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First time playing Icewind Dale: EE

GanthorGanthor Member Posts: 1
edited December 2015 in New Players (NO SPOILERS!)
Hi. I bought IWD: EE during the Steam sale this Christmas. A friend of mine played Baldur's Gate a lot when he was younger and told me this would be a game I would like. I started character creation and wanted to build my own custom party.

I've never played Dungeons and Dragons, but I have played Knights of the Old Republic, so I know the gist of what the stats do overall, but not fully when put in the context of this game. Most of what I know about Dungeons and Dragons comes from playing KotOR for several years, which I've been told is a very simplified version of DnD rules.

Lets say I have a Paladin and I put his Strength at 18. Sometimes when I do that, it'll change to something like 18/97, but not always. Sometimes it will go to 18/72, or will just be normal 18. I havent seen this happen with any other stat yet. What does this mean? Is it a good or bad thing? Do other stats do this?

In KotOR, Charisma was a largely useless stat that didnt contribute much of anything other than a couple extra conversation options that mostly gave slightly improved rewards for quests without actually impacting the story or gameplay very much. Should I even bother putting points into this?

I keep seeing things referencing Saving Throws, which were also in KotOR, but I dont see them anywhere on the character creation page and the in-game UI is really confusing so I'm not sure where to look to even find my individual character sheets. What stats should I aim for when trying to get good save rolls for characters, where can I find them in the in-game UI, and what sorts of negative effects will I be saving against?

I prefer having a well-rounded party that is able to handle most situations rather than a highly specialized party that is extremely powerful against some things but struggles against everything else. My current party setup is Paladin, Cleric, Mage, Ranger, Dwarven Defender, and a sixth class that I havent decided on. Is this a party setup that would work for what I'm going for? What should my sixth class be?

I've read several explanations for Thac0 but I'm still not sure I fully understand it. Lets say I have a Halfling who has the racial +1 Thac0 bonus with Slings. I read that a lower Thac0 is a good thing. Does that mean that items/stats that give +Thac0 are actually reducing your effectiveness? In other words, does that mean Halflings are actually worse with Slings?

Another Thac0 question, just so I'm sure I understand it right. Lets say I have a Thac0 of 16 with Bows or whatever. I shoot an opponent who has 4 Defense, does that mean I need to roll a 12 or higher in order to hit, or is his Defense added to my Thac0 and THAT is the number I need to roll to hit?

Without giving spoilers to the story overall, will there ever be a time when someone offers to join my party either temporarily or permanently? If so, would it be better to start with a party that has fewer than 6 characters? Does this change the difficulty overall or does the difficulty scale with number of party members like in Diablo?

Again without story spoilers, how long is the game overall? Can I expect to take several weeks for a first playthrough? Is there a New Game+ mode?

I might have other questions later. Thanks for any help you can give.

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • CaeriaCaeria Member Posts: 201
    The 18/?? value is called exceptional strength and you can only get an exceptional strength value, you cannot have exceptional scores in any other stat. Exceptional strength is better than just plain old 18 strength. I believe it splits into sets from 18/01-50, 18/51-75, 18/76-90, 18/91-99, and 18/00. The higher the exceptional strength number the better in general...however, 18/00 is the best, since it is technically 18/100.

    Charisma will get you better reaction rolls and better prices in stores. I like to have a high charisma personally, but lots of people use it as a dump stat because it's nothing earth-shaking for the majority of characters other than role-playing purposes.

    You can only get bonuses to saving throws during character creation if you play one of the short races (ie, halfling, dwarf, gnome) and you have to have high constitution to get these bonuses. Otherwise, you're stuck with regular saving throws. They'll improve as you level up naturally, however.

    I suggest having a bard or a druid in Icewind Dale. They're a lot of fun and really add a lot to the table. They can also be very powerful, almost ridiculously so.

    THAC0, as you probably know if you've read about it, means to hit armor class 0. Yes, lower THAC0 is a good thing. However, if an item says it increases THAC0 by +5, this is a good thing. An item that subtracts from THAC0 is *not* a good thing. It can be confusing, I know, but that's how it works.

    So, if your THAC0 is 3 and your opponent has an armor class of exactly 0, you need to roll at least a 3 to hit them. Basically, take the AC of the opponent and subtract it from your THAC0. If your attack roll is higher than or equal to this number, you've got yourself a hit.

    No one will offer to join your party, so don't worry.

    I'd say the game is approximately 50 hours for a complete run, so it really depends on how much you play per day.

    mashedtatersJuliusBorisov
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,835
    what @Caeria says is true, and just to elaborate a little bit more;

    saving throws work like this: save your save vs death/paralyze/posion is 5, that means when you make a save vs that effect, you need to roll a 5 or higher on a d20 die to pass, the game will show you your passing result in the text window, but when you fail, you will know, certain classes gain saving throw bonuses and different rates than other classes, and as @Caeria said, certain races will also get better bonuses as well, so for saves, the ones you really want to look for are the; paralyze/poison/death and spell saves, those are the most common ones, and with item management if you can get all your melee guys to have 0s or lower in those saves, you should be good

    next, how bonuses work, you were talking about how you need a low thac0 and something says if it gives a +3 bonus is that good or bad? this is how it goes down; you want your thac0/ AC/ saving throws to be as low as possible, if and item/spell/ ability says it gives a bonus ( regardless if it says +/-) then it is good, if the item/spell/ability says it gives a penalty ( regardless if it says +/-) then its bad, so when it comes to stat reading bonuses are good, penalties are bad

    team composition, the team you have will work fine, if this is your first run ever of IWD, the 6th team mate you will definitely want some sort of thief in your party, in theory can you get by without one? yes, but it will definitely make your life a lot easier, there are lots of traps in IWD and the only way to get rid of them are with thieves ( sometimes traps spring once and they're exhausted and sometimes traps will stick around forever affecting you many times) so go with thief, maybe even a fighter/thief just so you can use weapons a bit more efficiently and still get all the thief perks

    CaeriamashedtatersJuliusBorisov
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