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short swords: are they even worth it?

in my multiplayer game with some forumites I decided to let go of powergaming and rather than give my fighter/thief longswords I decided to go with short swords. however, I am beginning to question myself a little tbh. We ran into Shar Teel yesterday and I talked to her, and felt pretty honor bound to be the one to fighter her as Bhaalspawn and the one speaking, as well as a man as she asks for. However the fight just turned into a whole lot of misses and I actually lost! I think I hit her twice and that was it. That was my first time ever actually losing the fight, and I was being healed a bit even (so much for 1v1). i feel I should ask if the short sword will prove any more effective when I gain levels and have a higher thaco. seeing as I lost to shar teel I feel like I must've really gimped myself, but then we also did go with realistic stats. maybe I will do better with a strength item? i am ok with the fact I can't fight things like golems because my usual longswords can't either, but I can't imagine having such a hard time hitting a humanoid.

Comments

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    edited January 2014
    BG1 actually has a couple of decent shortswords. There's a +2 one available ridiculously early on that will last you a while, and a +3 near the end of the main plot. Only with Scimitars and Shortswords can you dual wield a +3 in your mainhand and +2 in the offhand in BG1. I reckon that while they're not the most powerful weapon in the first game, they're not exactly terrible.

    Compared to Longswords the average damage is only 1 lower per hit, and the THAC0 should be identical.

    In BG2 shortswords are a bit crap - they don't have any truly amazing specimens apart from Kundane as an offhand. But by then you should have enough proficiency points to chose another mainhand, if you want.

    Metallomanngsezgame
  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    Corvino said:

    BG1 actually has a couple of decent shortswords. There's a +2 one available ridiculously early on that will last you a while, and a +3 near the end of the main plot. Only with Scimitars and Shortswords can you dual wield a +3 in your mainhand and +2 in the offhand in BG1. I reckon that while they're not the most powerful weapon in the first game, they're not exactly terrible.

    Compared to Longswords the average damage is only 1 lower per hit, and the THAC0 should be identical.

    In BG2 shortswords are a bit crap - they don't have any truly amazing specimens apart from Kundane as an offhand. But by then you should have enough proficiency points to chose another mainhand, if you want.

    oh yeah I already have the +2 and that is what I used, and my fighter level was 5 at the time I believe. i also have some dual wielding so I can have the +3 from the undercellar and my +2 in the end. i also know it will be easy to get a +3 in BG2 if we get the fighter stronghold instead of thief. i guess I will have another weapon type by BG2 that I could mainhand with kundane on the side after the Haer Dalis quest, but I was thinking a single handed blunt for use on golems, then later I could go 2 handed sword even because we have no paladin for carsomyr (alternatively we also have a bard who could get UAI).

    my question was mostly along the line of having problems striking through plate however. the battle wasn't short when I only got 2 hits. we each have a high primary so I have 18 dex and we bought shadow armor, yet in the time it took with that AC I only hit twice. should have put the dwarf in :)

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    Corvino said:

    BG1 actually has a couple of decent shortswords. There's a +2 one available ridiculously early on that will last you a while, and a +3 near the end of the main plot. Only with Scimitars and Shortswords can you dual wield a +3 in your mainhand and +2 in the offhand in BG1. I reckon that while they're not the most powerful weapon in the first game, they're not exactly terrible.

    Compared to Longswords the average damage is only 1 lower per hit, and the THAC0 should be identical.

