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How do you use a F/M in the party?

gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
How do you use a F/M in the party?
He is mainly a Fighter, always on the front lines, that use his magic to protect and buff himself and sometimes to breach and debuff the enemy, or is mainly a Caster that use at his best his immense arcane power with some added bonuses from his Fighter class and weapons? Or he use the two classes in a more balanced way, sometimes focusing on casting and some other times on fighting?

How do you use a F/M in the party? 50 votes

He is mainly a Fighter.
52%
SpaceInvaderFlashburnLosgornYupImMadBroAstafasPantalionJuliusBorisovKaigenSouthpawNonnahswriterFinneousPJDexterGoturalLord_Tansheronsmady3AlexisisinneedbooinyoureyesifupaulinetadancerEmpyrial 26 votes
He is mainly a Caster.
4%
sarevok57SionIV 2 votes
I use him in a balanced way.
30%
Son_of_ImoenWowoatcDaveSertoriusEadwyn_G8keeperCrevsDaakArtemius_IAnteroswubblebossluckersevildevil97Hiker008biffyclangerCampion_Wildflower 15 votes
I never use F/M
14%
pedrorqNoonJLeelroumenGreenWarlockDragonKingsemiticgod 7 votes
JuliusBorisovGoturalCrevsDaaksarevok57

Comments

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,085
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    The whole reason I run with F/M hybrids is that they deliver quick, on-demand, no-questions-asked damage output - something that spells aren't terribly good at outside of AoE. What spells *are* good at is becoming impervious or resistant to all the bad things thrown your way, plus Improved Haste and protection removal.

    I'd say that I probably use fighter 80% and mage 20%, if I had to put numbers on it. For most fights I just run with Stoneskin and IH and that's largely it, only for challenging, special encounters do I even break out the heavy casting.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,406
    edited February 2016
    I never use F/M
    For some reason Fighter/Mages haven't much appealed to me. They seem to be too good at everything.

    Although, come to think of it, I don't play much of any fighter types. Maybe it's just that thieves and spellcasters do smaller, weirder things, and I like making small weird things into really big things.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    I use F/M mostly as a fighter, and let my sorcerer or Nalia or Imoen be the main arcane caster.
    I had some parties, like the one with FMT, FM (multi), Aerie and Haer'Dalis, where at some points the FM was the best caster, as the charname FMT was dropping and recruiting the other 3 quite often, making some quests with only 1 or 2 helpers to optimize the leveling, but also there the FM was often in mlee, as was often in mlee Aerie after reaching the rank of main caster in the party (she was recruited only after a couple of quests and reached the level of the FM only at the end of chap2 of SoA).

  • sluckerssluckers Member Posts: 280
    edited February 2016
    I use him in a balanced way.
    I have only played a fighter/mage once, and that was a dual. Have not played the multiclass so can't comment on that... She was an arrow slinger, typically used in combination with web, grease, hold person etc. layered under area of effect spells like ice storm/cloudkill and remove magic for the millions of potions SCS enemies gobble (which apparently are dispelled at a 10th or 12th spell level rating against whatever you have).

    The spell slinging was used to immobilize enemies, with ranged attacks from the party providing the damage.

    Ironically, I always used the mage/thief in melee.

  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 404
    edited February 2016
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    I would say he is mainly a fighter, that's the whole point of F/M. To enhanced fighter abilities with mage spells.

    If you use it more as a caster it's like having a Fighter Cleric that spends his time healing instead of tanking.

    Also I think low level F/M are not that good for melee, for instance I played a F/M in IWD, frankly he wasn't that useful until the end of Dragon Eye and would get himself killed so easily.

    at low level keep, it as a caster using long range weapon. When you have stoneskin and haste, it gets more interesting.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,334
    I never use F/M
    Do F/M multis play differently to duals? (For some reason, I have not really played either combo yet, at least not past baby-steps out of Candlekeep).

    I imagine a low-level F->M dual gives you a more durable caster, who plays mostly like a mage.
    At level 7, we start getting multiple attacks, at 9 we have maxed HP benefits and likely full mastery of a single weapon. At 13, we have maximum number of Fighter attacks, and probably do not want to play on until we max out THAC0 before dualing! If I want to re-activate fighting fighter skills in BG1 I dual no later than 7th, and 5th if I want to hit level 5 spells in the first game.

    As a dual, I will spend a (large?) part of the first game as a pure fighter, than another significant chunk as a pure mage, but with the extra fighter durability. Or I would not even get to experience magery if I want to dual at 9th or later in BG2EE.

    As a multi, I spend the whole game with the benefits of both, and can well imagine using the more blended approach suggested above. THAC0 continues to progress to the end of the game, but we don't get beyond basic weapon specialization.

    On the whole, it seems that the dual class is more about producing a durable spell-caster, than a true warrior-mage, and the F/M multi gets to shine in a unique gameplay style (although Blades may be in the same space?)

    Something else to explore if I ever get any game-time back...

