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Synergy: The ideal 3-person and 4-person parties

I've been playing Baldur's Gate EE for the past two days. Not in the sense of actually playing, but in the sense of deciding what sort of party I want to play. I have some tentative conclusions, and am curious to hear feedback before committing myself to playing these characters. I'm playing a "multiplayer" game because I want to design my entire party.

I don't want to control six characters, as this would be a hassle; three or four seem like the ideal number.

I think Mage, Cleric, and Thief should all be represented in the party.

I dislike dual-classing. I understand the mechanic, but it makes no sense. In role-playing terms, it makes no sense to lose one class's ability when starting to study another. In game terms, it makes no sense to play as one class, then as another, in order to eventually play as both in the endgame, when you can just play a multiclassed character and have a strong and flexible character for the entire game. I understand that it's the only way to play both a kit and another class, and I like the kits, but I don't think it's worth it.

I like multi-classing. To get a character from level 6 to level 7, you need ~30k experience, which can buy you 6 levels in another class instead. A character with 6 levels in two different classes is better than a character with 7 levels in one class. (These numbers are approximations: mages need only 20k to go from 6 to 7, which would buy only 5 levels of Cleric or Fighter; also, the levels gained in the other class do not contribute to HP, which for multi-classed characters get averaged.)

So I'm thinking that a good 3-person party would be:

Fighter/Mage
Fighter/Cleric
Mage/Thief

2 fighters, 2 mages, 1 thief, 1 cleric, 3 melee characters, 3 casters.

The other option is to play a 4-person party and not worry so much about what makes a good party, but just pick 2 or 3 classes that I subjectively like, and use the other character(s) to shore up on the party's weaknesses. That would look something like:

Dwarven Defender (Fighter kit)
Archer (Ranger kit)
Mage
Cleric/Thief

But whichever I pick, the grass might end up looking greener on the other side (doesn't it always?)

I'd like to hear your thoughts. Any suggestions? Am I overlooking something?

Comments

  • Demonoid_LimewireDemonoid_Limewire Member Posts: 424
    edited August 2014
    I created a six party in BG1 myself. Since you want 4 people, and you love multiclassing, i want to suggest you this. First, do create a dwarf fighter cleric. It gets enough xp to reach 4 level spells, much like a standalone cleric would, plus it has fighter levels thrown in and is a dwarf (resistance to harmful things and added chance/rolls to escape ugly enemy or environment mechanics). Fighter/Cleric, and especially dwarves, since the original days, are said to be one of the most powerful, and most fitting, classes.

    A fighter/thief would be nice, too. A standalone thief is quite the weakling and misses easily some of those backstabs. You get quite some ability raising items, too (like shadow armor, stealth boots, etc), you you do not have to worry about missing some thief points in exchange for warrior levels added in. Halflings first (shortsword [of backstabbing] and sling), elves closely second (longbow and longsword), make the most powerful representatives of this class. In the original game, Coran would be an excellent representative, even more tempting than a self made character; with 20 dexterity, 3 points in longbows, being a fighter thief, an elf etc, he was a real beast.

    About fighter mage, i would advise against. You won't reach 5 level spells. No cloudkill for you... Seriously, trust me, and make a pure mage. You won't regret it, honestly...

    Then you need a fighter druid, or a cleric ranger multi, either as a last 4th party member, or in place of the former fighter cleric. Ranger, essentially works like a fighter anyway, and this combination grants you both cleric and druid spells. But i do not know if this works at the level cap of 1. And again, you loose the 5th level spells, a normal, standalone druid would reach. I would advise making a druid kit on this one, and not a multi.

    Have fun!

  • luskanluskan Member Posts: 269
    I'm going to copy in a post by @SionIV‌ in a older thread that I though was one of the most rounded custom party you could create without the hassle of dual classing.
    SionIV said:

    1.) CHARNAME (Fighter/Mage)

    2.) Inquisitor - His dispel is the best in the game and will strip the whole enemy group of their buffs. This character is easily one of the most powerful in the game. Use spiders bane in BG1 and Carsomyr in BG2

    3.) Cleric/Ranger - You get a good fighter and all divine spells in the game. He gets both the druids and the clerics divine spells, you can get his wisdom up to 21 from tomes. Put 2* in War hammer and Flail, have him use the war hammer +2 in BG1 and FoA in BG2.

