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Complementing the canon party

I'm probably overthinking this, but after 16 years of this game, one digs deeper. :P

I'm currently running through two different characters (kinda switching back and forth). My plan is to finish BG1 with one of them, then take them through BG2. I'm also planning to stick with -only- the canon party, taking along BG2 NPCs only as necessary to do their quests. So, for BG1, it's Imoen, Jah, Khalid, Minsc, and Dynaheir. Then, for BG2, it's just Jah, Minsc, and Yoshi->Imoen.

The two characters I'm running are a cleric/illusionist and a Cav. The BG1 party is doing a lot better with the Cav. In fact, he's stealing the show. The Cav tanks, while Minsc (with dex gauntlets) and Khalid are on archery support. The girls, otoh, don't really have anything to do. Imoen -can- help with a bow, but it's not even needed. I can put Jah on a sling, but at 1 APR for maybe 1d4+1, it's like a poor man's first level magic missile.

I have the opposite problem with the cleric/illusionist. Jah has the dex gauntlets and is tanking. Minsc is set up to be a dual wielding striker and I send him in after Jah draws the aggro. Khalid is on bow with minimal help from Imoen. If my cleric/illusionist can work a sleep spell, then we're golden. Otherwise, I'm just hanging out with Dynaheir occasionally tossing out a blindness or magic missile. I think I'm eventually going to have way too much spellcasting in this party, as I'll also be dualing Imoen. So, that's effectively 2.5 mages for a level spread where mages are at their weakest.

I'm trying to decide who I want to keep developing. For BG2, I'll have Jah and Minsc, both solid frontliners. Jah's stats are better suited for tanking. Minsc can still be a good striker. I'll have Yoshimo for BS and archery (for whatever the latter is worth). You would think that the C/I would be the easy choice but it isn't. The way I see it, mages are decent strikers, but they make even better controllers. In that regard, I can have that covered when I get Imoen back (which I plan to do pretty much ASAP). Futhermore, with this party, I'll have nobody on 2h swords, and I would especially have to pass up the holy sword. By mid- to late-game, I thinking that a jacked up paladin is going to contribute more than the 1/2 cleric & 1/2 mage. With the paly, Imoen can be on controller duty, while the three of us can hack away.

I should mention that, if I stick with the C/I, I'm going to SK him into a Cleric/Wild Mage at the beginning of BG2. The concept is that Irenicus' experiments twisted his magic powers, which is why he has the wild surges. So, I'll have access to necromancy, but also have the risk of wild surges. This doesn't worry me too much because when I play a WM, NRD tend to be my favorite first level spell.

Anyway, I think if I go with the C/I, BG1 will be a little rough with the mage overkill. I think the C/I will be a real asset in BG2 until I get Imoen back, then we might have some redundancy. However, with the Cav, I'll mow through BG1 with a party as dead weight, and probably still hog the spotlight in BG2. Though, I'll have no arcane support until I get Imoen back.

I know either would work, but what I'm optimizing for is team synergy (not necessarily uber-munchkiness). I don't want charname to hog the glory, but I also don't want him to be redundant. Perhaps neither is a terribly good fit with these party plans and I should consider something else? Anyone care to weigh in?

booinyoureyes

Comments

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 432
    Gotural said:

    I'm pretty sure she was designed to be canon but I could be wrong.

    I'm not so sure about that. She wasn't in the last game and doesn't have a significant role in the larger storyline (aside from her romance). Also, she's horribly annoying. :P If I were to add one of the new characters to the canon, it would have to be Jan. Not because he's more plot essential (he isn't), but he so much more fun to be around. :D

    If I had to romance anyone, it would have to be Vic. Actually, if I took the Cav, I'd be tempted to grab her as she is technically canon. The only (very minor) downside is she can't explode undead, at least not until her alignment change. If I did take her, though, I'd have to come up with another off-hand plan for Minsc, as Vic would obviously get Crom. Also, that would have me with four on the line (Cav, Minsc, Jah, Vic) and nobody really on control (except Imoen, when I get her back). Adding Vic might make sense with the cleric/illusionist, but then I would have 1.5 clerics, 1.5 mages, and our protagonist might merely be a helper for the two of them.

    Now that has me thinking again, with Vic in the mix, charname doesn't even need to be a cleric. Jah can get the party through BG1, and Vic can be picked up early in BG2. I think I'm back to where I started. :)

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Ah it's sad that you find Aerie annoying, to be honest, it would have been the best of both world, with both your Cavalier and a C/M (instead of a C/WM which is practically the same thing) in the same party

    And because both Dynaheir and Khalid died during the transition from BG1 to BG2, I think the devs were actually thinking that the "canon party" would replace them with someone else.