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,784
    He is mainly a Caster.
    for me I mostly have fighters dualed into mages, more specifically; kensai 9 then dual over into mage with full proficiency on dagger, then I give him the boomerang/ firetooth dagger with girdle of hill giant str, and watch him tear enemies to shreds, and hitting level 10 for mage does not take that long either, infact a level 9 kensai/ 10 mage needs just as much XP as a level 10 fighter does, and best of all, with the kensai being level 9 you will hit every mage spell that a mage can possibly achieve in ToB,

    a few of the reason why I don't have a level 12/13 kensai then go into mage is because I will lost a little bit of spell casting when it comes to ToB and the amount of XP to get my kensai levels back will take a long time before I can use them again, and if I have to wait almost all of SoA to get my kensai levels back, then whats the point really?

    and then if I play F/M/T im basically just being an arcane archer, I go with bows and arrows, have the convenience of thief skills ( so then I don't have to drag any other thief hybrid around) and wizard spells just for the extra kick in the pants

    but for F/M I rarely if ever choose that class, and if I do, its going to be a ranged caster ( no doubt with throwing daggers) but if im going to do that, I find a kensai dualed into a mage is much more effective at that than a F/M would be for that role

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    @GreenWarlock The thing about dual-classing Fighter to Mage is that by level 7 or 9 you've already gotten most of the benefits for being a Fighter, so you can play a Fighter->Mage as a more durable Mage, but it still has the ability to dish out heavy damage in melee if you want to. In contrast, a Fighter/Mage multi's main benefit is getting Fighter HLAs, which is why they tend to be played as Fighters with some high-powered aces up their sleeve from the Mage side.

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    I don't always play a Fighter/Mage, but when I do, I wish I'd rolled a Mage/Swashbuckler instead.

    Seriously though, I frequently gear my F/Ms with the Robe of Vecna and Amulet of Power. Generally the other casters won't be casting in melee to need the faster spells, but this lets the F/M pull off things like Breach and CC spells (or GMs for softening other targets for other party casters), just like I would any other mage, but generally it's not necessary to waste spell slots on the trash, so a Spirit Armour spell and occasional stoneskins is more than enough.

    So yeah, "mostly" they're fighters, but that means they have most of their spellslots available for going nova in major encounters, laying down damage and summons just like the rest of the mages.

  • DragonKingDragonKing Member Posts: 1,257
    I never use F/M
    You range the pointy wns of that sharp piece of metal and put it I to the enemy.

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,593
    I never use F/M
    I play mage dualed to fighter and fighter dualed to mage but multi class I only played once. It is basically a bard that can hit a bit better, so I just play bard instead then.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    @lroumen, maybe is just that you have played the multi FM only once, but imo there is a big difference with bard.
    The FM has +1.5 APR, can put 2 pips in Dual Welding (the blade is the only bard that can do it) for an other possible APR, use fighter THACO table and not rogue one and can specialize in weapons. This is not a bit better, is a lot better. As a mage he can reach level 9 spells against lev 6 and at the same level have more spells per level.
    The bard level faster, have less spells but better spells as his Skull Traps, Fireballs and Dispell magic benefit of his higher level for the first half of the game. And he get UAI, HLA traps and his song, high lore and pickpocket. The blade is more similar to multi FM as he can dual weld, but his spins are an unique feature that make him a different fighter.
    They are both effective characters but the FM usually is good "as it is", the bard only if you equip him with the right items (to counter his lower THACO and APR) and is less intuitive to play, the player have to get used to him before he can really shine.
    In my experience they are 2 classes very different, not much in what they can do, but in how they do it and how you have to play them.

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,593
    edited February 2016
    I never use F/M
    True, the fighter potential is better, but if you want to be a great fighter just play a fighter, be a fighter dualed to mage or even a fighter dualed to thief that uses scroll to buff. You do not need to be a multi class to accomplish good fighting and have access to arcane spells.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    I use them often as a tank, with stoneskin, blur, armor and mirrored image taking care of business. I also memorize a few skull traps and magic missiles to fire before getting into the fray. I love the image of shooting a magic missile out of one hand and swinging a sword in the other.

    I used to hate the whole f/m combo until I started using this forum. Now it is one of my favorite classes.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    @lroumen , you don't need, I agree, but you can.
    With some pros, better final THACO, fighter HLA, no down time and depending on when you dual +0.5 APR.
    And some cons, no GM, slower mage progression, less HP.
    Both the choices are good, and dualing at lev 7 or 13 or in between make the comparison with multi different. Player choices but every dual from 7 to 13 and the multi are good.

  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    A pack mule.

  • NimranNimran Member Posts: 4,733
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    Mainly a fighter with utility/defensive spells and a familiar.

  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 2,607
    I use him in a balanced way.
    See, the thing with the Fighter/Mage is that no matter the situation, he's never a liability. Where melee combat is useless, he has magic to back him up. Where magic fails him, he can go in there and get my hands dirty.