    4.) Fighter/Thief - Your main ranged character. Get him to use crossbows/Quarterstaves and have him behind your fighters and focus fire on the enemy casters. Use Light crossbow of speed and Quarter staff +3 in BG1, Firetooth +4 and staff of rynn +4 until you get staff of the ram in BG2.

    Firetooth : 11 000 - 14 000 from the shop at watchers keep.
    Staff of rynn : 16 000 - 18 000 from ribald.

    In this party you got an arcane caster, all 4 of your characters can go into close combat and fight. They can all use full plate and shields if needed. You got all divine spells in the game, all arcane spells in the game and the Inquisitor will debuff the enemy team. You got a wonderful archer that can backstab and he takes care of all your problems when it comes to thieving.

    The old thread is located here: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/22145/challenge-create-party-that-will-own-through-bg1-ee-and-later-in-bg2-ee/p1

    RAM021
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    edited August 2014
    @vladpen‌ I quite like your second option.

    Here is another group that would get the job done.

    Four Person:
    Berserker (dwarf)
    Swashbuckler (dwarf)
    Cleric/Ranger
    Sorcerer

    @luskan‌ That is a nice group for sure. However, I would prefer a dedicated mage vs. the multiclass. The F/M would not even get a single ninth level spell until late in ToB, if ever at all. And what's IA without Time Stop? ;)

    I like Sorcerer best because I'd rather have more casts of fewer spells. To me, it's a win-win. There really aren't that many spells I need a mage to cast and I love the flexibility of a Sorcerer. Time Stop, debuff, improved haste and let the dual-wielders do their thing :)

    It's all about your style, of course. Whatever makes you happy and chunks your enemies!

  • vladpenvladpen Member Posts: 88
    Lots of love for the single-classed arcane caster. Yes, I think I'll abstain from multiclassing the Mage. I prefer the Mage to the Sorcerer because I'm new to the game, and am not comfortable with forever locking myself out of certain spells. Once I've beaten the game with a Mage and have a good sense of which spells are useful, a Sorcerer would be a good choice the second time.

    I think I'd regret not choosing my favorite kits. Unfortunately, the Cleric/Thief would be too frustrating to play because of the bad interface layout (the most often used ability is hard to reach), so I need something else. I could split it into Cleric/Ranger and Fighter/Thief as recommended, and play a 5-character party.

    Dwarven Defender (Fighter kit)
    Archer (Ranger kit)
    Mage
    Cleric/Ranger
    Fighter/Thief

    That's a bit more people than I had intended, but I suppose it's better than passing up interesting classes or dealing with interface frustrations, or not having a Cleric or a Thief.

  • vladpenvladpen Member Posts: 88
    Just noticed that Swashbuckler doesn't get any penalties to Thief skills (just loses backstab, which is no big deal). Sounds like an alternative to the Fighter/Thief. Hmm...

  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    The Cleric/Thief interface is frustrating, but after a while you get used to it (at least I did). It is a really fun class to play! It is a shame that there is no way to make it more convenient.

    I think you are on the right track about the Sorcerer. It is not ideal for a new player, but not impossible. They are certainly more effective though once you get an idea of the spell casting mechanics in the game.

    The swashbuckler is a great character, highly recommended. They just keep getting stronger throughout the whole game. I just finished a trilogy run with one and had a lot of fun.

    Are you planning on taking these characters into BG2 or is just for the first game?

  • vladpenvladpen Member Posts: 88
    JLee said:

    Are you planning on taking these characters into BG2 or is just for the first game?

    BG2 as well. Actually, the reason I'm getting into BG:EE is because I tried playing BG2 and quickly decided it'd be more fun if my character had a real history in BG1. I tried BG1 in the 20th century, but gave up after disliking all of the first 5 NPC companions I met. That's also why I want to design my own party. By contrast, I liked all of the first 5 NPC companions I met in Planescape: Torment. Very different narrators.

