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Swashie->Fighter Dual-Class

When should I do it?

I realize that in IWD it's a LEVEL cap rather than an EXPERIENCE cap. So it's a bit different than what I'm used to. What do y'all reckon?

jackjackCrevsDaak
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Comments

  • ZyzzogetonZyzzogeton Member Posts: 526
    At least 7 for Evasion

    7 (with 18 DEX) also grants 100 Find Traps and 100 extra points to add to any other skill.

    RAM021JuliusBorisov
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited November 2014
    It's also woth noting that on a normal playthrough you will only get about half way to the level cap.

    Also, swashbucklers suck.

    Frogman12345
  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    edited November 2014
    Fardragon said:

    It's also woth noting that on a normal playthrough you will only get about half way to the level cap.

    Also, swashbucklers suck.

    I disagree. While they aren't that comparable to a fighter/thief, they still got a nice deal of meat on their bones in vanilla status, along with nice AC boosts, and get amped up super hard in RR with the ability to have the thac0 of a fighter the same level with melee weapons equipped. The only thing bad about them then is their lackluster APR, which is offset by haste/improved haste. Swashbucklers dual-classed in both variants are great because of the AC/thac0 bonuses that can also off-set some of their weaknesses in the new class. For Swashbuckler/Mages, you get Tenser's transformation, and with swashbuckler/fighters, well, you get an ever-increasing thac0 bonus along with grandmastery.

    RAM021
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    Level 6, or 7 for Evasion. Personally I think that Evasion may not be needed, it comes into effect quite rarely - especially when you take into account the ability to dodge things "manually" simply by avoiding an opportunity to get hit in the first place.

    At lvl 6 an (Elf) Swashie with 19 Dex can get 100 Find Traps and 100 Open Locks, as well as 45 (I think? or 40?) Pick Pockets, which is enough to get the Rings in Kuldahar (Free Action and Protection+2). You don't really need the other skills as a Swashbuckler anyway.

    Regaining the levels is trivial. I did it in my current run and I was back to Fighter 7 while my PURE Fighter was still at that very same level. Really does not take long at all.

    I am inclined to think that this combination is the best Thief you can take (for a powergaming HoF run). It's not AMAZING or anything, but it's very solid as it has nice defensive bonuses and at least some offensive ones. A lvl 1-7 Sneak Attack is after all only 1d6 damage and applies only once, whereas the +1 damage from the first Swash bonus applies to every hit - so if you hit an enemy more than 3.5 times, you already come out ahead over a Sneak Attack, and without worrying about positioning.

    Kenji
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,853
    Do I really have to do it that early? That seems preposterous. I recall getting to very high levels in Icewind Dale.

    jackjackCrevsDaak
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    edited November 2014
    @Quartz: you don't HAVE to, no. But what do you want more thief levels for? You're not going to use any of the thief abilities other than locks/traps (and the three PPs) as a Swashie anyway. And going for more fighter levels will give you GM and a lower THAC0 more quickly. The game is after all not all about the high levels, what you do in the early and mid game matters, too. I don't think that +1dmg/thac0 every 5(!) levels is worth going to such high XP brackets.

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,853
    Actually I wouldn't mind being able to Set Traps. I suppose I should have specified that I care about thief skills beyond Open Locks and Find Traps, but then I understand most people who play Swashbuckler have no interest in actual thieving. It's probably my least favorite Thief kit, as I like my thieves nice and thief-y, but for this character it just made sense.

    Also is Detect Illusion any good in IWD? I imagine not, but I'm just curious.

    Should I dual at Level 10 for the AC bonus and all that shtuff?

  • FrogmanFrogman Member Posts: 153
    Curious to get people's thoughts on this...are multiclassed Fighter/Thieves superior for melee to swashies?

    RAM021
  • GrabtharsHammerGrabtharsHammer Member Posts: 27
    I am just finishing up a BG trio run with a kensai/thief... WoW, fun class!

    I have rolled 4 characters for IWD and which includes a kensai planned dual to thief


    I know traps wont be as good in IWD (loved time traps), and no use any item :(.

