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Is this starting party decent/is a dedicated cleric necessary?

StormvesselStormvessel Member Posts: 654
I love my party - I thought it looked great, but then I see that most players who have played the game have a dedicated Healer. I have a Cleric, but not a dedicated one. I went with a Gnome Illusionist/Cleric multi and I'm wondering if I will have access to enough high level priest spells. I was thinking of going with a dedicated Cleric but I decided I wanted a little more firepower. Now I am thinking if the multi is redundant because I have a sorcerer and will only keep me from good Priest spells. Here is my party makeup (this is my first time playing through IWD):

Cavalier

Str 18/60
Dx 18
Cn 18
Int 13
Ws 13
Ch 18

Half-Orc Berserker

Str 19
Dx 18
Cn 19
Int 11
Ws 11
Ch 10

Elf Archer

Str 18/97
Dx 19
Cn 17
Int 12
Ws 14
Ch 12

Gnome Swashbuckler

Str 18
Dx 18
Cn 18 (extra shorty throw)
Int 11
Ws 17
Ch 8

Gnome Cleric/Illusionist

Str 14
Dx 18
Cn 16
Int 19
Ws 17
Ch 7

Elf Sorcerer

Str 18
Dx 19
Cn 16
Int 12
Ws 16
Ch 12

I was thinking this looked good but after several hours of rerolling I am beginning to think perhaps I should have went with a dedicated Cleric. I have an amazing Priest of Tempus that I generated but I wanted access to a tad more spells because I was going with a sorcerer (which develops slower) instead of a mage. Also I figured the Paladin and Ranger would provide some support spells towards the end of the game. But I can't help but wonder if I am going to miss out on too many high level Priest spells. I thought I would ask this question now lest I invest too much time into the game only to have trouble.

Edit: Earlier typo on sorcerer scores. Fixed.

Post edited by Stormvessel on
JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    You'll be perfectly fine with your Cleric/Illusionist. Don't put too much stock into what people say - ultimately your own personal enjoyment is what matters, and not the marginal percentage points you gain by thoroughly optimizing your setup (unless of course that IS your enjoyment).

    Even at the highest levels of difficulty, you can finish the game with pretty much any setup. You don't "need" anything, but certain combinations do tend to be easier than others. That being said, I do not personally believe you need a "dedicated cleric", much less a "dedicated healer". This isn't a modern day tank/heal/DPS game, things work differently. Healing is by no means a requirement, more of a quality of life thing. Even in highly optimized parties you rarely if ever use healing spells (perhaps Heal, and that's about it). Clerics are certainly very powerful, but not because of their healing but because of their many strong buffs - and you should have that covered for sure.

    So don't fret, and try to enjoy the game! You're not missing out on much if anything by not having a pure, single-class cleric.

    ShikaoStormvesselJuliusBorisovJLee
  • ShikaoShikao Member Posts: 376
    edited November 2014
    Before I make any comments/suggestions, remember that it will be your playthrough and you are to have fun with it, so don't blindly follow everything me or other posters will write. Also, I will assume you will not do HoF as your first run, but rather just Core difficulty.

    Your party looks good, it covers all basics (tank, thief, ranged etc).
    However, if it's your first play in IwD, I would strongly suggest having a bard (vanilla or Skald, but leaning more towards the former), because their songs are really great buffs. Vanilla Bard gives regeneration with his last song, so reduces the need to have straight healer. I would kick Sorcerer to make space for Bard. Then optionally you could use your amazing Priest of Tempus in place of Illusionist/Cleric (IwD is bit low on scrolls, so having more than 2 mages/bards might cause spell shortage).
    Druids have also very nice selection of spells and great shapeshifts in IwD. Although class usefulness in HoF is debatable, in Core they are great addition. However, you have an Archer already, so he/she will give you a taste of Druidic spells.

    StormvesselJuliusBorisov
  • StormvesselStormvessel Member Posts: 654
    Thanks guys.

    Wow. A Bard. I didn't consider that because in Baldur's Gate it was always such a pain getting a good roll. But I guess I can dump Charisma and Wisdom as much as possible. I also would have thought a Blade would be the best choice but I can see how a Skald or vanilla could work. The Bard would be my only arcane caster if I took your advice - would that suffice?

    JuliusBorisov
  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,407
    I would have another arcane caster to back up the bard but your multi cleric/illusionist would fill that roll well.

    Ranger/cleric is another awesome way to have your cleric cake with druid icing (they get all the priest spells) and a side order of warrior.

