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Starting a mage character...

Is there any benefit to starting charname as a straight generalist mage class, rather than a dual class?
Assume both instances here are human.

The only one I can find is not having any down-time between classes, compared to more equipment options, more HP, thac0, possibly thieving skills, etc.

So unless I'm missing something, Imoen would technically be a more powerful mage than you towards end game, minus some stat deviations, which just seems silly from both a roleplay and game-mechanics perspective :/



  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    er yeah, if you didn't pick a specialization Imoen will be better. if you did pick a specialization Edwin will be better :p

  • avocadoavocado Member Posts: 24
    Yeah, at least edwin makes sense though. "Yar har, I have me magical amulet of doom!"
    Imoen though... "heya, that magic looks fun. I'm going to do that too! :3 "

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Just like a couple of unkitted options - druid, fighter, paladin, cleric etc the unkitted generalist mage just isn't as good as either a kit, multi or dual combination involving it.

    Fighter or fighter kit to mage is a classic. More HP, better THAC0, better weapon choices. Cast spells, but also hit stuff. What's not to like?

    Thief or thief kit is another solid option. You gain HP and thieving utility to add to your casting. You're used Imoen, you know what to expect.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    @Corvino hits the nail on the head with typical efficiency.
    A specialist Mage will always be a better selection than a generalist. The extra spell/level/day is a massive advantage. In a balanced party you should really try to get another caster in anyway, so they can plug the gaps and compensate for the opposite school.

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    I think he is asking about the benefits of being a pure mage, as opposed to a dual-classed one of some sort, rather than a comparison between a generalist mage and a specialist mage (Illusionist, Evoker, etc)

    @Corvino has already answered that question too. But I would like to add that a pure mage is by no means weak. They will gain access to high level spells quicker than anyone else, which can be hugely beneficial in BG 2.

    For example, I am about to face the very final battle in ToB, at the very end of the epic saga, my party members all have over 5M xp, but my Multi-class Fighter/Mage and Aerie (Mage/Cleirc) still don't have access to lv9 spells, which is kinda disappointing. A pure mage would have got those around 2.5M-3M xp, somewhere in SoA.

    Now Dual-class is a lot better (which I guess is balanced by the fact that you gotta be human, which has no bonuses compared to other races), depending on when you do it, but of course then you gotta deal with a period of the game when your character is kinda crippled.

    Final point is that you don't need to optimised to beat the game. I much prefer having a flawed character and relying on a team to mitigate his weakness, than playing with a godly death-dealing avatar of destruction, carrying much inferior companions for a little romance and a drinking buddies in the tavern.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    An early dual makes quite a but of sense if you plan on playing what would otherwise be a generalist mage. It's pretty painless to get to level 3 as a fighter or 5 as a thief, gain some HP and either proficiencies or thief skills then dual over. You'll get those first few levels over with quickly.

    It won't an ungodly Kensage, but you start playing as a mage after about an hour if you know where to look for XP.

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