Alora, you'll also have to use some potions of perception until you can level him up a few times.

    Offtank/heal slot:
    If you dislike Jaheira and want to get Kivan, I'd recommend just losing Khalid & Jaheira both. That way Kivan can fill Khalid's slot and you have an open slot for a healer. Yeslick does what Jaheira does, but better - he is a fighter/cleric multi. If you prefer more casting, I'd suggest taking Faldorn - she's a full druid meaning she levels faster and has more spells than Jaheira, and can use basically the same weapons that Jaheira would have used.

    So, my recommendation to you is as follows:

    Swap out Imoen immediately (for Safana?), Safana will be replaced by Coran when you get to him. Coran can use the Longbow of Marksmanship and really clean up much faster than Imoen ever did. Shortly after Coran you'll find Faldorn. Swap Jaheira for Faldorn and drop Khalid with. Now you have an open slot. Either go back and get Kivan at this point, or take Eldoth temporarily and go back for Kivan later. Further on you can decide if you want to swap Faldorn for Yeslick or Coran for Alora.

    Final party:

    You - sorcerer
    Dorn - tank
    Neera - wild mage
    Kivan or Coran* - archer/offtank
    Coran or Alora* - archer/thief
    Yeslick or Faldorn - healer

    Note there is one amazing longbow and one amazing shortbow, so if you go with Kivan AND Coran, you'll probably not use the shortbow at all, and you'll want to have Kivan with the Composite Longbow +1 since he's strong enough to wield it.

  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 691
    Sounds like you have a pretty good party set up. Your biggest mistake so far is saying that you would enjoy reading our responses. I can be as verbose as a turnip-peddling gnome when I want to be!

    As a Sorcerer, you lack the flexibility and reliability of a Mage. While you can provide immense firepower, you should definately have a Mage around. Neera's kit is distinctly unreliable, therefore she is best suited for the role of secondary Mage. A good alternative would be to take Dynaheir. A better one would be to take Edwin, although it depends what kind of alignment balance you want. The idea of this is so that you can fire off a couple of useful AoE debuff spells quickly, such as web and grease, allowing your archers to pick off your foes while your Sorcerer covers a wide spread with fireball.

    Jaheira is an excellent tank, though it takes her a bit longer to level up and become dependable in the role. Ultimately, you may find she is a better choice for front-lining than her husband. If it is a healer you require however, she is not optimal. Viconia is a pure-class cleric, and has immense dexterity allowing her to serve as artillery from afar. With her high AC and magic-resistance, you may also find she is a talented tank in her own right against Mage-supported groups of enemies.

    If you want Kivan, unfortunately Dorn is probably the most replaceable. In reality, Dorn does not fit the 'tank' criteria, owing to his use of two-handed weapons. In the Baldur's Gate saga the AC bonus of shields is noticeable until around level 16-20. Dorn should be coming into combat quickly after your sword-and-shield tanks have taken up position, dealing incredible amounts of damage while your tanks soak up and dodge the incoming attacks of your enemies. Dorn is, in essence, melee artillery, and so fits a very similar role to Kivan.

    A thief is essential in BG1:EE, as you can imagine. Imoen, unfortunately, is as good as they get. The BG community seems to like Safana though, if you are determined to replace Imoen early. If you feel you can hold out though, I agree with @Time4Tiddy that Alora is a wonderful replacement once you have arrived in Baldur's Gate. If you can't wait as long as that, Coran is another effective substitute, who sacrifices some of his thieving skills for terrific ranged weapon proficiency.


    Main Character, Sorcerer (AoE damage, AoE control, magical artillery)
    Dynaheir or Edwin (AoE control, magical artillery, support spells)
    Viconia (Healer, part-time tank, part-time ranged artillery)
    Imoen (Thief, ranged artillery)
    Khalid or Jaheira (Tank)
    Dorn or Kivan (melee damage dealer, and ranged damage dealer respectively)

  • Time4TiddyTime4Tiddy Member Posts: 262
    Just one other thing to consider - if you DO go with someone else as your tank, Dorn can actually be fairly effective as a ranged attacker. He has a 16 dex and his poison weapon works on ranged attacks, too. He'll have one prof in crossbow if you get him late-ish, making him a good user of Army Scythe, or if you get him early you can put two into longbow - he's definitely strong enough for Composite Longbow. Since he's a two-handed weapon user anyway, switching out to bow or crossbow is easy enough.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,399
    Jaheira is a very good tank as long as you put her in a helmet and plate mail. If all you want from a "healer" is healing spells, Jaheira can do that as well as a cleric. The reason you might want a cleric instead of Jaheira is because of several extremely useful cleric spells that Jaheira doesn't get - Command, Remove Fear, Silence, Hold Person, Protection from Evil 10', and, later in BG2, Chaotic Commands. Also clerics can turn or command undead and summon skeletons.

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