  • vladpenvladpen Member Posts: 88
    Keys can be reassigned. `T` is originally mapped to `Miscellaneous > Chat Window`. It seems to do nothing, so I assume it's for actual multiplayer games. I've reassigned it to `Actions > Thieving`. With that issue resolved, I'll be playing the Cleric/Thief after all. Thanks, @Demonoid_Limewire, @luskan, and @JLee!

    JLeeluskanRAM021badbromance
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Well to answer the OP question, I would say the original 3 person and 4 person parties is composed by respectively 3 and 4 arcane caster (A Sorcerer, a F/M/T for everything thief related, a F/M/C for everything Cleric related, and someone else like a F/M in a 4 man party) simply because arcane casters are awesome and overpowered and nothing can beat them :)

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I've done this several times in BG. In fact, I'll say the most powerful party I ever ran consisted of a Cavalier (the Bhaal spawn), a fighter/cleric, a fighter dualed to mage at 3rd level (sorry, I love dual class), and Imoen. That party was amazing.
    I would never do it in BG2, party interaction is too much of the fun of the game.

    I have also had a very successful three person party in IWD; a paladin, a fighter/cleric, and a thief/mage. Obviously the fighter/cleric could have gone single class as a cleric, but with such a small party I thought multi-class would be far more powerful. This was also a very powerful party.

    RAM021
  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 541
    atcDave said:

    I've done this several times in BG. In fact, I'll say the most powerful party I ever ran consisted of a Cavalier (the Bhaal spawn), a fighter/cleric, a fighter dualed to mage at 3rd level (sorry, I love dual class), and Imoen. That party was amazing.
    I would never do it in BG2, party interaction is too much of the fun of the game.

    I have also had a very successful three person party in IWD; a paladin, a fighter/cleric, and a thief/mage. Obviously the fighter/cleric could have gone single class as a cleric, but with such a small party I thought multi-class would be far more powerful. This was also a very powerful party.

    Was your Imoen dual-classed at some level??

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933

    atcDave said:

    I've done this several times in BG. In fact, I'll say the most powerful party I ever ran consisted of a Cavalier (the Bhaal spawn), a fighter/cleric, a fighter dualed to mage at 3rd level (sorry, I love dual class), and Imoen. That party was amazing.
    I would never do it in BG2, party interaction is too much of the fun of the game.

    I have also had a very successful three person party in IWD; a paladin, a fighter/cleric, and a thief/mage. Obviously the fighter/cleric could have gone single class as a cleric, but with such a small party I thought multi-class would be far more powerful. This was also a very powerful party.

    Was your Imoen dual-classed at some level??
    Not in BG. I needed the thief, and my Mage was awesome!

  • manutd_fan_1999manutd_fan_1999 Member Posts: 32
    for a trio, as a possibility:-

    Fighter/Druid
    Ranger/Cleric
    Mage/Thief

    for a quartet, consider a F/M/T

    RAM021
  • k0rnd4w9k0rnd4w9 Member Posts: 1
    What do people think about for the following party?

    Gnome Fighter/Illusionist
    Half-Elf Ranger/Cleric
    Halfling Fighter/Thief
    ? Sorceror

    I'm also trying to decide what weapon proficiencies to take with each character and I'm not sure.

    JuliusBorisovvladpen
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,747
    @k0rnd4w9‌

    Looks legit! All 4 of them are very strong choices. If you go for the ultimate power route, make a Half-orc or a dwarf Fighter/Thief

    I would go for:

    Fighter/Illusionist ** two-weapon fighting style **longswords *shortswords Daystar+Kundane
    Ranger/Cleric ** two-weapon fighting style **flails FoA + Defender of Easthaven
    Fighter/Thief * single-weapon fighting style * two-handed weapons **katana **staff Celestial Fury (later Staff of the Ram)
    Sorceror - who cares - darts and daggers

  • vladpenvladpen Member Posts: 88
    What would you add as the sixth character to this party?

    Dwarven Defender (Fighter kit)
    Archer (Ranger kit)
    Inquisitor (Mage-smashing Paladin kit)
    Mage
    Cleric/Thief

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,747
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