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Thoughts on party balance

AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
I'd like to get some thoughts on party balance. I'm playing BG1 for the first time (I played BG2 years ago) and I'm never sure about how to choose my party members. I want a balanced party that is fun to play and has characters that I like. I just felt a bit like a traitor when I met Coran and replaced Imoen with him.

Of course, the part of liking the characters is just personal choice, but I want to hear about balance and fun. Currently I have two tanks (Kivan and Minsc), two mages (Dynaheir and Neera) and two hybrid characters (Coran and my cleric). I feel that I'm overusing magic. My two mages spend most of their time and spells trying to avoid getting killed. It feels like I would be doing fine without the mages, but I think that using magic is one of the most interesting parts of the game and I would be missing a lot if I dropped it.

What would you change in my party to make it more balanced or fun to play? Please feel free to be as subjective and biased in your answers as you will.

typo_tillyKilivitz
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Comments

  • CaeriaCaeria Member Posts: 201
    I really, really think it's a matter of taste. I play more with characters I like rather than focusing on what's "better" for me and my party. Then again, I do the elven run in BG1 a lot, which has utility built-in, but even if it didn't, I'd probably still play it like that anyway because those are all my favorite characters. I mean, I sometimes play through half the game without a mage because I'm waiting to get Xan and I don't feel like using a different mage (I like to explore as much as possible before heading to Nashkel). I love Xan, thus there have been many runs I've used him as my only mage, despite his lack of evocation spells. I do sometimes run with Khalid as a fighter-mage, but only when I feel like it.

    There are some NPCs I've played with once and never touched again. Not even necessarily because I didn't like them but because I don't like them as much as others. Of course I want to play with my favorites. If that means settling into a routine run, I can live with that. Though every once in a while I do like to have some variety, just because. I actually don't get bored running the same party over and over, I like it that way. Even after years of playing I can still notice new interactions with the same party.

    Of course there are certain party combinations that are more balanced than others. This is natural. It doesn't make any one party "better" than another in my opinion. Undoubtedly in somebody else's mind it will, but people are different and have different ways of looking at things.

    Utility is important, but the game isn't impossible without it, which is why I like to encourage people to play with their parties based on who they like and not what they are. Some people are only interested in what an NPC can do for them, which is fair, but I personally don't play that way. I think it's important to play with NPCs you like, so that it feels like coming home each time you open the game.

    That's just me babbling, though.

    TLDR: Play with who you like.

    AlonsoAerakarJuliusBorisov
  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    edited December 2015
    Hello Alonso,

    My personal preference is to use only 1 mage or sorcerer because they require a lot of management and make battles complicated in an unnecessary way. On the other hand, they can prove to be extremely useful. So I'd say have one, but no more than one, if you want to keep the fun. I use my mage for harder fights or for putting invisibility on my thief. Easy fights can be handled without a mage.

    As for a balanced party, I say it depends on the number of people in your party. If it's 6 of them, then I'd recommend:
    - at least 2 tanks (with a shield) being either fighter, barbarian or paladin,
    - I recommend a 3rd frontliner, that may afford to be more focused on damage dealing than tanking (with a two-handed weapon, one weapon in each hand or even a ranged weapon with the possibility to switch to a melee weapon on demand)
    - 1 priest (a priest can of course tank but their primary goal is divine spellcasting)
    - somebody with thief skills, that can multiclass/dual with another class if you like
    - 1 single-class arcane spellcaster (=magician or sorcerer)

    Sometimes, somebody will fill 2 roles at once. A fighter/cleric is often a good tank for example. Often enough, your thief will also be a fighter or a mage, so complete the team with what you like, you can try something original. Options to consider: a monk, a druid, a bard...

    Uh, it's a bit late, I could elaborate but that's a basic answer ;)

    Alonso
  • ArchaosArchaos Member Posts: 1,421
    The typical balanced party is:

    Two frontliners in heavy armor
    Two ranged characters
    Two Mages
    One healer
    One thief

    For example, for my Paladin PC I went with the canon party:
    Minsc (heavy armor, can range)
    Khalid (Heavy armor, tank and can range)
    Jaheira (Healer, can tank and can range)
    Imoen (Thief and dualed to Mage, can also range a bit)
    Dynaheir (Mage).