    I also will have a Wizard slayer to cleric, a monk, and a dragon disciple (posted her bio for kicks).


    My strategy will be to repeat an area ( export, than restart with import). this way I can enjoy the build I want, through most of the content without having to wait on first class to re-appear.

    Dunno if this idea appeals to your character.

    T2av
  • RAM021RAM021 Member Posts: 403
    Frogman said:

    Curious to get people's thoughts on this...are multiclassed Fighter/Thieves superior for melee to swashies?

    Unequivocally yes

    FardragonFrogman
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    RAM021 said:

    Frogman said:

    Curious to get people's thoughts on this...are multiclassed Fighter/Thieves superior for melee to swashies?

    Unequivocally yes
    Actually, for melee combat the swashie dual will be MUCH better in melee, even if they only get +1 to hit, damage and AC, because they can get GM still. You might have less HP, but you'll have better THAC0 and vastly better damage (+4 per hit!). Also the APR bonus from GM.

    If you are comfortable grinding a bit, solo Cold Wights to instead dual at +10th lvl. Very, very strong melee character.

    No HLAs is a ginourmus kick in the balls for multiclass!

    FrogmanQuartz
  • ZyzzogetonZyzzogeton Member Posts: 526
    edited November 2014
    Swashbucklers alone can't get GM they only get up to Specialization and don't even get .5 APR from it.

    Also no one is comparing Swashbuckler>Fighter to Fighter/Thief, what people are saying is that Fighter/Thief is better than a single class Swashbuckler.

    RAM021
  • luskanluskan Member Posts: 269
    I believe for BG2 it was best to dual at the 10th level, or 11th if you wanted the improved traps. If the break points are the same in IWD (I don't have the manual in front of me to confirm) then that is what I would do.

  • KenjiKenji Member Posts: 250
    edited November 2014
    @Quartz If you're interested in the aspect of setting traps, you can look into Bounty Hunters dualed into Fighters:

    Set Special Snare can also be used as a ranged trap that can AoE targets (usable in fights, too, if you manage to get the bounty hunter out of enemy sight then set special snare). Set Special Snare also comes with slowing enemies (or Hold Enemies at lvl11) that can be neglected by saves.

    Levels to Dual-Class for a bounty hunter:
    lvl6: Extra set special snare
    lvl7: Evasion
    lvl8: extra weapon skill point
    lvl11: Extra Set Special Snare, upgraded Special Snare ability

    Since bounty hunters have 5 thieving points less per level, higher level dual-classing is recommended if you don't want low Set Trap chances while still hitting the threshold for Lockpicking/Finding Traps (I usually have girdle of gond to accommodate that)

    This is pure speculation, as I personally have not tried this. But if anyone has any inputs on this, I'm all ears.

    Post edited by Kenji on
    JuliusBorisovQuartz
  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    Frogman said:

    Curious to get people's thoughts on this...are multiclassed Fighter/Thieves superior for melee to swashies?

    Oh completely. Only serious benefit Swashbucklers get is the faster level-up. A fighter/thief dual or multi will be MUCH better.

    RAM021
  • B4nJ0B4nJ0 Member Posts: 93
    You don't need thief levels. You don't have access to HLA so no UAI. There is no point to delay GM for your thief>fighter dual. Dual it at 7, and go for assa>fighter if you want to be randed or swash>fighter for melee.

    There isn't anything else to say about this.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    There is a solid argument to be made that a swashie is, in fact, better at melee than a fighter thief, but definately not early on. There are +apr weapons in IWDEE, no reason a swashie shouldn't DW 2. The big edge the swashie gets is that on top of largely equal proficiency (both specialize, but the F/T multi will get +3/2 spr... meaning if he DWs, he only ends up 1 apr ahead, as 5 caps) he gets his +1s... +5 isnt unfeasible, so you'd end up close for THAC0, but deal +5 more per hit. Imho, 4 attacks with +5 damage likely can keep up fine with 5 swings. The AC issue is way less key, but the swashie easily wins that, though helmet issues might lead to frustration until you find something to fill the slot. Now, waiting for your swashie to truly shine is not necessarily ideal, he'll be a better trap user, and should have pick pockets maxed early. The big edge the F/T has for damage dealing though is faster proficiency and his extra 3/2 apr, but by the time your multi hits lvl 13, you've got some +1s under your belt.