    Anyway ! In that case I don't know what to tell you. But if you were to pick Viconia in your party, don't give her Crom and give it to Minsc. Viconia is a horrible fighter even with it because of her low APR and proficiency, and she can already easily buff her Strenght to 25 with two buffs.

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 432
    I like the Cav, but he's outshining everyone in BG1. He's able to take on entire maps single-handedly without a scratch. While that's an odd complaint, it means I don't really need the party. I could still make Minsc a DW striker (or give him dex gauntlets so he can tank, too), but Jah has nothing to do except sit back and look pretty.

    I don't think much will change in BG2. The Cav would easily be the MVP, and once he gets the holy sword, that's all she wrote. There's not much team synergy there.

  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    It's probably Aerie and Anomen, to be honest (and a straight fighter for the Bhaalspawn, although that gives difficulty in BG1). In ToB, replace the one of the same gender as you with Sarevok.

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 432
    I started thinking about that after Gotural's post. Here I am making it all about charname, yet Minsc got robbed between BG1 and BG2. He does deserve a witch. I believe Nalia is also an option, but if I'm getting Imoen back, Aerie would be a much less redundant choice.

    I just wish Aerie wasn't so annoying. Her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, and her eyes kinda freak me out.

    Maybe I'll go Cav, then SK Aerie into a c/wm just to make her more tolerable.

    Gotural
  • CatoblepasCatoblepas Member Posts: 96
    Nalia is a possible candidate for being Minsc's witch? I never knew that...I thought that was an option that got cut.

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 432
    According to gamebanshee, Nalia is an option. I've never tried it myself, though, as I usually drop her right after her quest.

  • ChackChack Member Posts: 23
    The cavalier will eventually be able to explode the undead, but i don't think that any paladin should get along with her in a rp way (paladins are supposed to check for the aligment of possibles companions, never work with evil aligned and work with neutral aligned only if it is neccesary). Going with Jaheira can be considered ok, as you are following your mentor's wishes. Jan is a little harder to justify.

    Once you get the Holy Avenger, the cavalier will be enough to win most battles, given enough preparation. You can consider your party dead weight, but you can also see them as a way to increase effectivity (making things faster). This happens to most classess (there are solo runs with any class).

    I like the idea of changing the C/I to C/WM, but i would try to restrict the learning of necromancy spells. Actually, as you must edit the character, why not just add the wild surge chance and, maybe, the NRD spell and keep it C/I? I find that an interesting concept, but don't know if it can be done.

    Good luck in your seach and above all, have fun!

    OAB: Nalia will also become Minsc's witch given time (had her in a regular game, don't know if the EE changed it).

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 432
    I forgot about the Cav's turn undead for a minute there. That's right, I don't need Vic to be able to do it. As for taking her along, I know the old PnP rules stated that Paladins couldn't knowingly travel with evil companions, but from a rp perspective, I figured it would make an interesting story. A paladin meets a drow, they have a romance, and she becomes not evil anymore.

    As for Jan, I think his awesomeness and hilariousness transcends alignment. And, besides, it's not like he's evil. :)

    As for the Cav stealing the show, that's a good point. I think the only way around it is to play a class that can only support (e.g. a cleric) to avoid hogging the spotlight. But, that seems an odd route to take for the protagonist. As of now, almost nothing can hit him unless they roll a natural 20. He cleared out the Nashkel mines (minus the Mulahey fight) single-handed. That's one thing I liked better about the IWD games. It was much easier to build for team synergy.

    With the C/I, I can add NRD and Chaos Shields, but I'm fairly certain the character needs the WM kit in order to have the variable casting level and surge chance for every spell.

  • FouneFoune Member Posts: 53
    If you're playing a cav and going with Vic then you won't need any more CC til you meet Imoen, you can just tank with your char, put Jaheira in support CC or off-tank, put Minsc on a bow and Vic has enough CC since your party will be obliterating things anyway.

  • KnellerKneller Member Posts: 432
    So, I've been playing with the Cav for a while now. I honestly, think I could easily beat this game with just Imoen as a companion (to take care of locks/traps). This guy is a one man army.

    This, I think is actually a bad thing. The team is not terribly useful, and that's what I'm shooting for. I think I might be better off with the C/I turned C/WM for BG2 as then I'll have Jah (tank), Minsc (striker), and myself (controller), which will cover all my bases and everyone will have a job to do. I won't even need to take Aerie (or really anyone else outside of their NPC quests). Then, when I get Imoen back, she can just be a controller/(arcane) striker. With the small party, the multiclass level lag won't even be an issue.

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