    The above party is good because ranged combat is great in BG1 and people in heavy armor survive more.

    Your current party is also good. Two tanks, ranged capabilities, two mages, a thief, a healer.

    Two mages are fine. You want the powerful blasting spells later on. Plus summons or protections.

  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    My current evil team:
    My blackguard (tank)
    Kagain (tank)
    Dorn (quest giver, 3rd frontliner)
    Shar-Teel (dualed to thief since lvl 3 fighter)
    Viconia (priest)
    Edwin (mage)

    It's only a temporary team because I plan to use characters that you meet on later chapters.

  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    I like having 1 mage in BG1 and 2 mages in BG2. I find an extra bow is stronger than a second mage. Bows are great in BG1! I like 4 characters to use bows, even if 2 of those are shield-using frontliners who don't use them all the time. Sometimes everyone using ranged weapons is great. (This will be easier once the expansion pack is released and the original game patched to allow easier weapon switching... we all hope! :))

    KilivitzAlonso
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,835
    I like to do things more on the lines of what @Yann1989 said, what I do is:

    3 front liners ( sometimes 1 two handed user, then 2 shield users )
    1 cleric of some sort
    1 thief of some sort
    1 mage/sorcerer

    for example in bg1 for a good aligned party I would probably do something like this:

    charname ( melee character of some sort)
    Khalid ( using longsword and board)
    kivan ( using scimitar and board)
    yeslick ( bing a sling user)
    coran ( being an archer)
    xan - and maybe once in a solar eclipse I will choose neera - ( and have them sling it up)

    and then for evil I will probably go with this:

    charname ( being melee again in some fashion)
    kagain ( axe and board)
    safana ( longsword and board)
    viconia ( sling wielding)
    montaron ( archery with a longbow)
    Edwin ( I prefer his level 5 spells over baeloth's level 4 spells)

    and then in SoA if im a good aligned party I might be opt for this:

    charname ( being melee)
    mazzy ( axe and board)
    keldorn ( sword and board)
    anomen ( destroying with a sling)
    imoen ( being a theif and having great spell casting)
    nalia ( being the main mage with the better mage gear)

    so sometimes I do mix it up a bit, but regardless on how whacky my class selection is, I always go based on weapon selection, and always have to have 3 characters using a melee weapon of some sort ( preferably the one handed weapons that give an AC bonus) and then the "main cleric" will use a sling, the "thief" will use a short bow, and the "main mage" will use firetooth

    but I think the team that you have going on right now will work just fine, in reality as long as you have someone going in melee, and have a cleric somewhere, a thief somewhere and some sort of mage, then good enough and whatever you do for the last 2 is up to you

    Alonsotypo_tillyJuliusBorisov
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806

    Opinions differ about what constitutes "balance", some people are more prescriptive than others.
    [...]
    the advantage of having a balanced party is that it makes it substantially easier to win.

    I'm fully aware of that. Actually, I'm not even sure of what *I* mean by balance :smiley: It's obvious that it's not so important for this game to be very challenging. Therefore, it's not so important to have the ultimately super balanced and powerful party. I'd say balance is more about enjoying as much as possible the fun offered by the game. I would even say that my party would be more powerful and less vulnerable if I dropped the mages, but playing Baldur's Gate without mages would feel like a world without Coca-Cola.

    Nevertheless, there are a couple of changes which I'd consider in your position. It might be worth swapping Kivan for Yeslick (a Fighter/Cleric whom you may or may not yet have met, he's later than Coran) [...] it might be worth swapping Neera for Quayle (a Cleric/Illusionist)

    Why so much emphasis on clerics? I mean, yeah, they're very well rounded characters, but once again, most of the time I feel that the value of my cleric is that it's interesting and fun to play, not that he does anything essential for the game. Having more than one cleric sounds overkill, even if you're only thinking about the "interesting" part.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    edited December 2015
    Caeria said:

    Play with who you like.