    I never put armor on my fighter/mages. The versatility of being able to re-buff in battle or switch playstyles on the fly is far too useful. If he's threatened by physical attacks he has stoneskin and PfMW which is all he needs anyway. The difference between a dual- and multi-classed fighter/mage's casting prowess isn't that great anyway, if you know the right spells to use. I do occasionally use offensive spells on my fighter/mages, though a lot of the time they're either in sequencers or area of effect. I used to dual-class but now I'm an advocate for multi-class fighter/mages all the way.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    @Artemius_I
    I see some uses of the armor. In BG1, where there are no stoneskins or PFMW, or if the FM has run out of protection spells and you don't want to rest for some reasons and don't need his debuffing, disabling and damaging spells. I never do it as I don't play BG1 and never let my F/Ms go out of protections, but I see how this can be useful in some situations.

  • SkatanSkatan Member Posts: 3,473
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    Mainly as a buffed up fighter, but also a seconday arcane caster. Depending on the situation, I let a F/M cast in between attacks, but I still count this as mainly fighter rather than a balanced use, since the purpose of the F/M for me is mostly his/hers combat prowess.

    With this said though, I seldom use F/M since I think they are almost too good. I tend to use Blade's or T/M's alot.

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,685
    I use him in a balanced way.
    For the first two mage levels I use my fighter-mage as a fighter who takes of his armour when I need to identify things, using the first two spell slots for identify only (plus once for summoning a familiar). Only when getting access to second level spells does buffing start to become interesting, with armour & sleep memorized and mirror image for when he gets into trouble. But the first half of the game (BG1) he (I haven't yet played a female F/M) fights in an archer role, not up front. It takes 3rd level spell Ghost Armour, combined with Blur and/or Mirror Image and Strength if needed (if I gave him less than 18 STR) for the melee role to become feasible. By that time, he turns into the support caster, supplementing my main mage, mainly with Magic Missiles if I wan't to disrupt several spellcasters in a battle, so each caster can pick a target.

    In BG2 however, it's versatility all the way from the get-go. Melee, archery, spell-disrupting, crowd control, debuffing enemy mages. The only way I limit him is leaving the spells that have significantly increased effect per caster level: the damage/level and spells that let the enemy save. I always use the Add Save Penalties for Spells Cast by High-Level Casters component of Stratagems, so those spells I have cast by the higher-level caster.

    When I started playing Baldur's Gate, I used to spend hours and hours on comparing experience and spell tables of the Fighter-Mage and Blade, wondering what character I would like the most and would be the most effective as my Charname. With more experience in playing the game under my hood, I realise the main difference is not in how many spells can be cast at what experience level, but in what you use them for:

    The Blade, though reasonable at melee, will take more micromanagement to be effective and is more dependent on items. Plus being able to put just one pip in each weapon, he diversifies more by nature. The Fighter-Mage, with better Thac0 and attacks per round fights well any time, whereas the Blade is deadly with an offensive spin and a good tank with defensive spin, but only a few times a day, so for the thougher battles only. What the Blade does better however, is allowing his party-members to excel: mages needn't use spellslots for identify, Thieves needn't put points in Pick Pockets and everyone can benefit from the Bard Song (though singing is not a very effective means of using a Blade, I mostly use it when enemies are harder to hit and I'm out of spins and out of spells for that day, so the best damage output achieved is buffing the warriors).

    But like I said in the middle paragraph of this post, spells that deal damage per level and spells that give the enemy a chance to save, penalized if the attacking spell comes from a high-level caster with Sword Coast Stratagems installed, are better cast by high-level caster and in that respect the Bard shines, with higher levels for his xp than other caster in the party. Making the Blade fit more roles than the Fighter-Mage and making the first slightly more beloved by me, despite my first ever AD&D character being a Fighter-Mage and being in love with Fighter-Mages since.

    tl;dr: versatile, versatile and did I mention versatile?

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,334
    I never use F/M
    Hmm, if starting from BG1, does a Gnome Fighter/Illusionist gain a larger benefit from the early spell slots, able to act more like a F/M from the beginning?

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,081
    He is mainly a Fighter.

    Hmm, if starting from BG1, does a Gnome Fighter/Illusionist gain a larger benefit from the early spell slots, able to act more like a F/M from the beginning?

    Yes, of course. These additional slots are insanely important at the start of the game. Remember, that the Evermemory ring doubles your lvl 1 spells. So if you have 2 spell slots as an Illusionist, with this ring you get 4 of them on the fist level. And 4 spells are a lot. Armor, Shieldx2 and Protection from Evil.

    And for the second level you immediately get 2 spell slots. Nor only Mirror Image, but also Blur are available as soon as you reach lvl 2 spells. Or two Mirror Images.

    The third level lets you choose not only Spirit Armor, but also Minor Spell Deflection.

    The fourth level lets you add Improved Invisibility to Stoneskin.

    It's a tremendous benefit.

    Add to that better saving throws!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,703
    He is mainly a Fighter.
    Also being a Fighter the fact that he can not cast Necromancy spells is less relevant that for a pure class Illusionist. The Necromancy spells are mostly damaging ones and he has other ways to deal damage, his weapons.

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