    In the end you should probably just choose a reasonably balanced group of six characters with classes that you like to play best - there really isn't much of a "must have" for this game except the important one - must have fun!

    StormvesselJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    I'm on board with popular wisdom for a core run:
    1 Druid (avenger! (IMO))
    1 Paladin (cavalier or blackguard)
    1 Bard

    Fill in the rest as you like.

    I would suggest not taking an archer, he's really too effective and will make the rest of the party look like forest gump.

    I'd also skip sorcerer. Scroll rarity is simultaneously no where near as bad as people make out but also a feature of IWD that should be enjoyed. It's exciting to find new scrolls! On core difficulty they're timely as well.

    So you have:
    Cavalier
    Berserker (I'd suggest barbarian instead - weapon resistance is a big thing)
    Swashbuckler (I'd suggest human to give the option of a Mage dual as you might find levels after 10 to be a bit redundant)
    Bard (vanilla for sure)
    Illusionist/Cleric
    Avenger

    ShikaoJuliusBorisovStormvessel
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968
    Wanderon said:


    Ranger/cleric is another awesome way to have your cleric cake with druid icing (they get all the priest spells) and a side order of warrior.

    Not so much in this game. They only get the Druid spells as they would normally be entitled to as a pure class Ranger. It doesn't work the same as it did in the BG games.

    jackjackStormvessel
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,020
    Belanos said:

    Wanderon said:


    Ranger/cleric is another awesome way to have your cleric cake with druid icing (they get all the priest spells) and a side order of warrior.

    Not so much in this game. They only get the Druid spells as they would normally be entitled to as a pure class Ranger. It doesn't work the same as it did in the BG games.


    If you go into the baldur.ini file in documents/icewind dale enhanced edition you'll find a line that looks like this

    'Game Options', 'Cleric Ranger Spells', '1',


    If you change that 1 to a 0 you will get access to all divine spells (as your cleric level allows) so you can have BG style druid/cleric casting.

    jackjackStormvessel
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648

    The Bard would be my only arcane caster if I took your advice - would that suffice?

    I just completed a game with a vanilla bard as my sole arcane caster and I experienced no difficulties. Although, I did have an avenger also and she provided several useful arcane spells...

    In fact for large sections of the game, the avenger/bard combo did the lion's share of the work.

    You will really love your archer as well! Just make sure you have a $#@! ton of arrows at all times.

    jackjackStormvessel
  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 405
    Playing a single class cleric is pretty useless, cleric best spell are from lvl 1 to 6. on the other side avenger and shapeshifter are fun kit to play, but they become irrelevant at high level in my opinion.

    Stormvessel
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Your party looks completely usable to me. You will be a bit weak in the healing department, but mostly all that means is you may rest 8 or 16 hours longer than other parties would. You also may use more potions in combat, but many gamers feel its better than casting healing magic anyway (I disagree, but that's another story...).
    The only other thing is you'll be a bit behind in some buffing spells.

    But the good news is, Cleric a fairly easy xp table, so you should still advance at a reasonable rate.

    ShikaoJuliusBorisovStormvessel
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Bards buff better than clerics anyway.

  • RedrakeRedrake Member Posts: 423
    18 Con on a rogue? They get absolutely no benefit from having above 16 Con. Even for a powergaming party such as this.

    Cavalier is a bad idea. You won't get to use bonuses against demon/devils/dragons (there are like 2-3 demons and one dragon in the whole game and they come too late to make a difference). Better use a vanilla paladin. At least you'll get Smite Evil.

    And you should use a bard. Best character to have in IWD. You should perhaps drop the sorcerer, take a bard, use a dwarven fighter/cleric (one of the best possible tanks) and gnomish thief/illusionist.

    Stormvessel
  • jimmysdabestcopjimmysdabestcop Member Posts: 74
    Personally I probably change it up a little. Gnome Cleric/Illusionist and Gnome Swashbuckler would be on my hit list.

    Human Fighter lv 7 or 9 --> Cleric
    -Probably one of the most powerful classes. Can both tank and deal heavy damage. Plus Party Buff. You could also roll it into a Kensai --> Cleric for more melee. Cleric has the best self buffs and party buffs. Holy Power gives him Fighter Thaco. DuHM gives him boosted Str, Dex and Con. And since its a dual class you start off with Fighter HP and Str. He probably has at least another handful of buffs.