    Yep, I think that's the ultimate bottom line. Still, from a male perspective, we just can't help looking for bigger, stronger, higher, tougher, balanceder. It takes a woman to remind us that games are about having fun! :smiley:

    Actually, that's what drove me to start this thread in the first place. Until I met Coran, I'd say my choice of party members had followed this rule:
    YES
    - Minsc: The super duper better character ever! Boo alone would be worth keeping him.
    - Dynaheir: As far as I'm concerned, she could go back to Rashemen. But how could I do that to Minsc?
    - Neera: Passionate, stubborn, opinionated, and always screwing up in the loveliest possible way... That's the woman of my life! :smiley:
    - Kivan: Is he cool or what?
    - Imoen: Not the best character ever, sure, but hey, isn't she lovely?

    NO
    - Khalid: Grow a pair, for ****'s sake!
    - Jaheira: Yes, yes, yes, whatever. Tell someone who cares.
    - Branwen: Nothing special against her. Just... Meh.
    - Faldorn: Ugh!
    - Garrick: Nothing against him either, don't get me wrong. Just want my BG's men to be... well, men.
    - Xan: We're trying to have a good time here, dude.

    And then came my terrible moral dilemma: Lovely but barely useful Imoen versus cool let's-go-for-it Coran. You know the rest of the story. I haven't had a good night of sleep ever since.

    Post edited by Alonso on
    Caeriatypo_tilly
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    Ha, it sounds like you're letting character personality override the need for a balanced party. ;) No worries: we all do it. :)

    If I want a strong, balanced party I always take Khalid and Jaheira, even if one or the other -- or both -- has a personality I don't like in that run. Give each tower shields then nothing hits them. Add a strong bow with Kivan (who can fight frontline with 18:12 strength) and you're golden. The remaining characters depend on whatever need your main character doesn't fill. Jaheira being a healer really helps.

    I like 2 healers, because my role-played characters can get into trouble.

    BelgarathMTH
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    edited January 2016
    Alonso said:

    Why so much emphasis on clerics? I mean, yeah, they're very well rounded characters, but once again, most of the time I feel that the value of my cleric is that it's interesting and fun to play, not that he does anything essential for the game. Having more than one cleric sounds overkill, even if you're only thinking about the "interesting" part.

    I like 2 healers, because my role-played characters can get into trouble.

    @typo_tilly has partially answered for me, @Alonso.

    In addition, however, when you've got a major battle coming and need to buff hard, that takes some time at one-spell-per-round, but some of the buffs are actually quite short-duration. Therefore, if all your buffing is waiting on one character to cast the spells, then even with forethought about the casting order, some buffs can still be half-expired before you've finished buffing.

    It's also relevant in the battles where you're casting a lot mid-combat (which admittedly is only a few occasions in BG1, although it's common in BG2), when one-spell-per-round of arcane and of divine can be quite limiting when you're in a hurry to "do unto them before they do unto you".

    Thus I often find that it's more useful, at the times when it really counts, to have two characters who can cast divine and two characters who can cast arcane. Even if they're all half-Clerics and/or half-Mages, the fact that they can cast simultaneously can be quite valuable.

    Hence why I think it'd make your team a fraction stronger if you swap in a half-Cleric. (But sure, it's only a marginal improvement, since you've already got a pretty decent team.)

    [Edit: spelling.]

    Post edited by Gallowglass on
    typo_tillyAlonsoBelgarathMTH
  • NhullNhull Member Posts: 37
    My 'standard' character is a Melee guy, especially if running with the Evil characters I enjoy more. I started another run last night and its going to go Dwarven Defender, Dorn, Safana, Viconia, Edwin.

    Ideally (IWD for example) I like to run a full arcane, a full divine, and then half (bard/paladin) of each as well, but in BG, I find the minor mannerisms mean more to me than a 'perfect' party.

    Gallowglass
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,827
    I like to make parties where each character is at approximately the same power level. It's not very fun (to me) to use a character who isn't very helpful in the majority of battles in comparison to the other characters in the party. I want all of my party members to do something important in each battle. If one character in the party is powerful enough to win most battles by him/herself, I won't have much of a reason to have the other party members join the fight. I try to prevent situations like that from happening.

    Alonso
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356

    I like to make parties where each character is at approximately the same power level. It's not very fun (to me) to use a character who isn't very helpful in the majority of battles in comparison to the other characters in the party. I want all of my party members to do something important in each battle. If one character in the party is powerful enough to win most battles by him/herself, I won't have much of a reason to have the other party members join the fight. I try to prevent situations like that from happening.