    In BG2 shortswords are a bit crap - they don't have any truly amazing specimens apart from Kundane as an offhand. But by then you should have enough proficiency points to chose another mainhand, if you want.

    oh yeah I already have the +2 and that is what I used, and my fighter level was 5 at the time I believe. i also have some dual wielding so I can have the +3 from the undercellar and my +2 in the end. i also know it will be easy to get a +3 in BG2 if we get the fighter stronghold instead of thief. i guess I will have another weapon type by BG2 that I could mainhand with kundane on the side after the Haer Dalis quest, but I was thinking a single handed blunt for use on golems, then later I could go 2 handed sword even because we have no paladin for carsomyr (alternatively we also have a bard who could get UAI).

    my question was mostly along the line of having problems striking through plate however. the battle wasn't short when I only got 2 hits. we each have a high primary so I have 18 dex and we bought shadow armor, yet in the time it took with that AC I only hit twice. should have put the dwarf in :)

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    Weapon type won't affect to-hit rolls... That's all to do with proficiencies, base THAC0, enchantments & strength. The only problem it might cause is that some armours have a slight bonus against piercing damage... Crushing damage is generally most effective, but as you level up that has very little effect.

    atcDaveelminster
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    For a dual-wielding fighter/thief in BG2 Longswords, Scimitars and Katanas are all decent options that permit backstabbing.

    There are lots of okay +2 Longswords with Angurvadal or the Answerer as your endgame weapon. Scimitars are a bit more limited but you get Belm early and Usuno's Blade and Spectral Brand in WK, though Dorn's quest adds an early +3 one. With Katanas you only really get Celestial Fury, but it is very nice indeed.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    Corvino said:

    For a dual-wielding fighter/thief in BG2 Longswords, Scimitars and Katanas are all decent options that permit backstabbing.

    There are lots of okay +2 Longswords with Angurvadal or the Answerer as your endgame weapon. Scimitars are a bit more limited but you get Belm early and Usuno's Blade and Spectral Brand in WK, though Dorn's quest adds an early +3 one. With Katanas you only really get Celestial Fury, but it is very nice indeed.

    our bard intends to go longswords, however there is a large selection that would allow me to have something good as well if I want one. he will use the blade of roses but there are some other good options, not all +3 though. i hear daystar now counts as +4 vs evil, but it will take a while before we go killing the crooked crane lich for that lol

    for roleplaying I don't think I am going schmitars or katanas for my character. it isn't how I envisioned him, and I only really want a blunt because it is painful having to sit around against golems. I imagined that he would go full warrior come TOB considering events have picked up and just equip full plate and a big sword with UAI :)

  • syllogsyllog Member Posts: 158
    abacus said:

    Weapon type won't affect to-hit rolls... That's all to do with proficiencies, base THAC0, enchantments & strength. The only problem it might cause is that some armours have a slight bonus against piercing damage... Crushing damage is generally most effective, but as you level up that has very little effect.

    Damage type will.
    Different armors have bonuses or penalties against Slashing, Piercing, and Crushing.
    Longswords are "slashing".
    Shortswords are "piercing".

    In general "piercing" is the most penalized damage type in the game and "crushing" is the least penalized. (Regarding especially *undead, *oozes, and people wearing *armor.)

  • kaffekoppenkaffekoppen Member Posts: 377
    edited January 2014
    @ChildofBhaal599: I think short swords were actually a worthwhile investment for you. No reason to regret that even from all but the most pedantic of powergaming perspectives.
    Corvino said:


    In BG2 shortswords are a bit crap - they don't have any truly amazing specimens apart from Kundane as an offhand. But by then you should have enough proficiency points to chose another mainhand, if you want.

    It's true that there's no Foebane or Flail of the Ages in short swords, but let's enjoy what we have:

    - Short Sword of Mask +4 purchasable as soon as you have the cash
    - Short Sword of Backstabbing +3 available early in the game
    - Kundane +2 available early

    You can have a good setup with short swords early, and you will eventually have a +5 short sword as well. You can switch eventually to another type of main hand and still use Kundane, and I think all in all those 2 points in short swords or more than worth it.

    In fact, I'd make the argument that you'll get the most bang for your buck early on choosing either scimitars or short swords because you earn proficiency in good weapons with a speed offhand at the same time. This frees up some points for either a ranged weapon or for getting a quarterstaff specialization so you can backstab with Staff of the Ram later.

    As for your problems striking plate armor users: It's honestly not something I'm really noticing in my party, and I currently have Haer'Dalis using short swords. He's doing fine.