    Human Swashbuckler lv 10 --> Mage

    Its hard to keep single class Swaashbuckler the entire game. Perhaps after level 10 dual over to Mage. This would be more of a fighter. Spirit Armor, Armor, Mirror Image, Blur, Stoneskin, Tensers and Black Blade. And get him a Long Sword +4 with +1 Attack. He would be pretty beastly.

    Elf Archer at least gets IronSkin. Then you don't have to worry about him if he gets melee rushed. Love the Elf Sorcerer in your party too. Easy to manage magic and don't have to scroll hunt. Just get the defense and offensive buff for your S/M.

    Shorty Saving throws are not as important in IWD there are almost no spells and a Thief level 5 gives you enough stats to unlock and disarm all traps. There is nothing to actually save against. I would 90% of game there are no spells.

    The Berserker is probably Good for Core rules. In HOF his Rage ends to early and you get stuck fatigued for a while so not really worth it. Better off with Dwarven Defender who can get max Melee Resistance basically with right equip. But def personal preference

    The Paladin is personal choice. I don't like them at all in IWD I rather have another Dual Fighter-->Cleric or Fighter--> Druid. And you can start as a Berserker or Kensai then dual over too. Druid can tank with Ghost Armor, IronSkins, And Entropy Shield. Not as good in melee as Cleric but has more offensive spells good in Core and much much better Summons good in HOF as well as Core.

    Or if you do bring the F/C and the S/M you can sub the Paladin out for a Bard/Skald. Won't really be in the middle of combat. He will play his music and you can get him party buff scrolls to free your Sorcerer up for Summons and Offensive Spells. You have your Range Archer. Berserker, F/C and K/M can all go melee and tank. So losing out on the Bard in battle won't hurt you. He will be your support class. Songs and buffs.


    Stormvessel
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 18,705
    @Stormvessel‌

    I would second the advice of a bard in the party. IWDEE is maybe not only the best but also the only place for you to try a vanilla bard or a skald. Due to many reasons, bards (except maybe blades) are often overlooked in BG.

    But in IWDEE a bard is not only good from a RP point of view but also because of the usefullness of her songs. The bard here adds immensely to the damage output and the overall effectiveness of every other party member in your party.

    I would indeed change a sorcerer with a bard. You'll have a cleric/illusionist for other arcane spells your bard won't use.

    Cavalier, Archer, Berserker and Swashie - all of them will be more effective with a bard.

    If you ask me which bard in particular I would say it's your own choice: a skald is very helpful but it's also interesting to taste vanilla songs.

    ShikaoJLeejackjackStormvessel
  • jimmysdabestcopjimmysdabestcop Member Posts: 74
    I don't think Bards buff better then Clerics. But they buff easier. Set script to sing and forget. Clerics have bless, prayer, recitation, chant, protect from evil, defensive harmony, HP regen just to name a few party buffs. They all last long and they all stack. And Cleric self buffs can turn them into a top melee fighter and tank while their party buffs are still intact.

    Where as the Bard takes himself out of the fight. If I had to pick one it be a F/C over a Bard hands down. A Bard is a pure support class. You want the Bard/Skald and the F/C in your party same time with an Arcane buffer to TRIPLE your buffs. You are probably talking at least +15 to AC, To Hit and Damage using a Cleric, Bard and Arcane buffs. Hope and courage last 1 hour each.

    And again You Have So Many options. You could have 6 halflings for RP purposes if you wanted.


    Stormvessel
  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 228
    edited November 2014
    I have paladins with lay on hands as a healer + pots + bers\druid has enough level to cast heal.
    A party can live without cleric or bard.

    ShikaoStormvessel
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,248
    @Stormvessel‌
    Don't worry about it. Unlike in PnP, Wisdom has zero effect on saving throws.

    elminsteratcDaveStormvesselJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    Guys, I am going to do something very unconventional just for the fun of it. Someone said that anything can work, so I have an idea that really appeals to me. I am sure it probably won't be ideal, but I think it's cool. Plus, I want all the melee possible to get the best out of the Skald.

    I am definitely going with a Skald. I know that most that suggested Bards suggested vanilla, and I know that Skalds only get that one song that takes forever to improve, but after seeing what that song does, I am going with it. I can imagine my Swashbuckler licking his chops - what a match made in heaven! That's essentially an extra fighter for me, and an awesome one at that.

    After doing some thinking, here is my revised, and odd, party:

    1. Dwarven Defender

    An excellent tank.

    2. Half-Orc Priest of Lathander

    BoL stacks with song.. Oh boy - went with Half-Orc for that sick dmg and Thac0 bonus that comes with 19str

    3. Elf Archer

    I know someone suggested that it could be OP, but it's my first playthrough so I'll take it.