    I see your point, from the perspective of feeling that everyone is worth having in the team.

    However, how do you reconcile this equal-power preference with the considerable differences between the power-curves of different classes? Like Mages and Monks are feeble at start-BG1 but great at end-BG2, while warrior types have much flatter development.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    I'm feeling a bit guilty right now, but I'm just thinking that next time Dynaheir gets herself killed, she's dead for good and I'm leaving the vacancy open until I find someone more interesting. I promise I won't put her in any unnecessary danger, but when she's gone, she's gone. Sorry, Minsc!

    Gallowglass
  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    My typical balanced party is something along the lines of:

    3 front-liners
    0.5-1 Thief
    0.5-1 Divine Caster
    1.5-2.5 Arcane casters
    Fill out any remaining spaces with ranged attackers

    Obviously, there's a lot of potential for overlap; I like filling my Thief and Divine slots with multi/dual-classed characters. A half-caster slot can also be filled with a Bard or a casting Paladin. More than two arcane caster can get difficult to find scrolls for (especially for the high level spells). And I find that having more than three melee characters can get crowded in tight spaces, hence the use of ranged specialists to fill things out.

    All that being said, sometimes unbalanced parties can be fun for finding tactics you've never had to use before. With my melee-heavy parties, I often don't feel the need to summon, but when I ran a party with about 5 casters (including Jaheira and Cernd) I discovered the joy of fire elementals.

    atcDave
  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    I especially agree about the oddly balanced parties, just to see what works. I most often have 2-3 Melee Warriors, one thief, one cleric, one Mage. But combining things differently or choosing different classes makes the variation interesting. Like an obvious thing, a fighter/thief as an archer/trap specialist. Or overloading on one class; like four warriors with a thief/cleric and a bard. Well that little arcane power doesn't work too well in BG2, but does just fine in BG1 or IWD. And the fun thing with AD&D is there's enough variety there's always something a little different to try.

    GallowglassAlonso
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Kaigen said:


    3 front-liners
    0.5-1 Thief
    0.5-1 Divine Caster
    1.5-2.5 Arcane casters
    Fill out any remaining spaces with ranged attackers

    I'm afraid you didn't leave any remaining spaces ;)

    Of course balanced means different things for different people, but I can't see the balance in having 2.5 Arcane casters (in this game).

  • xPersonOfChaosxxPersonOfChaosx Member Posts: 21
    Sometimes it can be a lot more entertaining to play a really unbalanced party just to see how it turns out! :)

    If you were wanting a strategically more balanced party, though, I'd scrap one of your Mages. With a limited number of NPCs, one Mage is enough for any party. Though, If you're into using magic, I'd swap one for a magic/tank crossover; a fighter/cleric or a fighter/druid. Plus, though I am more than a little biased on this point, I still say that an archer character would be useful because, honestly, a party's incomplete without one! I still have Imoen in my party (she seriously guilt tripped me every time I tried to swap her), so I use her and my Ranger at the back line.

    My perfect party is usually-
    -Two fighters at the front
    -A cleric and a mage in the middle
    -A thief and another fighter-y character at the back with bows

    atcDave
  • xPersonOfChaosxxPersonOfChaosx Member Posts: 21

    Ha, it sounds like you're letting character personality override the need for a balanced party. ;) No worries: we all do it. :)

    If I want a strong, balanced party I always take Khalid and Jaheira, even if one or the other -- or both -- has a personality I don't like in that run. Give each tower shields then nothing hits them. Add a strong bow with Kivan (who can fight frontline with 18:12 strength) and you're golden. The remaining characters depend on whatever need your main character doesn't fill. Jaheira being a healer really helps.

    I like 2 healers, because my role-played characters can get into trouble.

    I agree that Jaheira's a really useful NPC, but Khalid is just a burden in my opinion. Usually, I get the two of them early on in the game and then, when I meet Ajantis, I send Khalid ahead on a suicide mission, get him killed, and replace him with the Paladin whilst still keeping Jaheira. :wink:

  • sluckerssluckers Member Posts: 280
    edited January 2016
    I like unbalanced parties in favour of lots of fighters. I like a good 4 fighter/melee line up that I think of as the 'buzzsaw'. If I were to make my dream line-up, I'd fill the other two slots withe cleric/thieves or clerics.