    ChildofBhaal599
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    The Shortsword of Mask is okay but pretty unremarkable for a TOB weapon. The on-hit entangle is a bit meh, and the upgrade is mid-way through TOB if I remember correctly. Until that point you've got an okay-ish pointy bit of metal that's just not as good as a half-dozen alternatives.

    While it's not that hard to get the +3 shortsword, and there's a +4 one later on they don't do anything else. No elemental damage, no immunities, no resistances, no on-hit effects, nothing.

    What makes many of the best weapons in Baldur's Gate 2 and TOB great is the extras, not just the enchantment value. This is where shortswords miss out.

    SkaffenChildofBhaal599
  • kaffekoppenkaffekoppen Member Posts: 377
    @Corvino: I completely agree with all of that. The value of short swords lies in how much you get for those 2 points early in the game when the enchantment value is actually important (and the extra APR from Kundane certainly is). It also never becomes completely wasted, as Kundane is always a good offhand.

    Corvino
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,301
    edited January 2014
    Yea its weird that cutthroat doesn't have any effects. I guess though that it would have been in the original SoA and the expectation for higher end weapons was lower. ToB obviously changed that.

  • ChildofBhaal599ChildofBhaal599 Member Posts: 1,781
    hmmmm... no notifications

    @kaffekoppen the part about haer dalis helps me a lot. maybe I am just judging things too early, considering we are just in BG1 ATM. it is also true that it is easy to get high enchantment value. this could come in handy becoming someone who can hit enchantment requirement enemies with ease.

    the character I envisioned also is not going to be running around with a quartstaff. i imagine my thieves having a blade. it is called a backSTAB after all :)

    @corvino yeah it does look like there is a lack in special abilities. i can get one to cast mirror image and one to cast haste quite early, also becoming immune to hold person, but most are just +x. what looks like a good idea is to branch out to longswords and off hand kundane. longswords are very numerous and can sustain multiple characters, so our bard can have his blade of roses he wants and I could get something else. i would like then spend a while with only a +2, but that is good for many enemies, and not many have a difference between +3 and 2 anyways so I should be just as good at hitting as him. i can then go on my 2 handed idea, considering TOB isn't a place for backstabbing in many situations.

  • kryptixkryptix Member Posts: 741
    Having 2 points in for Kundane isn't a waste, and of the backstab capable weapons, if you don't want to use staves, then Katanas will do the most damage.

  • kaffekoppenkaffekoppen Member Posts: 377
    edited January 2014
    I went with scimitars myself (and Haer'Dalis takes the short swords). I think they're a very good choice: you get a decent backstabbing weapon with a good selection that will outshine katanas eventually (IMO it happens the second you get Belm, but anyway). Eventually I'll get the Spectral Brand, but right now I'm wielding Usuno's Blade and Scarlet Ninja-To. One glows red and the other blue :)

    For me the cool part is getting a high-level mainhand and a speed offhand for just 2 points. Fighter/thieves are actually not swimming in proficiency points and I like to play with 2h weapons also just for fun.

  • kryptixkryptix Member Posts: 741

    I went with scimitars myself (and Haer'Dalis takes the short swords). I think they're a very good choice: you get a decent backstabbing weapon with a good selection that will outshine katanas eventually (IMO it happens the second you get Belm, but anyway). Eventually I'll get the Spectral Brand, but right now I'm wielding Usuno's Blade and Scarlet Ninja-To. One glows red and the other blue :)

    For me the cool part is getting a high-level mainhand and a speed offhand for just 2 points. Fighter/thieves are actually not swimming in proficiency points and I like to play with 2h weapons also just for fun.

    I just off hand belm without any proficiencies :) My new favorite progression is Long Sword => Axe => War Hammer because Long Swords are good in BG1, and useful in BG2. Axe at the start of BG2 gives you Azuredge for Ranged and popping liches as well as easy access to a weapon in Nalia's keep that will last you until Chapter 6. War Hammer for Crom Freyr :)

    I guess you can go flail as well,

    T2av
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