    Running a swashie for damsge dealing seems a bit like a higher level dual in BG2.

    I would strongly recommend going Half-Orc for the swashie, absurd mental images aside, as 19 str is huge for a swashie.

    The F/T has better HP by a mile though.

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    Dualling at 10 gets you extra swashie bonuses which come every 5 levels.

    RAM021T2av
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    DreadKhan said:


    I would strongly recommend going Half-Orc for the swashie, absurd mental images aside, as 19 str is huge for a swashie.

    But you can't dual a Half-Orc, only Humans can do it. So you'd be stuck with a pure class Swashbuckler. Which kind of defeats the whole point of this thread.

    RAM021FrogmanQuartz
  • ZanianZanian Member Posts: 329
    People people people. Pick a Swashbuckler... and let it stay that way. A lvl 30 swashie has +6 dmg, thaco and AC. Dualwield 2 +1 APR weapons and the +1 APR Ring, and get your mage to cast improved haste on you and you'll be doing 10 ridiculously powerful hits per round.

    This way you can also go Half-Orc for even more melee power. Fighters are a thing of the past. Pirates are where it's at! xD

    jackjackJuliusBorisovFrogman
  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    I like Swashbucklers for Dual Classing because:

    1) If you go Fighter, they have a leg up on all the fighter stuff.

    2) If you go Mage, you get a mage that is less squishy than usual and it combines with Tenser's well.

    2a) If you're going Mage you're probably not using them to backstab anyway so you're not losing anything.

    Swashbucklers are already like having a Fighter/Thief in one class. If you add that to another class by dual classing you're cooking with gas. If its single classes you can get a good thief and a backup tank.

    KloroxjackjackSpungiQuartz
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 827
    Swashbuckler 7 > fighter is a pretty good character. A little light on HP, but still very effective.

    jackjack
  • RAM021RAM021 Member Posts: 403
    DreadKhan said:

    RAM021 said:

    Frogman said:

    Curious to get people's thoughts on this...are multiclassed Fighter/Thieves superior for melee to swashies?

    Unequivocally yes
    Actually, for melee combat the swashie dual will be MUCH better in melee, even if they only get +1 to hit, damage and AC, because they can get GM still. You might have less HP, but you'll have better THAC0 and vastly better damage (+4 per hit!). Also the APR bonus from GM.
    And had the question been F/T multi vs Swash/Ftr dual we would be inclined to agree with you; however, as it was not, we stand by our statement.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited November 2014
    I'm pretty sure that any thief with sneak attack will outdamage a swashbuckler, unless they are fighting undead. Remind me again, are there any undead in IWD?

    Basically, a swashbuckler does the same job as a fighter, but will always be behind. An assassin, or assassin-fighter duel, for example, can, situationally, out-damage a fighter.

    T2av
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    edited November 2014
    If I remember my various BG2 experiments from half a decade ago correctly, a single-class Swashbuckler can only outdamage other classes by stacking all the APR in the world and being at a VERY high level (like 35+). So, towards the end of ToB they can dish out sick damage - yay! Not exactly useful, but useful to know I guess... ¬_¬

    But luckily we don't have to go single class do we :P

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    BG2 doesn't have 3rd edition sneak attack.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    Fardragon said:

    BG2 doesn't have 3rd edition sneak attack.

    That's true. I suppose it's much less of a gap in IWD then, though you do get a lot of modifiers to make up for it: +2 damage from Specialization, +1/5 levels for Swashbuckler, and the increased damage from having a better THAC0. Plus the higher HP in HoF mode means it's easier to catch up to the burst from SA. The exact math would probably be a bit complicated, I'm sure there are various points at which the graphs intersect in various ways.

    Outside of HoF though the SA (or BS) burst is probably a straight winner though. Good to know and important to keep in mind!

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Also, in IWD, you are usually fighting lots of weak opponents which means if you are rocking sneak attack, have a big APR, and keep switching targets you can dish out massive damage. As I said, it's situational.

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