    Going without one or more classes in a party does two things:

    1. You realize that none of the classes are truly 'necessary'.
    2. You get a good feel for the strength, weaknesses and usage of the classes you have. You push the limits of what they can do, and though in some cases you find those limits, in many cases you discover that they are capable of more than you realized.

    A lot of people probably wouldn't dream of doing BG2 or Throne of Bhaal without a mage, but it's really quite fun. Likewise, an all spellcaster line-up in BG1 can be tremendous fun as well.

    Balanced parties, to me, give me the same impression that an all 18 charname gives. Certainly good, but also boring and 'samey'.

    dunbarGallowglasssemiticgoddessAlonso
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356

    Khalid is just a burden in my opinion.

    Lol! Play him a little more.

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Alonso said:

    Kaigen said:


    3 front-liners
    0.5-1 Thief
    0.5-1 Divine Caster
    1.5-2.5 Arcane casters
    Fill out any remaining spaces with ranged attackers

    I'm afraid you didn't leave any remaining spaces ;)

    Of course balanced means different things for different people, but I can't see the balance in having 2.5 Arcane casters (in this game).
    It all depends. If you have a Fighter/Thief, a Paladin, and a Fighter/Mage, that's probably three frontliners and your miscellaneous roles filled out with only three characters. Add in a full mage or two and you still have room for an archer of some sort.

    As for balance meaning different things to different people, that's true. Some people would look at a party with a specialist mage, sorcerer, and bard and say "That's overpowered because arcane casting is so amazing," while another person would look at the same party and say "too many squishies." For my part I consider 2.5 to be the upper limit, but it can definitely be useful to have three characters tossing out spells, as you can debuff, debilitate, and blast all at the same time.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    I've had fun with parties of all kinds of compositions, although get along less well with the small or solo party.

    One set of fun runs that I tried was theme parties after a specific class, for each of the classic classifications, so a party of fighters, a party of thieves, a party of clerics, and a party of mages. Multi/dual class characters help fill in the blank roles where required, and a paladin is a fighter etc.

    Even with such wildly non-balanced parties, I hit only one real snag - the party of clerics has a REALLY hard time if it sails the boat out of Ulgoth's Beard. In order to return, you need to defeat a monster that is immune to most weapons in the game, and those that it is vulnerable to are bladed...

    So balance is over-rated compared to fun. I agree that a D&D game does not feel like D&D without a mage, but they contribute surprisingly little until late game in BG, so I would suggest running just one mage for flavor, for most of the game. Late game, you will have the option to pick up a couple of multi-class mages, or you could dual-class one of several humans who qualify, to pick up a second mage when they have more to contribute.

    I actually found getting the right cleric to be the hardest slot to fill for me. Jaheira feels more like a fighter than a cleric, partly because druids lack many of the classic clerical miracles. Branwen is the only other option close to the start of the game, and easily missed. Somehow, she just never quite feels the right balance for my parties either, although I have a fondness for good aligned over neutral. Yeslick took me way too long to discover, as usually my party has solidified by the time I get there, and is only a part-time cleric (multi-class). He is now my default cleric for most runs though, mostly as he is the most abusably powerable NPC in the game (with belt, gauntlets and shield can hit STR/DEX/CON of 19/18/18, before casting spells!) The last two clerics are part-timers too, and require entry into Balder's Gate, long long after my party is baked. I do have a soft spot for Quayle as well though, and lest we forget, Tiax Rules! Last choice is that sometimes I will run Faldorn for a different flavor, and those games are usually a lot of fun, but mostly because they /are/ different to my 'mainstream' playthroughs. Also, if the PC is playing the cleric, there may be no need to fill this role at all. PC playing a cleric/thief fills two important roles in the party that don't really need duplicates, leaving you free-er to add to the party as you see fit...

    Alonso
  • NhullNhull Member Posts: 37
    Surprising amount of support for Jaheira. I cant stand not having a cleric, its why I prefer to run Evil with Viconia, the Evil party is just so much more optimized it crushes things...