    4. Gnome Swashbuckler

    I'm committing full time for that sweet bonus that will stack with song - essentially another fighter with excellent utility.

    5. Blade

    spin, spin, spin, more arcane support, w/ Skald Song, oh yes

    6. Skald

    The glue that holds the party together.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


    I really appreciate the time you guys have spent helping me out. I feel guilty for the attention I have received for my game. Whoopty doo, it's one party among many.

    Nonetheless, I really, really appreciate the advice. I spent over a thousand hours in the BG saga (according to Steam), and I really want my first playthrough to be memorable, because I know how important that is. My first playthrough in BG was the one that will always be special. Thanks so much for the advice you've all contributed.

    Edit: Wow! Rolled a 94 for my Skald! Didn't expect that!

    18str
    18dx
    16cn
    18int
    9ws
    15cha

    Hate the low wisdom for spell saves, but with other's tanking, hopefully she'll be okay.

    Sounds like fun.

    Some minor points:
    - clerics can buff their strength easily so you'll cap at 25 strength pretty quickly.
    - your 4 melee characters all have quite low attacks per round so the skald song won't exactly be maximised. Speed weapons will help but there isn't enough to go around. I'd suggest at least swapping the blade for a fighter/Mage multi or dual.
    - did I mention that I love Druids? They're so much fun to play in IWDee whichever difficulty you're on.

    StormvesselJuliusBorisov
  • WanderonWanderon Member Posts: 1,407
    Nice party I was looking at a HO priest kit as well today and also at a HO cleric/thief.

    StormvesselJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Wanderon said:

    Nice party I was looking at a HO priest kit as well today and also at a HO cleric/thief.

    But but, cleric has 25 strength at level 12 anyway? Sure, as a horc you get it at level 9 instead but it's much of a muchness.

    Swashbuckler or fighter/thief on the other hand ... That's where 19 strength is a godsend.

  • jimmysdabestcopjimmysdabestcop Member Posts: 74
    Ok Party Weapon time

    DD dual wield axes or hammers. I found axes a little easier.
    Archer longbow
    Pure cleric really has his pick. But i dual wield as well. Flail and a Mace. 2 maces or 2 flails... whatever Backup sling

    That leaves Swashbuckler, Blade and Skald.

    I probably go long swords for the Blade so you can get eventually get him the dual +1 attack "longswords +4" in HOW. Because Bards cant get level 9 spells so no Black Blade of Disaster.

    The Skald I dont think it matters. He will be using spells, buffs, summons and singing. A crossbow for when he has no magic left I guess.

    Swashbuckler I would say short swords and shortbow. A lot of good ones laying around.

    Dual Wield
    1. DD
    2. Cleric
    3. Swashbuckler
    4. Blade

    With the Boon of Lathander you should get up to 3 normal attacks. You don't get many uses though. Clerics only get 1 pip so in beginning of the game you can use a shield. Once you get your levels Holy Power gives you fighter Thaco and Draw Upon Holy Might gives you buff to Str, Dex and Con. Plus your other party buffs you shouldn't have to worry about THaco # and just take the dual wield penalty for extra attack. Plus Cleric Righteous Magic. Boosts Str again and HP. So no problem getting STR to 25.

    Special Cleric Note
    Righteous Wrath of the Faithful
    --Non same alignment as cleric party members just get +1 to hit and saving throws and +8 HP. Anyone of the same alignment then will get these extra bonuses: 1 extra attack, +2 bonus to hit, damage, and Saving Throws, and immunity to charm and hold spells.

    Buff Bard Spells.....

    Blade
    Armor, Spirit Armor, Stoneskin, Blur and Mirror image for self buffs. Emotion spells for group buffs. Mass improved Invisibility, Haste and improved Haste. The Blade will be pretty tanky. Best weapon spell for bard is probably the Phantom Blade. Its +3 with and additional +10 damage to undead. Once you are level 16 you can get Tenser’s Transformation (super fighter buff) and Trollish Fortitude to regen HP.

    Skald
    Cat's Grace to boost Dex when you need him to used ranged weapons. Strength Spell to boost the Blade. Luck Spell to boost your main melee character. Emotions Spells. Stoneskin and Mirror Image just in case he gets melee rushed. Enchanted Weapon gives you a +3 weapon for 1 day. Anyone can wield. Good in case you haven't found any good weapons. Wouldn't hurt for 2 characters to have Spirit Armor.


    Thats about all i can think of.

    Stormvessel
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