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Thank you all, guys. Very insightful comments, which are still understandable for newbies. They help a lot to get a sense of the possbilities of the game.

  • PscionPscion Member Posts: 19
    new to forum, so sorry I'm adding to this late. personally, i do try to take character personality into account, but i have to slightly prioritize functional balance over it. that being said, i usually play a good aligned team but i feel that while an evil team is only slightly more viable in EE vs original (some more/better optional NPCs), there is still too much punishment to the alignment point system for that play style to be desired (but I'll try to make an evil team here too).

    my general rules are similar to what is posted above, but i usually rather slightly more healing or spell casting/disabling than fighting capacity. typically i also want to use tankier clerics/druids due to them being in or near the combat epicenter makes for quicker healing. as a personal rule to avoid frustrations, i never play my PC as a front liner (melee fighter), so i usually play some kind of caster or archer (casters i feel perform better being micromanaged anyway)

    so my basic setup would be something like:
    2+ front liners, 1+ magic users, 1-2 cleric, 1-2 sniper, 1+ thief.

    a good team would be like:
    PC (mage/sorcerer, or maybe cleric/mage etc)
    Imoen (call me crazy but i actually use her as a pure thief, and she does fairly well)
    Kivan or Minsc (usually Kivan as a sharpshooter)
    Khalid or Ajantis (Khalid is marginally better, and pally abilities rarely make a notable difference)
    Jaheira (secondary tank and buffer/healer)
    Branwen or Viconia (solid clerics, Viconia usually still works OK in good teams)

    i would say swapping Imoen for Coran is a later upgrade, and likewise Yeslick in place of Branwen.
    Branwen i think is better suited for melee combat than Viconia, but while Viconia is more frail vs weapons, she gets hefty spell resistance so personal pref there. if i do the cleric myself i would take either Dynaheir or Neera (Neera has better physical stats IIRC but Dynaheir has more spell capacity). alternatively i guess you could drop khalid/jaheira for minsc/ajantis, play the cleric PC and keep dynaheir.

    for evil party, it gets a little more tricky since you already have the best possible mage option (Edwin), and very good cleric (Viconia), and a super front liner (Dorn), and even an awesome tank (Kagain) so right off the bat you have half the party filled hands down. thief and sniper roles are probably hardest to fill here (could do PC as either, but Shar-teel can do them too), Eldoth makes a good spell casting sniper option, but for the most part the evil party lineup is pretty streamlined.

    evil party goes:
    PC (thief and/or sniper, can take advantage of kits)
    Dorn (main front line damage/tank)
    Kagain (major tank)
    Viconia (not any better evil clerics around)
    Edwin (best evil caster IMO, and everyone kills Xzar anyway lol)
    Eldoth or Shar-teel (sniper/thief depending on PC choice)

    BelgarathMTH
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    For BG1 I like:
    2 thieves
    2 divine casters
    1 arcane

    Maximum fun in my experience, fill in the slots as you like.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    @Pscion - actually, Dynaheir and Neera have the exact same spells/day (barring equipment effects) and Neera has no opposed school, so can learn more! Dynaheir does get a slow poison special ability though, and wild magic is, erm, wild - and that may be a concern. The main impact of wild magic on my gameplay is that Neera never memorizes any blue spells - targeting yourself and turning a power-up/defense into self-mutiliation, at exactly the critical time that you need the original spell, rarely ends well!

    Pscion
  • PscionPscion Member Posts: 19

    @Pscion - actually, Dynaheir and Neera have the exact same spells/day (barring equipment effects) and Neera has no opposed school, so can learn more! Dynaheir does get a slow poison special ability though, and wild magic is, erm, wild - and that may be a concern. The main impact of wild magic on my gameplay is that Neera never memorizes any blue spells - targeting yourself and turning a power-up/defense into self-mutiliation, at exactly the critical time that you need the original spell, rarely ends well!

    yeh, neera has more agil (4) and dynaheir has more con (2) so physically they're pretty much the same. however, i do think the wild surges can and probably will bone you more often than not. i don't think blue spells make a difference, if wild surge functions the way i think, even an offensive spell can turn into a party mutilator...

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